Fitness instructor Andrew Hayes didn’t expect to open his own gym business, but when the opportunity presented itself, he knew this was the best way to help people achieve a healthier lifestyle.
“Body3 Personal Fitness is all about community, and our gym members are amazing,” he says. “Helping people with their health and fitness goals is always great. I get to see so many people come through our doors, and it’s awesome to see them get the support they’re looking for to work toward their goals.”
Hayes’ fitness journey started at a young age. Whether playing sports or just being outside, fitness has always been a part of who he is. It wasn’t until his mid-20s that he decided to turn fitness into a professional career.
“I always liked to help my friends when it came to running or lifting, and since a lot of them knew how much I ran, they asked for feedback or ideas or plans,” he says. “A lot of my friends recommended that I should be a trainer, which helped me decide. Once I realized this was what I wanted to do, I haven’t looked back.”
A mission of Hayes’ gym, which he owns with his husband, is to create a safe, fun environment where everyone can inspire and push each other to achieve their goals.
“Our gym is all about community, and our members are amazing,” he says. “Being in Oak Forest, we have a lot of members from right here in the neighborhood. However, we also have a lot who live farther away but want the community and support. Our clients tend to either be busy professionals who balance work and family, or they’re older folks looking to stay strong and healthy as they age. We know that trying to fit in exercise can be time consuming, and gyms in general can be stressful and intimidating. But it’s important for a lot of reasons. We try to take the stress out of it and make it as quick and easy as possible. Our end goal is that our members start to think of exercise as a regular, ongoing part of their life to stay healthy and strong as they get older.”
The goal of the gym is centered around that sense of support, with the official motto being “Just move!”
“The goal is to make the day the best you can,” he says. “Some days you maybe have more time to get a workout and some cardio in, and that’s great. Some days you may only have time to get a 15-minute walk in, and that’s great too! Fitness should be something we strive to incorporate into our lives—not bending our lives around working out. I always tell my run clients and gym members that the big goal is movement. As long as we move more than we sit, then it’s a good day.”
It’s that mindset that Hayes says people should take into 2024. While many Americans have weight loss as their New Year’s resolution, it can be a struggle to stay motivated year round and keep the weight off.
“It’s important to slow down and focus on one step at a time,” he says. “Nothing is gonna happen overnight, but stick to it and trust the process. You will get results. Results take time and people tend to want them to happen fast so they do everything at once. Then they feel overwhelmed, stressed, or like they failed. I always tell people to keep things easy and focus on one thing at a time.”
“Fitness should be something we strive to incorporate into our lives, not bending our lives around working out.” —Andrew Hayes
In terms of specific tips and tricks that people can use to stay motivated, Hayes says small short-term goals add up to bigger goals, so that you don’t end up feeling overwhelmed as you start your fitness journey.
“Have small short-term goals that all add up to your bigger goals,” he says. “This gives you more wins along the way and gives you a more detailed path to the big picture. It seems simple, but having the patience and sticking with it is really hard. That’s why the support and accountability we give at our gym is so important.”
It’s also important to make sure you don’t start a fitness journey all by yourself, as friends and family can help keep you going, Hayes says.
“Again, community will help you stick to your goals and make it fun along the way,” he says. “That’s why it’s such a big goal at our gym. You want exercise to become a part of your lifestyle, so it should be something you enjoy! And starting is the hardest part. Anything new can be challenging at first, but it should be something that makes you feel better about yourself and your day.”
For those who are apprehensive about getting fit and losing weight, Hayes suggests connecting with a gym coach and researching workout plans to find out what works best.
“Everyone needs something different in their health and fitness journey, so learn what you want or what kind of support you need to be successful,” he says. “There are so many different types of gyms and communities out there, so don’t be afraid to try out a few and find the right fit for you. Start with a call or email to schedule a visit to learn more about our gym. Visit and ask questions to find out if it’s the right fit for you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and ask for what you need. A gym or gym community that you feel comfortable with is essential.”
Everyone will have a bad day or two, but it’s important to not give up and keep your weight goals at the forefront of your mind, Hayes says.
“Don’t get discouraged,” he says. “Not everything is gonna be perfect. Maybe you had a little too much to drink one night, maybe you went a little overboard with food, or maybe you met friends for brunch that turned into an all-day Sunday event! When that happens, don’t stress about it. Don’t punish yourself the next day by overdoing the exercise. All you need to do is go back to your regular routine. Don’t stress. Just move, and the rest will fall into place.”
For more information on Body3 Personal Fitness, visit body3fit.com.