SYLACAUGA, Ala. – Wednesday afternoon, Feb. 16, Level Up Sports Training & Wellness held its long-awaited grand opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony hosted by the Sylacauga Chamber of Commerce.
The fitness center, located at 616 W. Fourth Street, is co-owned by Kennon McArthur and Whitney Wheeler. The latter focuses on group fitness training sessions that are family-friendly. Wheeler has multiple personal training certifications.
“I do HIIT (high intensity interval training) classes, dance classes, and boxing classes,” Wheeler said. “Here we are all about family. You are able to bring your kids and there is no extra charge for them. We feel like if you can get your kids involved, the parents will come. We want everybody to feel welcome.”
McArthur is a former Sylacauga High School (SHS) baseball star having been selected in the fifth round of the 1998 MLB Draft as a catcher by the Philadelphia Phillies. He trains specifically with baseball drills as McArthur is also the owner of the Central Alabama Baseball Academy (CABA).
“[We] are both from Sylacauga,” said Wheeler. “I was in transition looking and he had a place for me to train. We saw how well we work together, and we decided to go into business together.”
The next phase for McArthur and Wheeler is to add turf to the outdoor area which will have batting cages available in the near future. It’s all part of the repurposing process that both have been heavily involved in from the start.
“When we came here, it was just a bare garage,” Wheeler pointed out. “We had to build walls, and it took some time. We had to do the work ourselves.”
Currently, the operating hours for Level Up are 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. throughout the week, but Wheeler says that soon the gym will move to “always open, 24/7.”
“We say that mindset is everything. If you come in with an open mind, we’ll help build you up,” said Wheeler. That philosophy of staying strong and being persistent shined through with Wheeler and McArthur just in the development of the gym.
“115 days in, and we’re excited that we can actually be here today,” expressed Wheeler.