“Believe you can, and you’re halfway there.” – Theodore Roosevelt
Chris “Boris” Marhefka has a “can-do” mentality, and he shares that philosophy with his clients. His gym, Body by Boris, is a dynamic training facility that takes pride in its “I CAN!” mantra, which motivates people from all walks of life to improve their health and well-being through fitness and nutrition…and attitude.
How Boris Began
Marhefka’s passion and drive have helped him through various challenges. The Gator grad left Gainesville for a finance job in South Florida but soon thereafter moved to Tennessee when he was offered a job at a fitness facility.
“I had a career in the finance field, and I just didn’t like it,” he said. “I am a huge believer in happiness and in doing what you love.”
Wanting to move back to Gainesville because of the great community and the growth environment, he returned in the fall of 2009. During his first few months back, Marhefka lived out of his car and worked two other jobs while he started his fitness business. In the beginning, he offered clients outdoor boot camps until he could save enough money for a facility; four months later, Body by Boris opened its doors and has been booming ever since.
The Body by Boris Experience
Body by Boris is a health and fitness facility that takes a business-focused approach to working out. Clients measure their progress through accountability and are motivated in a team-based environment. This method has helped hundreds of people unleash their potential and accomplish things they never thought possible.
Throughout his 10 years in the fitness industry, Marhefka, who is a certified personal trainer, has seen the benefits of small group training sessions. At Body by Boris, clients train as part of a team but still receive individualized attention from experienced personal trainers. With class sizes ranging from four to 12 participants, each client can interact with a trainer who is present during the entire session to both demonstrate proper form and motivate participants.
At Body by Boris, prospective members begin their fitness journeys by meeting with Marhefka for a one-on-one intro session. This allows each person to ask questions and determine how he or she feels about the distinct environment and overall fitness routine before committing as a client. The initial meeting also allows Marhefka to see how physically fit potential members are in order to offer realistic recommendations about what the Body by Boris fitness program can do for them.
“I always tell people [that], physically, anyone can do any of our programs,” he said. “They are designed for all fitness levels.”
Once a person becomes a member, he or she is assigned a personal coach, who keeps them accountable while providing encouragement.
“Boris and his team are so encouraging and always motivating you to keep going,” said Collin Austin, owner of New Scooters 4 Less and Gulejo Coffee. “I get texts from Boris all the time saying how proud he is and reminding me to stay healthy.”
Although he’s only been a client for a few months, Austin said that he’s “addicted” and loves the ”boot camp” style of the workouts.
The staff at Body by Boris feels that every day they get better at creating the type of environment where members feel welcome, comfortable and accepted in the fitness world. But what really ties it all together is the community.
“The community is what keeps people here,” Marhefka said. “We have amazing workout programs, and we have an amazing staff, but people continue to come because they enjoy being here.”
Marhefka’s “I can” attitude is contagious.
Lunch and Learn Sessions
Clients learn how to be active in the office by learning how to incorporate health and activity into their workday, without joining a gym.
Clients learn how to set up their office to make it healthier, including having nutritious options in the kitchen and allowing for physical fitness throughout the workday.
Using just the equipment found in a typical office space, the Body by Boris team teaches employees how to use these items to work out throughout the day. Some offices set company-wide workout times, which not only help employees become active but also allow people from different departments interact. This boosts company-wide social interactions, productivity and health.
Company-wide challenges are usually short, lasting only about a week. They allow for employees to compete in a positive environment, win prizes and increase their health.
“The idea is to make workplaces healthier and employees healthier and happier,” Marhefka said.