Let’s face it: Many of us have all but forgotten how to go to the gym. Under the best of circumstances, it’s a challenge to make time for a cardio commute. But after the year we’ve had? Forget it. Even as we begin re-establishing old routines, the idea of taking a drive to visit a row of treadmills isn’t all that appealing. But thanks to VERSAGYM owner Carlos Garcia, you don’t have to. The Naples-area personal trainer and his fiancée Kate Terhaar are ready and willing to come to you with innovative fitness routines and nutritional know-how designed to get clients back on track. “We bring the gym to your house,” Garcia says. “We get rid of all of the scheduling snafus that affect fitness by coming to you. If you work late, we’ll come late. If you have kids, no problem. They can hang out. We try to make everything as convenient as possible, so there are no excuses.”
The service is white-glove luxury with packages starting at $999 a month and ranging from personal training sessions to duo training and group fitness classes. Clients pick the time (sessions are offered until 8:30 p.m.) and place, and then Garcia and Terhaar—both fitness trainers certified in nutrition—roll up with a military-grade trailer filled to the brim with everything necessary for an intense workout session: a full-sized rowing machine, dumbbells, resistance bands, TRX straps and even a cable pulley system. To create the roving gym, Garcia found a local tradesman who outfitted the trailer with rubber mats and workout gear like fold-down power racks. Easy access to plentiful equipment allows the duo to create personalized workouts for 20-somethings and octogenarians alike with goals of getting stronger, losing weight, improving cardio fitness and beyond.
Garcia focuses on encouraging individuals to give it their best with every row, stretch, lift and squat. Each aspect of his functional fitness trainings is customizable. “It’s an individual thing,” Garcia says. “When I go to someone’s home, I’m not going to give them the same workout that I gave the last person. With the trailer, it helps us take on whatever the client needs. That’s one of my biggest things as a coach: I never want to narrow it down and write one workout a day and be done.” While a client takes on his or her prescribed five-minute warm up, Garcia and Terhaar set up the gear. Then, it’s time to sweat for 45 minutes to an hour. For clients who tire more easily, workouts are shorter and integrate lighter weights. More energetic folks may do squats, lunges, resistance training and heavy weight training. To help with muscle gain, Garcia wraps up the workout with a massage gun, the buzzy percussive therapy tool that’s praised for aiding in athletic recovery.
Garcia says his motivational skills are what set his gym apart. “Some of my clients even have full home gyms, but they never get used because the accountability isn’t there,” he notes. Along with the tricked-out trailer, he brings a fitness philosophy that’s about far more than reps or numbers on a scale. As a child, he struggled with his weight, as did some of his closest family members. As a teen, he got into working out and found he also had a gift for encouraging others to set and meet fitness goals. At 16, he started coaching his mom and coworkers at the local YMCA—they each lost 20 pounds. “I realized how much better it made them feel overall,” Garcia says. “Their joints felt better; they were lighter; they had more confidence; and they were more productive at work.”
These days, knowledgeable pep talks are in high demand. Garcia and Terhaar are adding team members and retrofitting two more trailers with solar panels to power LED lights for nighttime workouts, mister fans and a refrigerator to keep clients’ meal prep items fresh. With regard to the latter, they’ve partnered with companies like Naples-based Juicelation, Beyond Meals and other healthy meal prep services for busy clients who want healthy food options post-workout. Garcia and Terhaar also plan to offer a selection of healthy, premade meals for on-the-go professionals and folks who just don’t feel like cooking.
Garcia says figuring out new ways to make fitness and nutrition more convenient is how he ultimately changes lives. “The clients that really mean the most to me are the ones that really need me: the obese clients; people who are going through a divorce; the men and women who are struggling with anxiety and depression,” he says. “I do this so I can minister to people about how everything can improve with daily exercise.”