Fitness

Simon brothers expand gym enterprise into wellness store




Both Dexter (left) and Derrick Simon have taken their personal training businesses online during the covid19 pandemic. And while restrictions are being lifted, Derrick says some of their clients prefer to remain online. – ROGER JACOB

Personal trainers Derrick and Dexter Simon have added a new business venture to their fitness portfolio. On January 5, the Simon brothers will open the doors to Double D Fitness, a nutrition and fitness store, at Kilbracken Road, in Glencoe.

Derrick told Business Day the store was approximately seven years in the making and is the “end game” in the full fitness and nutrition package they have always wanted to give to their clients.

“In the store we have sections with shelves dedicated to specific goals and needs. It’s like each client will have a shelf in the store that is dedicated to their personal needs. As professionals, we have already identified and stocked products that will have our clients performing at their best…I’m a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) certified coach, so all or products are under the WADA control and are safe, clean and certified for international use and competition.”

He said over the years he and his brother, through their different areas of fitness expertise, have created a community of athletes and clients to whom they want to give their full support through training as well providing access to good, quality products that have been tried and tested internationally, at the best price.

“We are professionals who strive for the highest standards. My brother is a pro body-builder and I am a certified coach in track and field, a UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) cycling coach, a triathlon coach, swimming coach, and an expert running coach. We both have a high degree of international exposure.” UCI is the world governing body for professional cycling.

Derrick said in the last seven years they have amassed an active clientele of between 750 to 1,000 people who use their services on a monthly basis.

Professional bodybuilder and personal trainer Dexter Simon shares a life motto: no excuses. – ROGER JACOB

“We are talking about people who, through our various platforms, access body transformation, resistance training, endurance training, Iron Man athletes, track sprinters, road and mountain bike cyclists, swimmers, kids transformation, and a youth academy for multi-sport. We also deal with individuals focused on maintaining a healthy lifestyle.”

But at a time when many businesses are folding because of the financial blows delivered by covid19, and when many people are struggling to make ends meet, is now a good time to invest in a new business venture? The Simon brothers told Business Day they felt the time is right.

“Now is a great time to do it because we have always tried to keep a step ahead of the curve in training and nutrition.”

Derrick said while other similar establishments were forced to close their doors, their Diego Martin-based gym, Asylum Fitness, has not been financially affected by the pandemic thanks to their business acumen. He said when the Prime Minister had announced the first lockdown in March 2020, two days later they had already managed to take their clients online, with approximately 75 per cent preferring to continue training online even after gyms had physically reopened.

Fitness expert Derrick Simon is a distributer for SIS (Science in Sport) products and the sole distributor in the Caribbean for SOS hydration products. – ROGER JACOB

“We now have fewer in-person sessions, which is more manageable. But even though we are training online, the professional care and guidance we offer our clients remains the same.”

He said change is a part of life and business, and being dynamic, forward thinking and aggressive in your approach is key.

“Don’t be afraid of change, try your best to take advantage of it by turning difficult situations into something positive.”

He said covid19 brought sickness and death worldwide, especially among people who were not in the best of health.

“Your health should always be your first priority. A job, a car, material things can’t help you when you get sick. You need to be in good health, physical and mental, so you can have the tools to fight off the virus and any changes that come with it. That’s where we can help.”

Three years ago, he said he and his brother started the One a Week Youth Academy, visiting schools in Diego Martin and doing a talent search to recruit members.

Twin brothers, certified trainers and fitness experts Derrick (left) and Dexter Simon will realise a seven-year dream when they officially open Double D Fitness store on February 5.
– ROGER JACOB

“We selected 15 children whom we supported fully by providing them with running gear, training and psychological support. We offered training to their parents as it regards nutrition and what they should feed their children. We gave out hampers and helped them with school work. Since then it has grown from 15 to about 35 kids now, and at least six of them are now national level athletes.”

He said approximately 80 per cent of the funding for that project comes from their pockets and the rest from sponsors and members of the community. But with the opening of Double D, he envisions a more financially stable future for the academy and more opportunities to change the lives of the children, their families and communities.

Dexter Simon shows some of the products and gear available at Double D Fitness, the store he and brother, Derrick, will officially open on February 5 in Glencoe. – ROGER JACOB

“To us, Double D is not just a business module, but a way to support the foundations that we have. We want it to be the main sponsor and catalyst behind whatever financial needs we may encounter in the future,” especially for the youth academy, “to offer the young people more opportunities in life. We want to encourage and train some of these young athletes to become Olympians.”


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