Norfolk gymnasium combines mental health and fitness

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – Tucked away behind a garage door in a corner of Norfolk is a gym, unlike the others.

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The gymnasium, near 25th Street in Norfolk, is where morale is high, blood pumps and bodies are put to the test. All under the watchful eye of Michael Lambert.

“I have seniors that I actually train. I train athletes,” Lambert said. “And I actually train people who want to feel good on the inside.”

He is the owner of the Fitness Junkie Gym.

Physical gains aren’t his gym’s only goal, it’s also about mental and emotional well-being.

“We’re here to lose weight, but I like that people focus physically on the mental part because without that, you won’t be able to get the results you’re looking for,” Lambert added.

Lambert began his lifestyle coaching journey in 2012, then opened the gym in 2013.

However, the road has not always been easy, he said.

“It takes a lot of training and time and study and overnight and you just want to rest and stuff, but you know you have to take that client,” Lambert told 10 On Your Side.

He and fellow personal trainer Ben Faulks take the time to get to know each member of their gym and work to bring that person to the best of their abilities.

“When it comes to physical health, you always want to look your best. When it comes to mental health, you always want to think about the best,” Faulk said.

Faulks says the heaviest weight on your shoulders doesn’t come from dumbbells and bars.

“A lot of people look up to us, when it comes to kids, as black men, when we’re in the community we’re usually used as a statistic, myself, I make sure I don’t have that third shot, because I’m already black, I’m already a man, so this third shot is going to knock me out,” Faulk added.

Gym member Laura Law says she is grateful for their approach. That’s why she confidently says she’s the same age as Dolly Parton and Cher.

“I can proudly say that I live in a 3rd ground floor apartment,” she said. “I can walk up and down these stairs all the time and so many of my friends say oh my knees hurt, or oh my hips hurt so bad, or I just don’t feel good on my feet – not me.”

She says she leads a positive life.

At the gym, members are not strangers or even customers.

Lambert has another name for them: family.

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