The Workout celebrates 15 years helping people stay healthy

Owner Connie McHugh and Director of Fitness Phyllis Kugler greeted patron Anda Woodward on Tuesday morning. — Photo by Ralph Stewart

This week, The Workout and Vineyard Tennis Center, adjacent to the Martha’s Vineyard Airport, celebrates its 15th year in business. For owner Connie McHugh, of Edgartown, it has been a lot of hard work.

“This is our fifteenth year and I feel like our fitness world has come into its own here on the Vineyard,” Ms. McHugh said. To celebrate, the lobby is filled with balloons and the staff is handing out a gift to members who stop by during the week.

“We decided to stretch out the celebration all week so we could touch base with more of our members, the yoga people, the tennis people, the aerobics people, the spinning people,” she said.

Ms. McHugh, a tennis pro, and Ken Martin, a life-long tennis player and former high school tennis coach, opened The Vineyard Tennis center with two indoor tennis courts in 1996. It was built largely with funds from 25 Island tennis player-investors, all of whom were repaid, according to Mr. Martin.

After the first two years Mr. Martin said he and Ms. McHugh reached the conclusion that making ends meet with a two-court tennis club was virtually impossible and that they would need to make changes in order to survive. They recognized an Island-wide growth in the personal fitness business at the time and thought that a centrally located fitness center on the Island would provide a needed service and might help keep the goal of an indoor tennis facility alive.

An upstairs area was converted into a work-out space, and five years later, in 2003, a large addition was built to accommodate their growing fitness business. The locker rooms were enlarged. Saunas and steam rooms were added, as well as a personal training space, a weight room, an aerobics studio, cardio space, massage rooms, and a strength room.

The addition and an increase in fitness business changed the main focus from tennis to physical fitness.

The business continued to grow until the economic downturn of 2008, according to Mr. Martin, who sold his interest to Ms. McHugh that same year. The opening of the YMCA in 2010 also drew some customers away.

Running a full service fitness facility and a tennis center has kept Ms. McHugh busy. “It certainly seems like a full walk for me over the years,” she said. “Keeping pace with the needs and desires of our clientele has contributed to our continuing success.”

Personalized service and staying ahead of current developments in the fitness world continues to be the key to success in an increasingly competitive market, Ms. McHugh said. The Workout recently invested in top quality spinning cycles.

The club and tennis center offers a range of membership options. For more information call 508-696-8000 or go to