Though it’s not their intent, typical chain gyms can be overwhelming and intimidating to those with a lot of weight to lose. This is why Downsize Fitness was created.
Getting in shape is a dramatically different journey: simply climbing a flight of stairs can be a challenge, standard gym equipment is not suited for larger bodies, even finding workout clothes in the right size isn’t always easy.
Downsize Fitness was founded in November 2011 by Francis Wisniewski. At 360 pounds, Francis has battled his weight his entire life. His transformative moment came when his business partner told Francis, “you can’t die on me – you have to lose weight,” and bought him a personal trainer and chef for a year. Francis told his trainer that if he were forced to go to a typical gym those members would stare at him and mock him for his size – and the trainer said, “That’s exactly why most Americans don’t go to the gym, for fear of ridicule.” It was right then and there that Francis decided he was going to open the country’s first overweight-only gym.
Kishan, Downsize Fitness’ President, has battled his weight his entire life. As a 200 pound 12 year old and 400 pound 19 year old, his frustration in finding a suit for a job interview to cover his 62 inch waist was the last straw, causing him to embark on a fitness and nutrition program to help him lose more than 200 pounds through diet and exercise. Kishan has been lucky enough to speak with Michelle Obama on obesity in America and is committed to helping people across the globe live healthier lives. He wants to help the millions of people across the world like him, that struggle with their weight.
Many gym-goers are lean and muscular; standard classes may be considered too complicated and challenging for someone at the beginning of their fitness journey. Downsize Fitness provides a comfortable space and customized training to help them meet their goals. That’s why SHAPE Magazine selected Downsize Fitness as “The Best Gym to Drop the Pounds.”
Downsize Fitness’ secret is the community built between its members. This support network empowers them to be successful on their health journey. Francis says it – bluntly, “Typical gyms are for fit people to stay fit, not for fat people to get fit.” There is so much unnecessary shame surrounding obesity and being overweight and there needs to be a facility that leaves that shame at the door in order to help people on their weight loss journey. That’s why Downsize was built to “get it” providing a safe gym environment, staffed by trainers have lost weight themselves and who really care about your success.