Mike Tormey’s long and successful career in fitness began nearly 20 years ago with the realization that he wasn’t quite in as good of shape as he wanted to be in.
A failed attempt at finishing a triathlon in Clermont, Florida made Tormey pay more attention to his health.
“I set out to figure out how to get into the shape needed to finish the race,” said Tormey. “I started at 235 pounds and slowly worked my way down to 180 with diet and exercise. All along my wife, Denise, was a strength and health coach to people ranging in age from 15 to 70. I wanted to start working with our kids (aged 4, 6 and 8) to get them ready to do their first triathlon. As I trained them in the parks and did runs through town people asked if I would train their kids. From there, I opened my first ever fitness center.”
The first venture was s small 2,000-square-foot gym. A year later Tormey expanded that to 3,600 square foot, and a year after that he moved into a 6,000-square-foot warehouse. At that point he was working with kids, teens and adults in strength and conditioning, mixed martial arts and triathlon training.
“Nothing I did was cookie cutter,” explained Tormey. “I implemented things that I enjoyed and changed it up constantly.When I trained my first golf pro, I knew nothing about training specific to golf. What I figured was if I make him stronger and faster it could support his golf game, and it did.”
One of Tormey’s clients was associated with a pro golfer and was a managing partner at Albany Bahamas, a luxury resort community. He was given the task there of designing and running training facilities there. The result is a gleaming fitness center complete with Life Fitness cardio and strength training equipment and ample Hammer Strength plate-loaded options. Functional training spaces are designated with a stylish red carpet.
“In designing the gym, I needed to figure out how to build something where Tiger Woods, Vince Carter, Ian Poulter, Justin Rose, Adam Scott and many other homeowners could work out in harmony,” said Tormey. “After racking my brain, I figured I would build it how I would like it. That’s when I met (Life Fitness regional segment manager) Marc Berry, who helped immensely over the years to create something loved by the homeowners and customers who visit there every year.”
Despite the high-end clientele, Tormey isn’t in the business of pampering. His motto to his exercisers is “above excuses”, and he’s earned the reputation of putting everyone he trains to work, regardless of social status. But being a taskmaster is a two-way street and requires effort from both the exerciser and trainer.
“I take away the ability to make excuses and giving (exercisers) the ability to follow what their goals are,” added Tormey. “If I get bored I know they’re bored. And if they’re bored we’re not going anywhere. I try to always be creative and innovative and provide what people will want to do.”