Ripon’s newest gym was given the go-ahead last week Wednesday night to open in early March in downtown Ripon.

   The Forge Fitness was granted a conditional-use permit by the Ripon Plan Commission, paving the way for it to open at 114 E. Blossom St.

   Though technically Ripon’s fourth gym, owner and Ripon native Zachary Farrell explained it will operate with a different business model than others around the community.

   “I am opening up a functional fitness center,” he said to the Plan Commission. “Unlike the fitness centers we already have here in Ripon, where you just walk in — yes, they do have personal training available, but you kind of just walk in and are expected to do everything by yourself. I want to change that norm and really just focus on showing people the correct way to do things [by working with them as they work out].”

   Facing a little competition is nothing new to Farrell, a former Tiger athlete.

   “I graduated from Ripon High School in 2010, won state in track 4x100-[meter relay], played football four years,” he said. “After going to school I ended up going to the Marine Corps, got out as a corporal. Did two tours to Afghanistan. From then on, I’ve been in and out of school, work. Did a lot of construction and [now I] am just really looking to start my dream.”

   That dream, he explained, is to run a fitness center that focuses heavily on coaching people to achieve better results in his gym.

Read the full story, including how the gym will differ from others in Ripon, in the Feb. 1, 2018 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.