ORLANDO, Fla. — Everyone has heard this one before: "The early bird gets the worm." But how about the early workout?
"They can make sure you can get your workout in before your day starts because my afternoon people have higher failure rate," said Chris Mink, owner of FitTrain.
At 6 a.m., you can see the FitTrain parked at Lake Fairview where clients come out for early-morning outdoor workouts. The truck is the brainchild of Chris Mink, a longtime trainer looking for a change.
"Once you make the decision to do something, you gotta just stick to your decision and go for it," Mink said.
The Navy veteran has worked in gyms, even owned his own for the past 10 years. However, the confines of the four walls started caving in.
"There was that changeover. I accepted it," Mink said. "You gotta tear it off like a Band-Aid, and I was really afraid to."
His idea for a mobile fitness truck came to life a few years ago.
"I went out to my driveway and taped off the driveway, mapped out what I could possibly put in it with what I currently had and what I wanted to put into it," Mink said.
He said he’s a handy man, the kind when things break around the house that he’ll fix it himself. It was no different when he got the idea to bolt weight racks he saw from the TV show "Shark Tank" to the outside of a step van.
"So I started doing it, and when I did the first one, I was shaking that it actually worked and it was actually working," Mink said.
It was the perfect time for the project. The truck was done in December 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic began ramping up just after, and the demand for outdoor workouts was up.
"I think people are sometimes surprised this happened with the truck," Mink said. "Well yeah, that's because I literally didn't start thinking about it. Like I would literally go to sleep thinking about it, wake up thinking about it. How can I get a truck? What can I do to get a truck? How big do I need? And I think that is like life itself."
It has everything you’d need for a High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout. Instead of sticking inside the gym, Mink can drive to his clients, who are the reason he keeps the FitTrain dream going.
"They come here and say, 'I'm glad I came.' That's why I keep doing it because these people keep me motivated to keep doing this," Mink said. "It kinda feeds on itself."
Mink helps shape his clients to be their healthiest. The FitTrain has also changed his own life.
"I call it my Noah’s Ark," Mink said. "It saved me during COVID. It saved my family from poverty during COVID, and it saved my humanity because just like any job, you’re in this rut and you’re doing the same thing every day, just like training clients in the gym was the same thing every day. Changing it to this new thing where I get to be outside changed my life. Changed my life spiritually, emotionally, financially and more than I could ever hope. More than I could ask for."