Gyms bring in equipment designed for clients of all sizes

By Kathy Sweeney - bio | email

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - The local gym is no longer *one size fits all.*

"To get them in the door and be here to support them and help them reach their goals, that's what we're here for," explained Amy Sutherlin, fitness manager at Healthpoint Fitness in Cape Girardeau.

Sutherlin showed off new machines designed to fit a client of any shape or size.

"This is a perfect example," Sutherlin said as she walked over to a row of equipment called "Free Motion" and chose a machine that works the triceps. "It's easy entry. They would just come up and sit on it and then grab the weights, set it where it needs to be, and it's just a nice easy press back."

Sutherlin then heads to a more traditional triceps machine with a narrow seat opening.

"So, this isn't going to be quite as accommodating for someone that's overweight or has a lot of extra abdominal weight," she explained.

With exercise comes healthy eating.  Along with a consultation from a dietitian like Raina Childers, you'll find another effort to make all clients comfortable, a bariatric chair that can hold up to 500 pounds.

"When a person sits with me, it's usually for an hour for our initial consultation. We want them to be comfortable. We don't want them to be self-conscious about the space that they're in," Childers explained.

Childers believes these efforts are paying off.

"I think people are becoming more open about the struggle with obesity," Childers said.  "I think, because of the growing population and the needs, they are coming and seeking help of professionals which I think was not done as much in the past."

Childers says they have seen an increase in the number of clients using Healthpoint's weight management program in each of the last six years.

Find more information on the program at

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