GREAT VALLEY — Rock City Fitness held a grand opening Saturday at its new facility at 4343 South Whalen Road, providing people a spacious gym where they can pursue individualized training and nutrition advice.

Casi DePew, who owns the fitness center with her husband, Clint, said the opening was a great success with people coming from as far away as St. Louis and Canada. She said it was awesome watching people meet “in real life” for the first time.

DePew said Rock City Fitness (RCF) has a Facebook group where their goal is to bridge the gap between local people who come to the gym and people from all over the country who want coaching and a supportive community to nurture their goals online.

“There were definitely tears shed on Saturday when people who became friends online were able to give hugs in person,” she said. “The energy at our grand opening was amazing and it’s because of the relationships people have built.”

DePew said the business has been open for three years, but they were cramped so they moved to a larger space in a nearby building in July. Although she is usually at the gym between and 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., the facility is not a drop-in-style gym.

“Our facility is not a traditional gym, meaning we do not have rows of machines and cardio equipment for free use like a 24-hour gym,” she said. “Because of that, our training hours and packages look slightly different.”

DePew said, through RCF, they provide not only the education and programming that will get people the results they want but, more importantly, give them a community and a family of other people who are right in the trenches with them.

RCF offers a variety of training and nutrition options to suit the needs of people of all ages and fitness levels. The facility offers Bootcamp and group fitness classes, online nutrition coaching, personal training and running coaching. All current classes and class descriptions can be found on the Rock City Fitness Facebook page.

The DePews live in Salamanca and have two young children, which makes the 5 a.m. bootcamp a convenient hour for both them and many of their students who also have school-aged children and jobs to get to early in the morning.

According to Depew, their popular Bootcamp program is specifically designed to help people progress over a four-week period, so there’s always a rhyme and reason to the training they provide.

Educating people is very important to the DePews. It’s important to Casi, a former second grade teacher, and Clint, who is a middle school teacher at Allegany-Limestone Central School, to educate people as they train at their gym.

Being involved in their students’ training and designing their programming so they get the results they are looking for gives their students a map and takes out the guesswork.

“We’ve all been there. We go into a gym and we hop on a treadmill but we don’t really know what to do,” she said. “So, we really wanted to bring our teaching experience into our business.”

Together, the couple has earned a long list of certifications. Both are National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainers (NASM-CPT) and are Pn1 Certified Precision Nutrition Coaches. Clint is also an RRCA Certified Running Coach.

In addition, Casi also holds certifications with the National Academy of Sports Medicine as a Certified Nutrition Coach (NASM-CNC), and a Fitness Nutrition Specialization with the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM-FNS). She is also a Certified Pre and Post Natal Coach, and is a 1st Phorm Sponsored Trainer.

“Fitness isn’t about how many calories you burn or how sweaty a workout is. It’s the people who are in the trenches with you, who know and can relate to what you are going through to make positive changes in your health. It’s about surrounding yourself with the right tools and environment to help you grow mentally and physically,” she said. “It’s the people. That’s exactly what separates RCF from other gyms.”

DePew said they feel so blessed and grateful for the people who are a part of Rock City Fitness — both those who come to the gym and the hundreds of people who we work with online.

“This is truly about them,” she said. “What started as an idea for a 5 a.m. bootcamp and hoping 10 people would sign up, has grown into an RCF family way beyond the four walls of our physical location.”

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