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HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS BY WORKING WITH DUMBBELLS; LICENSED FITNESS PROGRAM BRINGS SUCCESS TO WOULD-BE ENTREPRENEUR

 HUDSON, Ohio, Dec. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- The fitness franchise boom is sweeping the nation. In the 70s, the rage was Jazzercise, which marketed the art of jazz dance into a multi-million dollar franchise business.
 In the 21st century, Body Sculpting by Exterior Designs, Inc. offers a faster way to shape up: weights. Founder and President Francesca Gern has parlayed her weight-training fitness programs into one of the top 10 fitness franchises nationwide -- following close on the heels of Jazzercise.
 With the ambitious goal of "shaping up the country," Gern has become the first person to offer licensed weight training exercise programs to recreational facilities, health clubs, senior centers and would-be entrepreneurs on a national level.
 Medical backing has been essential to Gern's success. Physicians from the Cleveland Clinic and MetroHealth General Hospital oversee program development, ensuring that the exercises are biomechanically correct and safe for participants.
 One person who is helping muscle Body Sculpting(TM) into big business is 50-year-old Bernadette Hogan, who has translated her 20 years of customer service management for a major retailer into a successful Body Sculpting(TM) franchise in her Lorain County, Ohio, community.
 "I first saw Francesca demonstrate her weight-training exercises on a local talk show," she said. "I was out of shape because I was recovering from surgery, so I immediately signed up for her Body Sculpting(TM) course. Within a short period of time my physique was completely transformed: I was toned, fit, and more energized, dropping weight that wouldn't come off during a lifetime of grueling diets."
 Pursuing a new career at age 50 was intimidating, she noted. "Yet this was right up my alley: a workout program I could market successfully in my community, because it was affordable and I truly believed in the product."
 To make her first entrepreneurial effort easier, Body Sculpting's Gern provided Hogan, who has no previous background in physical fitness, with all of the tools needed to launch her business. "Francesca gave me a 150-page how-to guide on operating my Body Sculpting program, from writing introductory letters and contracts to making that first phone call. I even adapted her fliers, display ads, discount coupons and referral techniques as a way to introduce Body Sculpting to my market."
 One year and eight locations later, Hogan and her certified instructors teach classes in a variety of venues, from the community hospital to schools to corporations throughout the country.
 The program can be purchased separately or in one package, and consists of five different weight training courses: Body Sculpting(TM), a cardiovascular weight training workout; Leg Enhancement(TM) and Phenomenal Abdominals(R), which helps shape specific areas of the body; Teen-Fit(R), a "how-to" exercise course for adolescents; and Geri- Fit(R), a weight training workout for seniors. All of the courses use light weights as not to promote big, bulky muscles, but instead to shape, tone and strengthen.
 "Since there's no dancing, jumping, stepping or choreography to learn, anyone can participate," Gern added. "Body Sculpting appeals to people who have outgrown aerobics out of boredom or due to knee and back pain from high-intensity workouts."
 "Ultimately my success came from word of mouth," Hogan continued. "Once participants experienced how easy it was to work out with weights and the startling benefits of exercising with them twice a week, they were signing up in droves."
 Hogan cites many advantages of owning a Body Sculpting license. "I don't have any of the headaches of many small business owners because I have no overhead," she notes. Classes are taught at schools, churches and community centers, so Hogan pays minimal or no fees for leasing space. The start-up costs are also minimal -- less than $3,000 -- in comparison with the cost of launching most franchises.
 Gern's licensed programs are also ideal for recreation centers, adult education programs, senior centers, health clubs and aerobics studios because they typically have staffs that can act as instructors.
 "The best part is that 90 percent of my participants -- who range in age from 25 to 55 -- continue to sign up for my workouts," said Hogan. "They discover that exercising can actually be fun, and with individualized instruction, they feel like they're working with a personal trainer."
 "My biggest desire is to get this offered in every community nationwide," added Gern. "I'd like to give Jazzercise a run for its money."
 Body Sculpting(TM) has been reviewed and approved by the National Strength and Conditioning Association, the United States Weightlifting Federation and the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. Founded in 1984, Body Sculpting(TM) is offered at over 100 locations throughout Ohio and Florida. For further information about the programs or obtaining a Body Sculpting license, call Gern at 800-WEIGHTS.
 EXERCISE IS THE BEST MEDICINE
 It didn't take long for the benefits of Body Sculpting(TM) to reach the medical community.
 Dr. Martin J. Gorbien, a geriatrician from the Cleveland Clinic, advises on the senior exercise program and recommends it to patients; Dr. James Clapp, OB/GYN of MetroHealth, is monitoring the program as part of a study on the effects of exercise during pregnancy; and the company has just signed on with Akron General Hospital to offer Body Sculpting's senior weight training program, Geri-Fit(R), to its 31,000 members.
 The program, created by Body Sculpting president Francesca Gern, is quickly expanding to other venues. Body Sculpting(TM) is currently being offered at colleges and universities as a credit course.
 "Health care professionals, educators and fitness experts are aware that strength, flexibility and aerobic endurance can be greatly enhanced by weight training," Gern notes. "Recent studies have confirmed that osteoporosis can be prevented in women who work out with weights. And The American College of Sports Medicine agrees -- stating that strength training should be an integral part of anyone's fitness regimen."
 -0- 12/3/93
 /CONTACT: Francesca Gern of Body Sculpting By Exterior Designs, Inc., 800-934-4487/


CO: Body Sculpting By Exterior Designs, Inc. ST: Ohio IN: HEA SU:

AR-BM -- CLFNS1 -- 0077 12/03/93 07:32 EST
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Date:Dec 3, 1993
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