Photo: Dan DeKing (left) trains Luke Cowart at Pound for Pound Fitness in Elburn. Dan and co-owner Ryan Darby opened the business on April 1 and had their Grand Opening on April 28 and 29. Photo by John DiDonna
by Susan O’Neill
Elburn—Danny DeKing, co-owner of Pound 4 Pound Fitness in Elburn, has been a fitness proponent from an early age. He participated in a variety of sports in high school, including football, basketball and boxing. When he joined the United States Navy, he was a command fitness leader, responsible for the fitness of the units.
After six years of service in Kuwait and state-side, DeKing came home and trained with Don Beebe’s House of Speed for five years, and worked for a few other fitness companies before starting his own business.
He is a House of Speed-certified trainer, and is working on his certification through the National Association of Sports Medicine, which includes the study of biomechanics, kinesthesiology, nutrition and other areas of fitness.
DeKing’s partner, Ryan Darby, was a roller hockey player and a speed skater in school, but he really became a fitness advocate when he was trying to quit smoking. Darby said he began exercising as an outlet for stress during that time. First, he started riding his bike, then lifting weights, and pretty soon he had a gym membership.
“The rest is history,” he said. “It was the exercise that made me quit.”
Both DeKing and Darby want to bring their enthusiasm for fitness to others in the community.
“It made me feel so good, I want to teach other people,” Darby said. “You can’t just change for a few months; it’s a whole lifestyle change.”
He is working on his certification and wants to become a personal trainer, as well.
The gym offers a variety of equipment, including various presses and a multi-station Universal Cybex machine. DeKing said his focus in fitness training is on functional movement and athletic performance. He uses some of the many available machines in the programs he sets up for people, but he also likes to use equipment such as speed ladders, heavy ropes, kettle bells, tires and medicine balls to help them get in the best shape possible.
“You want full range of motion,” DeKing explained. “The body moves in 360 degrees.”
Pound 4 Pound offers monthly memberships, and a variety of workouts are available, including boot camps that focus on the fundamentals, the basics of boxing for adults and teens, TRX (a low-impact body weight workout using suspension straps) and circuit training.
Personalized training sessions that include nutrition advice and specific exercises to reach an individual’s fitness goals are also available.
DeKing and Darby said they want people to enjoy their workouts and have fun.
“A variety of training methods will keep you interested, energized, motivated and hungry for more,” Darby said.