03/19/12 — Larry's Gym celebrates grand re-opening

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Larry's Gym celebrates grand re-opening

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on March 19, 2012 1:48 PM

A staple of life in Goldsboro for the past two decades put the finishing touches on a new look on Saturday morning.

Larry's Gym and Fitness Supply celebrated its grand re-opening with a bang.

Professional body builder and fitness champion Curtis Bryant showed up to demonstrate his talents and sign autographs for eager fans. Several vitamin and supplement companies set up tables and showed their wares.

Gym owner Larry Lawrence sat back and watched the festivities.

"This is really a great day and a dream come true for me," Lawrence said. "I have always wanted to make this gym the best that it can be and today was just another step forward."

The renovations are the culmination of Lawrence's efforts since he opened the gym in 1995.

Larry's Gym previously occupied one space in the Adamsville Plaza on Berkeley Boulevard. When an adjacent space opened, Lawrence saw an opportunity to expand. The old vitamin store, which doubled as an office, was cleared and all of the products moved into the new space.

A storage room was also cleared out and turned into additional space for fitness equipment.

"We basically doubled the space for the vitamins and supplements, and cleared out the two rooms in the old gym," Lawrence said. "It is a great setup because we can improve our equipment and add some machines for the gym users, and we can stock more product on the supplement side."

The new design got overwhelmingly positive reviews from the crowd that turned out for the grand re-opening, including a thumbs-up from Bryant. The International Federation of Body Building champion showed his strength in the weight room before signing autographs for fans.

Bryant, a Richmond, Va., native who tips the scale at an even 200 pounds, gave the crowd some insights into his training and diet. Bryant works out six days each week for two-three hours each day. He takes in approximately 5,000 calories each day to keep his massive body running efficiently.

"When I was in my early 20's I got into lifting because I wanted to look more like my cousin," Bryant said. "It really built on itself because I always want to see if I can do more, be bigger, win another show and then turn pro."

After placing in back-to-back fitness shows in 2009, Bryant suffered a knee injury and has taken two years off to get healthy. He plans to be back on stage later this summer.

Bryant wore a huge smile as he flexed for photos with the public.

"It's always fun to come out to things like this and interact with people who share a similar interest," Bryant said. "I am not here selling anything or repping any product specifically. I'm just here to support a couple of friends (Lawrence and Mark Neal from Europa Supplements)."

All Lawrence could do was smile back.