FitWorkz started life in 1978 as a Nautilus club on Lincoln Highway across the street from the NIU Campus in DeKalb. At the time there was not student rec center and unless you were an athlete there was no place to workout. Except for Nautilus.
Paul Wright, a Malta native and NIU student bought the facility. Over the next 25 years he ushered many changes. First was the women’s only Bodyworks in the Junction Center. Then a move of the Nautilus facility and Bodyworks to Fourth Street accross from DeKalb City Hall. Along with the move came a new name, Fourth Street Fitness. This would be home unitl the mid 90’s when the club was again moved and expanded. This time to Sycamore in what was at the time the Sears and Kmart shopping center (now Hyvee.) With the move came another name change. The name was now The Wright Athletic Club, Inc.
In 2007 Paul Wright sold The Wright Athletic Club to Ray Binkowski. Things changed in 2009 with a move back to Dekalb and into a larger facility. Athletic Republic sports performance training was also added along with tanning, massage, and a Pilates Studio. FitWorkz is first in Fitness in the DeKalb and Sycamore area, it has been for the last 35 years and will be for the years to come.
Raymond M. Binkowski
Owner/Trainer/Author of “Eat by Color”
My name is Ray Binkowski and that is me in the picture on the right. I fit into those pants 10 years ago and today I own FitWorkz. I had a 36 inch waist and 30 inch inseam. At only 5’7″ that is quite round! Today I have a 31/30 inch waist and the same 30 inch inseam. I have lost over 50 lbs and 6 inches from my waist and kept it off, for almost 20 years*!
I never had any intention of getting into the world of health and fitness. When I was overweight I was studying Mechanical Engineering at NIU. I made every mistake, tried every fad diet and spoke to the experts. Nothing worked. So I researched, read, and asked questions of anyone who had been in my shoes.
Eventually I figured out what worked and finished school. People took notice of my change and asked for my help. So I got certified as a trainer and started a training business. That was 16 years ago. Today my staff and I have helped hundreds accomplish the same thing.*
*Results not may not be typical.