A local gym in Ramona, Calif. is dedicated to bringing you closer to your health goals year-round at home or in person.

At R-Town Wellness and Fitness Center, there are dedicated experts willing to put time into the customer. If you’re worried about being exposed to COVID-19, don’t worry, they’ve taken many measures to ensure your safety and how to overcome it.

R-Town Strength & Wellness in Ramona, Calif. came from the ashes of a dying business starting out in late 2018 when Dan Edelman, a former employee at the gym, saw that as an opportunity to provide the demand that was growing for a gym. So he and a coworker, Dan Strametz, decided to ask around the clients to see if they would be interested in joining their new gym. The clients responded positively and Edelman and Strametz decided to go through with it.

They then proceeded to find a space at an old brewery and started renovating it to fill their accommodations for space and basic gym needs, such as a bathroom, cardio area and weight station amongst others. Their original goal was to provide themselves, along with their clients from the previous gym, with a space to continue working out.

“It became clear that it was time to see how we could provide the clients with a new gym,” said Edelman.

Both Edelman and Strametz didn’t open the gym for money, instead they did it due to their history with fitness and their love for the art of fitness.

Leading up to this, Edelman became a Brand X Certified Coach, which is a program committed to developing young athletes to be the best they can be. With about 10 years of experience training kids and adults to reach their physical potential, Edelman is also the current USA Powerlifting state record holder.

Along with Edelman, Strametz, a former attendant at the gym that they rebirthed as their own, joined him in starting R-Town. Strametz is also a Brand X Certified Coach and has been training adults and kids in strength and conditioning for more than 10 years. To further prove his credibility and experience in the world of fitness, Strametz is also a fifth-degree kempo karate black belt and has earned the title of Sifu.

Edelman’s response to opening up the business was that it started up pretty smooth.

“It honestly hasn’t been that bad other than the fact that the client base was small and stagnant initially, but since we have consistent clients who come here because they truly want to work out it’s been good,” said Edelman.

A gym member swings a kettbell as part of his workout. (Emiliano Ramos/IMPACT Magazine)

A gym member swings a kettbell as part of his workout. (Emiliano Ramos/IMPACT Magazine)

Like many businesses in the middle of March 2020, everything came to a halt because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This resulted in the gym being shut down for a few months while the lockdown was instilled, and during that time they were figuring things out and deciding what their next step would be.

Along with shutting down the gym, the staff did what many gyms had done and gave their clients a break on their payments as a compromise to respect the fact that they weren’t using their facilities.

This was a very trying time for the staff because they saw what was happening to other gyms in town being shut down indefinitely after secretly opening due to lack of income. Luckily, they had savings to fall back on for a while until people could slowly start coming back. What made it a little easier was the lack of expenses that came from keeping the gym open. Later on when everyone was cleared to go back and prepared to let in people back on their grounds, the R-Town staff decided to take multiple new measures.

“We tried to uphold high standards of cleanliness by wiping down equipment every once in a while and making sure that the clients followed our regulations of not sharing equipment and keeping the mandated distance between each other. Hand sanitizer and gym wipes are located throughout the gym as well as face masks if you happen to forget your own,” said Edelman.

They stick firmly with their ideals of the benefits of gyms. With the pandemic still going on, they’ve decided to work together with “MPact Environmental Solutions, Clean Defense Technologies.” Its practices involve having adopted a non-invasive chemical application to effectively disinfect surfaces from different viruses, including the coronavirus. By keeping your infrastructure and facilities protected, it will put the staff and the customers at ease knowing that their measures with “MPact” will let them know if their organization has been contaminated or infected and give additional advice on their website.

Edelman and Strametz are very clear that regular exercise staves off depression, improves sleep and staying fit – it’s also a very helpful way to strengthen your immune system and prevent diseases, such as a serious case of COVID-19.

But there are clear risks to attending a public gym, such as the fact that there are a lot of people moving around within a confined space while sharing the same air and equipment, and breathing heavily could lead to a disaster in an easy viral spread.

Edelman’s son Ezekiel Edelman said that there is a quote from the philosopher Socrates that resonates with his family to keep him working out and staying fit.

“No man has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable,” which is what they try to inspire within the community, said Ezekiel Edelman.

R-Town specializes in training teens, preteens and kids. Whether they are heavily involved in sports or just need somewhere to work out, at their goal is to make kids stronger, faster, more durable and better prepared for all of life’s challenges that they may endure.

“We’ll help you discover your existing fitness level and then guide you beyond that – as far as you want to go. We want to make your gym experience a rewarding challenge and a whole lotta laughs at the same time,” said Edelman. “We want you to realize that exercising, working out, training, whatever you want to call it, doesn’t need to be an unenjoyable beatdown for you to see results.”

A gym member takes a break from his workout, peering toward Main St. in Ramona, Calif. (Emiliano Ramos/IMPACT Magazine)

A gym member takes a break from his workout, peering toward Main St. in Ramona, Calif. (Emiliano Ramos/IMPACT Magazine)

At R-Town they think the best way to get in shape is to know how to get in shape in the first place, and then have a fun place to stay in shape. They’ll take the time to show you how you should work out and how you can keep your positivity with fun workouts.

The staff does this by walking you through workouts and giving you plans so that you can reach your goal efficiently, even going as far as supervising you to make sure you’re doing the right movements so you don’t hurt yourself and get the maximum effects that your regimen should provide. If you know what you want to do and have your own plan, you’re free to have fun and work hard.

Danielle Jarrett, a local client of the gym, backed the gym up. “The Dan’s are the best! They have taught me so much, and have been encouraging and patient with me. I am excited to continue working with these two and be a part of this awesome gym! I highly recommend,” said Jarrett.

You can see the positivity within the gym, especially with their clients consistently showing their tenacity and enjoyment at the same time.

“R Town is a badass gym with all the equipment you could ever want for all levels of training. The aesthetic inside is spacious, clean, and makes you want to come back to the gym as often as possible. The staff are very experienced and are always willing to help you if you need it. The stereo system is great too,” said Ben Morrison, a student athlete who attends the facility.

So if you ever find yourself in Ramona and you strive for a better you, give R-Town Wellness and Fitness Center a chance and the staff will shower you with their hospitality and encouraging environment.