By Janet Stoica
The newly-renovated Everybody’s Fitness Center (EFC) on Sutton Road in Webster officially launched with a grand opening in January, under new ownership
The Webster location is the third health center for the Cook family of Charlton and Worcester. Their first venture was the EFC Auburn site on Southbridge Street (across from Staples) which opened nine years ago, and their second venue opened in Sturbridge seven years ago in the J. C. Penney Plaza.
Bob and Jason Cook are father and son co-owners and they operate their three sites along with Jason’s wife Jennifer and Bob’s wife Linda. The Webster gym was previously known as Pure Fitness and the Cook family took ownership on October 4, 2018.
Jason Cook had managed the Webster facility 10 years ago and last year was asked by the former owners if he was interested in buying the place. After discussions with his father, they purchased the facility and added it to their group.
“We checked out the building and equipment, determined what had to be done, and then invested $250,000 to bring this facility up to our standards,” said Jason. “We gutted most of the place. We installed new lighting, new flooring (including AstroTurf), and new cardio and strength equipment.”
They added a juice bar and space for child care, for kids ages four months to 12 years.
“Our colors are blue and orange,” said Jason. “Blue for trustworthiness and orange for energy. We feel that the two colors are a reflection of who we are and are happy with our choices. I’ve been active my whole life and I enjoy seeing people change their lives through exercise and getting healthy.”
Bob Cook has always exercised and kept fit as well. After serving two years in the U.S. Navy, he went to work for First American Realty of Worcester, where he is still employed as a manager after 35 years.
Bob’s wife and Jason’s mom, Linda, is on the Webster scene daily, helping with whatever needs to be done.
Jason’s wife, Jenn, is a certified fitness instructor, registered with the American Council on Exercise. She maintains her certification through continuous fitness education and workshops. Formerly a Mapfre Insurance employee, Jenn’s decision to follow her passion of exercising and keeping fit was fostered by seeing her mom keeping fit with Jane Fonda and Richard Simmons’ videos.
Jenn and Jason live in Charlton with their teenage children and black Labrador, Pearl.
The family’s goals focus on coaching, training, and weight loss programs. Their group fitness centers on the Les Mills programs. Mr. Mills is a former New Zealand track and field athlete. His programs focus on working the entire body for maximum benefit. “It’s fun for all adults,” said Jason, “and we work with most health insurances, including Fallon, Harvard Pilgrim, Silver Sneakers, and Blue Cross/Blue Shield.”
The group fitness programs consist of several choices: body pump, body step, body combat, body flow, and Sh’bam, a dance workout that is very easy to follow with no dance experience required.
Another option, indoor cycling, is similar to spinning while you work out at your own pace.
A new program the facility will offer is TRIBE team training. Teams of 10 people will train twice weekly for a six-week period. It’s like having a personal trainer available but in a small group environment and is more economical as the group saves money by being together. As the TRIBE name implies, this holds the group members accountable as they stay together and build camaraderie. The first week is a free trial.
Jenn Cook is keenly involved with the club’s mind, body, and nutrition (“MBN”) program too. “It’s a habit-based lifestyle program,” she says. “There are no counting calories, or restrictive foods. MBN centers on changing your lifestyle and habits. Life happens. You’re tired or stressed and don’t eat well or keep yourself as healthy as you should. Our goal is to work with you. Are you getting enough sleep or enough hydration? We’ll work with you to help you find ways to better yourself. We can do an individually-structured program just for you. We’ll help you through the holidays and vacation struggles. New habits are going to help you.”
The club has a non-invasive BEMER therapy device that is FDA-approved and works to help with circulation, which increases blood flow to various parts of one’s body. The device is a full-body pad that delivers electro-magnetic pulses to one’s circulatory system. The system is an off-shoot of a NASA program instituted to assist returning astronauts from space.
EFC also offers additional equipment like bands, kettle bells, stability balls, TRX weight equipment, and jump ropes. If you would like to orient yourself to the club’s programs you would first meet with a fitness coach to determine your fitness assessment and which program would be best for you. All ages are welcome, and programs are tailored to each individual.
Monthly membership in Webster is $39 and includes access to all three EFC locations. The club is open 24/7 for members who are given building access IDs. Security cameras are plentiful, including the outdoor parking lot and the interior workout areas.
The Cook family is proud of their local charity work. Annually, they conduct Thanksgiving food drives and toy drives where each site’s donations are distributed to the local community. Recently, they were awarded the Masterman’s Community Service Award for their benevolence. They have also conducted a Cycling to End Cancer fundraiser where participants bike for three hours to raise donations. Over the past nine years, EFC has raised close to $100,000 for charity.
EFC employs 14 exercise instructors and eight trainers. Front desk hours are Mon.-Thurs. 7:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.; Fri. 7:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.; Sat. 8 a.m. -12 noon; and Sun. 8 a.m. – 11 a.m. Childcare hours vary. Everybody’s Fitness Center, 37 Sutton Road, Webster. Phone: 508-461-5800. www.efcfit.com