The Tone Up Club started as a dream for Tony Lewis. He began his fitness experience
by working out with his dad at 14 years of age. His dad, a Chicago Police
Officer, would bring him to the gym at the police station to workout. Tony’s dad shared a lesson with him about fitness; workouts are not just about “going through the motions”. Fitness is about goal achievement, discipline, and self-confidence. Tony realized these habits would transform in other areas of his life.
Tony was cut from high school basketball tryouts during his freshman and sophomore year. He made it until the final cut both years. The head coach had a brief talk with Tony after the final tryouts his sophomore year. He was told he needed to gain muscle and strength to have any chance of making the team, weighing only 135lbs his sophomore year.
Tony worked out hard over the next year, gaining 15 pounds of muscle. He finally accomplished his goal of making the varsity basketball team his junior season. Tony finally understood the three principles of fitness; one needs discipline to pursue a goal, and goal achievement brings self-confidence to persevere throughout the journey. Tony realized how much of an impact fitness made on his life and wanted to make the same difference in other people.
Tony followed his dreams and graduated from college with an undergraduate degree in Business Administration and a Master’s Degree in Exercise Science from Tennessee State University. Upon graduation, Tony started his career in the fitness training industry.
Tony faced unexpected challenges during the first two years of his career. He began working with a new client in the summer of 2004. His client had a clear medical history and was also in good physical condition. They began their first exercise session using a rowing machine. His client suddenly became dizzy, collapsing to the floor . The ambulance came, sending his client to the emergency room. It was determined his client suffered from a brain aneursym. Tony found out his client passed away a week later. He was devastated upon hearing the news. During this time, Tony re-evaluated his career path, not knowing if he wanted to continue his career in fitness. Tony’s employer encouraged him to see a psychiatrist to help him overcome this painful experience. Tony believed his gift was to help others reach their fitness potential. He eventually regained passion for his career.
Unfortunately, another tragedy occurred in the summer of 2006. Tony received a call that his fiancé, Krystal, was hit in a serious car accident. The doctors told the family she suffered a traumatic brain injury. She was paralyzed on the left side of her body. The doctors said there was a chance she may never walk again. She started her occupational therapy sessions in a wheelchair and improved enough to attend physical therapy. One day, Krystal called Tony with exciting news. She walked the entire hallway without using a cane. Her goals were to regain enough strength in her body to walk again, along with completing her final year of dental school.
Tony worked with Krystal to regain her balance, coordination, and strength. Several months later, she gained the strength to walk without a cane. Without missing a beat, Krystal graduated from dental school her senior year. This life-changing experience gave Tony a new compassion for others by appreciating the simple gifts from God…the ability to walk, smile, and laugh. Tony and Krystal were married in the summer of 2008. In 2009, Tony started his own fitness training company, The Tone Up Club.
Tony’s vision for the Tone Up Club is to give clients hope and courage to reach their
fitness goals. The near death experience of his wife, along with her fight to
overcome her disability gives him the excitement to celebrate the smallest
victories with his clients. Sometimes encouragement is all people need.