The name Wareing has been synonymous with physical fitness for almost 100 years. As early as 1923, Bill Wareing, Sr. began coaching group training and gained a reputation as a physical culturist. Living in New York City he trained with people like Charles Atlas and held the world record for the single arm dumbbell press at 127 pounds – not bad for a guy who weighed 150 pounds.
His son, John Wareing, took over the family business in 1960 when he opened the very first Wareing’s Gym on Laskin Road in Virginia Beach. The legendary John Wareing touched the lives of thousands of people during his life. He was a fitness guru, war hero, strongman, television personality, police officer, comedian and a driving force in the fitness industry in Virginia Beach. While tough, charismatic and gregarious, he was extremely devoted to his friends and family. Tales of his “crazy” personality are still shared by many of the gym’s long-tenured members. He had such an impact on this city, he was immortalized in bronze and stands watch over the oceanfront at 19th street.
Throughout the ‘80s, ‘90s and into the 2000s, John’s sons expanded not only the size of the gym but also Wareing’s reputation as the local leader in fitness. Now the torch has been passed to the next generation so they can tackle the current health epidemics facing this country – childhood obesity, heart disease and increasingly sedentary lifestyles, just to name a few.
Over the last three decades, the fitness industry has seen many fads come and go. The reason Wareing’s Gym has persevered through many tumultuous years is that we have always been about working hard, getting results, building relationships and sharing a few good laughs. There is nothing more important to us than family and as a new member, you are now a part of our family. Welcome home!
Since 1960, Wareing’s Gym has made it our mission to be the best part of people’s day. We strive for every member to leave the gym feeling better than when they arrived. Our success has never relied on equipment or programming nearly as much as it has the very people we consider ourselves fortunate to coach. By treating our people less like clients and more as an integral part of our culture, we create an environment that minimizes judgment while promoting support and a sense of community among one another. While it’s vastly important to see people’s bodies feeling better, the true goal is to sustain an environment where people are free to feel better about themselves.