Nominated for: BEST Gym
My path to a lifestyle and career in physical fitness started as a youth with the Carmen Avenue gang on the northwest side of Milwaukee. During each season we had a specific sport that the gang played be it football, bicycle racing, kick-the-can, red rover, baseball, ice-skating, swimming, basketball, etc...etc.. that was played from sunup to sundown.
I took this energy and focused it toward earning a double major in 1978 in Physical Education and Recreation, and a double minor in Adaptive Physical Education and Health, at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. It was during my college days that I began a strategic and intensive workout plan to rehabilitate a shoulder injury which had required invasive surgery. It was at this time that the "workout bug" bit and I embarked on a new venture into the world of weight-training.
In 1977 I entered an Olympic Lifting competition at the Wisconsin State Fair, which encouraged me in 1978 to enter my first powerlifting competition, which then led me down another path in 1984 in which I entered my first bodybuilding show.
In 1982 I joined "Dix Fitness", located at 12th and Lincoln, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. After joining the gym, I inquired with the owner Dick Piontek that I was very interested in learning how he built his gym from the ground up, since I wanted to someday open up my very own gym. Due to my inquiry and avid interest in the world of gym ownership, Dick, one day asked me if I would like to buy his gym since he wanted to sell. Through some negotiation we agreed on a purchase price. One week later on July 20th, 1983, I moved the gym to 2235 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. and opened the doors as "Ken Weber's Fitness Company."
From 1980-1985 I was also working as a Physical Education instructor and coaching the Football and Swim teams, at Riverside High School. I found the experience to teach students from all different physical fitness backgrounds challenging and rewarding. I enjoyed creating lesson plans to encourage and instruct students into growing into well-rounded individuals.
In 1989, I found myself needing a larger gym space and was able to relocate in the Avalon Building at 2483 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. I felt it was a good time to rename the gym to "The Brickyard." I felt the name coincided with my hard-core philosophy of bodybuilding.
In 2001 I found that I needed to expand the gym one more time, and was at that time able to purchase the old Mirth Theater Building at 2651 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. The gym's floor space expanded from 3000 square feet at the Avalon Building to 6500 square feet on the airy, opened-area, and high-ceilinged 2nd floor of the new Brickyard Building. The membership, as well, expanded from 200 members to 350 members present day.
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