Bestie is a Manhattan Beach gym—but it’s so much more than that.

Founder Cedric Jones created a motivational gym that has passionate patrons, and focuses on the goal of improving lives. From boxing to training celebrities and pro-athletes to professional dancers, Jones, a certified trainer, has done it all.

Jones opened the gym five years ago to challenge members to push past their limits, and with a commitment to give back to youth.

“I work with a lot of under-privileged kids, giving them hope, and I just love people,” Jones said. “That’s why I started the gym. I thought, why can’t I do this and help people here be better at life.”

With that in mind, Beastie is no ordinary workout spot.

“I don’t believe in it being just a regular gym,” Jones said. “I believe in motivation. People should leave better than when they come in. One thing about hard work and sweat: the gym is one of the only places I know as a proven fact, no matter your race, color, gender, or sexual preference, you put in the work, you get the result. Sweat has no prejudice; hard work has no prejudice. You’ll walk out the door again a better person.”

Originally from Georgia, Jones was doing personal training around Los Angeles, including training clients on The Strand. He began teaching one, always-packed, class per week at the gym.

“When the people who owned the gym told me they were leaving, they said I should take it over. And I did. A lady by the name of Rebecca Moore who I was training, and the gym manager then, Tommy Cassano, partnered up and kept us moving forward," Jones said. "My trainers at the time agreed to work for free for two or three months when I first started. They were awesome. I have a special place in my heart for them, and two are still with me now.”

Jones said what kept him going was having great people who saw what the gym did, and came out to help.

In return, Jones has established training classes for children and speaks to empowerment groups, giving kids an outlet for fitness, and providing the ability to deal constructively with issues such as lack of confidence and bullying.

When Jones himself considered closing the gym, he says the community also rallied around.

“They said I couldn’t leave," said Jones. "(that) I was one of the most motivating people in the community, whether at the gym, or trying to spread love by giving to the homeless. They showed me they really appreciated everything we were trying to do.”

Community members talked others into becoming members at the gym, chipped in money to offset rent increases, and “made the gym stay alive,” according to Jones.

“You never know what impact you have. There are a thousand gyms out there, but people told me no one motivates the way you do. So, we stayed, and we try to keep everyone employed and happy, and help the community to improve their health physically and mentally.”

Beastie is open from 6 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

2317 N. Sepulveda Blvd.

Manhattan Beach

(323) 379-4316

beastie247.com

Contact this reporter at mhixon@tbrnews.com or on Twitter @michaeljhixon.com.

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