FORT MILL — Special to the Fort Mill Times
Keep an eye on Tim Stuckey. This is a man full of ideas – and he makes them happen. Academy Fitness, at 118 Academy St., across from the FM Police Department, is just the beginning.
The November addition to Fort Mill is available all day, every day. Members pay a monthly fee of $29, get a key fob and can work out any time, 24-7, 365 days a year, said owner Tim Stuckey.
“We had 60 to 70 people by word of mouth when we opened the doors,” said Stuckey. His staff includes two full-time workers, three full-time trainers, one part-time trainer and four instructors.
He said he trains a lot of Fort Mill business owners, student athletes and police personnel. Some of it is personal training, some is circuit training, plus individual workouts and classes.
You’ll find innovative equipment, three flat-screen TVs, cutting-edge technology, Body Build brand equipment and an adjacent space with mirrors and hardwood floors for classes.
And there are free weights, a Jacobs Ladder (high cardio, low impact – one minute equals 20 minutes on a regular treadmill), a Power Plate and classes that include Pilates, belly dancing and Zumba.
Stuckey explained that the Power Plate offers a massage while working out. The machine is big on the west coast, but his is the only one in this area (although there’s one in Kannapolis, N.C.) Ten minutes of exercise on the Power Plate is approximately equal to 45 minutes of exercise off the machine. It improves blood circulation and stimulates muscle activity, Stuckey said.
The Jacobs Ladder at Academy is also a standout piece of equipment.
“It’s high cardio/low impact and one minute on it approximates 20 on a regular treadmill,” Stuckey said.
The man behind this concept is so enthusiastic and driven it’s hard to get a word or question in edgewise. His motto is: “Faith, fitness, fellowship and family build a strong foundation,” and he walks the walk and talks the talk.
“My body is God’s temple,” he says, “we need to take care of the body and be conscious of what we put in God’s temple.”
Stuckey works with many the athletes from Nation Ford High School, and his clients range in age from pre-teen to 80-plus. He said they have various needs, from strength training to hip flexor and bone density issues, and he tries to provide the equipment to meet those needs.
He said he gets up at 4:45 a.m. and many nights he’s still working at 7 or 8 p.m. His wife and daughter are also sports enthusiasts. Wife Paula lectures and works with women, he said, and his daughter, Zoe, plays a lot of sports, but is partial to soccer.
Stuckey, 42, spent 21 years training to be a fitness coordinator. After graduating from USC, he played pro Arena League Football with the Florida Bobcats, spent time in the military and 10 years in law enforcement. He was 17 when he joined the National Guard.
From a medical family of nurses and doctors, as a kid Stuckey dreamed of becoming a professional athlete. He said these days he delivers sermons all day long to his clients as they work out at Academy Fitness and at his other job in Ballantyne, N.C. He was saved and attends Agape in Rock Hill.
The fireball of energy said he was instrumental in bringing blood pressure testing to his church where they discovered a lot of sleeping dangers. Many of the parishioners had high blood pressure and heart disease which they are now combating.
Stuckey is also involved in various mission trips to Ecuador and he’ll soon be going to Haiti. Not one to stay still, he also participates in and brings clients to races, including ones coming up in Spartanburg and at the Cooper River Bridge.
“I like fitness so much, if what we offer here doesn’t meet someone’s needs, I’ll send them someplace else,” he said with a smile.