December 26, 2018

KEVIN WADLOW/Free Press 
Fitness trainer Fernando Reyes keeps an eye on client Dana Dillon's technique during a session at Froggy's Fitness in Tavernier.

KEVIN WADLOW/Free Press  Fitness trainer Fernando Reyes keeps an eye on client Dana Dillon's technique during a session at Froggy's Fitness in Tavernier.

TAVERNIER — Every now and again, patrons at Froggy’s Fitness in Tavernier hear a booming voice echoing off the walls: “Everybody! Let’s get big now!”

That means longtime Upper Keys trainer Fernando Reyes is in the house.

“I just want people to stay in shape. It’s for their health,” Reyes said. “You can’t stop working out. If you can’t go the gym, go for a walk. Just stay active, stay busy.”

He’s now in his 10th year of business as Body Sculpture by Fernando, offering half-hour personal training sessions at Froggy’s, at mile marker 91.8, bayside.

“Before that, I spent about 15 years just helping people get in shape,” Reyes said. “Some people are scared to come into a gym. They shouldn’t be.”

Dana Dillon has been a client since Reyes received his Interactive Fitness Trainers of America certification.

“It’s always a great workout with Fernando and always fun,” she said. “We do different workouts so it never gets boring.”

Reyes also leads Froggy’s Total Body workouts, which are included with Froggy’s memberships.

“I’ve trained people from 8 years old to 92 years,” he said. “I’ve trained classmates from Coral Shores High and then trained their kids. I’ve even had a couple grandkids.”

Older clients are among Reyes’ favorites, and he tailors the exercise regimen to fit the individual’s goals and physical capability.

“A person who stays in shape has a much better chance of staying out of the [nursing] home,” Reyes said. “I treat all my clients with respect. If they work at it, little by little, they’ll make it and feel better.”

The range of workouts includes different types of strength training and cardiovascular exercise, along with nutrition advice.

“You’ve got to keep people interested,” he said.

The Reyes family arrived in Key West as part of 1980’s Mariel Boatlift from Cuba.

“They put us on a bus to Miami, but I still remember driving through Tavernier,” he said.

After four years in California, the family came back to Monroe County to visit friends.

“The day we came to the Keys, we decided to stay,” Reyes said. “I went to Coral Shores, got to know everybody and they got to know me.”

With an imposing physique built by decades of near-daily workouts, along with his array of artistic tattoos, Reyes knows his appearance can give some potential clients second thoughts.

“Then they get to know me,” he smiled, “and find out I’m really just a big teddy bear.”

For information, call Body Sculpture by Fernando at 305-879-5127.

kwadlow@keysnews.com