Closer Look

Fitness offered for more than 30 years

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Anna Waskey

A gym whose vision is “Results for Everyone,” Franklin Health and Fitness Center is one of Macon County’s largest wellness centers. According to owner Rodney Morris, “[We offer] a positive exercise environment. Any type of wellness or fitness goal that you have, we can help.”

Morris has been owner since 2018, when he took over his parents’ role.

“My mom and dad started Franklin Health and Fitness Center in 1988. There wasn’t an indoor swimming facility and they thought it would be good for the community to have [one],” he said. With the help of about 40 local investors, Morris’s parents, Ed and Barbara Morris, were able to build the swimming pool and the fitness center evolved from there. 

UPWARDS OF 4,000 members visit Franklin Fitness, according to its second-generation owner, Rodney Morris.

“I started working here in 2008, and my wife, Maura, and I are now the owners,” said Morris. “We’ve grown [by adding] fitness centers in Murphy, N.C., and Clayton, Ga.”

Franklin Fitness, as it is mostly known throughout the region, has a variety of exercise equipment, ranging from cardio machines, strength training machines, and free weights. The center also has a junior Olympic-sized swimming pool, jacuzzi, sauna, hydromassage lounge chairs, and more. Also available to members is a full slate of group fitness classes and a selection of personal trainers, depending on what plan members sign up for.

FRANKLIN FITNESS recently finished an expansion with extra space that allows for more strength-training equipment.

Late last year, Franklin Fitness finished an expansion that took approximately one year, from planning to completion. “We wanted to provide more space for our members,” said Morris. “Particularly, [we wanted to provide] more strength equipment because we have noticed a big interest in strength training over the last couple of years.”

The gym’s layout has been rearranged to improve the flow of exercise machines, and another turf area was added.

Upon an inquiry regarding future expansions, Morris responded, “We’re always looking to expand and change. I’ve got a couple [ideas] up my sleeve, but I can’t reveal those yet.”

Franklin Fitness has 3,500 to 4,000 members with an evenly proportioned male to female ratio.

“We have members [ranging] from little kids who utilize the pool all the way to 90-year-olds who take advantage of the equipment and classes. There is really not a group that we target,” said Morris. “[We want] the gym to be comfortable for anyone … we want anyone, even if they don’t have much knowledge of fitness, to feel comfortable,” he said. 

SINCE 1988, Franklin Fitness has been offering exercise equipment, classes, a pool, and more. The center is located at 1214 East Main Street, Franklin.

“I would also say that we are reflective of the town of Franklin,” said Grace Young, general manager. “There is a lot of diversity in Franklin, as far as Hispanic people and other ethnicities, and that is definitely reflected in our memberships. 

“[We] add to Macon County a premier fitness and wellness center for all groups of people [and] we pride ourselves on being a clean and safe environment … where members can work on fitness goals. It is a very welcoming facility that has all the modern equipment, a friendly staff, and an excellent value in membership pricing.”

Anna Waskey is an honors student at Franklin High School.