By Johnny Jackson
Jeremy Williams strolled around the racks of weights and exercise equipment before deciding on a workout for his legs.
The 37-year-old said it had been a while since he had had a proper workout in a gym. He travels, these days, from his home in Stockbridge to a new fitness club in Locust Grove.
"The equipment here is like no other place," Williams said. "This is a lot more one-on-one; less spa and more training, and it's personal."
Williams is a new member at Muscle World Gym, LLC, a small gym located in the heart of Locust Grove. He said he found the club and joined it based on the reputation of its owner, Bobby Jordan.
"I would say this place has got a full range of equipment, and a lot of experience coming from Bobby himself," Williams said. "There's definitely a niche for those who want to do serious training in a smaller gym."
Jordan has owned and operated Muscle World Gym in Forest Park since 1986. He said he wanted to launch the Locust Grove facility for five years and got the opportunity earlier this year. The new gym opened about a month ago.
Jordan said he became a business owner in the fitness industry by chance, after he began competitive bodybuilding.
"I played high school sports, and I never worked out until I got out of high school," he said. "It was a hobby."
He said, after high school, he began to intensify his regular gym workouts in order to keep up and compete with friends in the gym. At age 57, he said he continues to train for competitive bodybuilding, a career that spans 40 years.
"Competition, that's what kept me training," he said.
Rather than go to several different gyms during his travels, and in order to maintain his physique, Jordan said he decided to purchase his own gym equipment for home workouts.
After a while, he said he had enough gym equipment to either sell or open his own gym facility, and he decided to do the latter about 23 years ago.
Jordan said competing against other bodybuilders and helping others reach their fitness goals has grown into his life's passion.
"I've met a lot of good people through the gym," he said. "It's been a blessing in disguise. It keeps me working out. And I have an opportunity to witness to people, and help them get fit."
Jordan, who said he has placed in several regional bodybuilding competitions, has a personal goal of earning the Masters National Bodybuilding Champion title.
"I'm 57 now," he said. "My ultimate goal is to be at the Masters National when I turn 60, and win it."
For now, however, he said he is busy with the startup of his new gym, which he describes as a unique experience.
"It's got a big-gym look and a small-gym feel," Jordan said. "This is close quarters. Everybody knows everybody.
"I will not try to market myself with the big clubs," he continued. "I cherry-pick my equipment, and I've got the knowledge. But having the knowledge is one thing. You have to have the heart too. When you have heart, you give all you've got."
Jordan said his 24-hour Muscle World Gym has 20,000 pounds of free weights and 26 pieces of cardio equipment. His Locust Grove facility, located at 495 Tanger Boulevard, spans 5,000 square feet. His older Forest Park facility, at 4917 Jonesboro Road, is twice as large at 10,000 square feet.
He plans to host the new gym's official grand opening Saturday, from 10 a.m., until 2 p.m. His long-time friend Bill Kazmaier, a three-time title holder of World's Strongest Man, will be on hand signing autographs and taking pictures. For more information, call the gym at (404) 803-1054.