Sherry L. Granader Interview


She’s an accomplished writer, speaker, trainer, fitness expert and spokesperson.

She’s worked with millions of professionals through both personal and mass media appearances.

She leads workshops and fitness sessions on health and wellness, executive health training, stress reduction and peak performance. Her topics are presented in a manner that helps her audience understand the true value of improving their own health, ways to handle various stressful situations, overcoming afternoon fatigue and improving attitudes, productivity and creativity.

She is also the co-owner of the nation’s largest World Gym Family Fitness Centers, writes monthly columns for Houston’s Health and Fitness Magazine, co-hosts the Eight Weeks to Fitness Program on P.B.S.Television and is an in-demand guest for t.v. and radio stations all across the country.

Her name is Sherry L. Granader.

Q – Sherry, how did you become interested in the world of fitness?
A – That’s a good question. Well, actually I have to credit a lot of it to my husband. We moved down here ( Houston) from Detroit to open some fast food franchises. After we had worked our way up to seven franchises we looked into the fitness industry. My husband has always worked out. He even had his own television show in Detroit in the morning. He would teach people how to exercise on Channel 7, ABC. When he worked out here he was disappointed in the places he found to work out. They were not run very well. The equipment was bad. It was home made. There were no aerobics to speak of, and the day care centers weren’t that great either.

Q – What year would that have been?
A – 1987. That’s the year we opened our first World Gym. So, at one point we had fast food restaurants and gyms which was nuts. Eventually we realized we could make money at running gyms because we ran it like a business. I knew, over the years people who have gotten into the gym business or fitness business did no do that. They got into it because it was a hobby. They thought it would be fun to have a gym, etc. but, you must run it like a business. So, we did and we’ve worked out way up now to 13 gyms in the state of Texas. Got out of the fast food industry.

Q – What was the name of the fast food franchise you were in?
A – I can’t say that. I wish, I could. I can’t tell you and I’ll tell you why. I did a radio show in Detroit years ago on WJR. I mentioned the fact that I had basically quit eating the food at the fast food restaurant where we worked all the time and started changing my habits, making better choices, eating before I got to work etc. Next thing I know I got a call from the attorney and the advertising agency for that franchise. Basically, the family is still involved in the fast food industry, so, I can’t say anything. I don’t need to tell you, if you consume fast food day in, and day out on a daily basis, two or three meals a day, your gonna start looking like a fast food restaurant. I’m telling you.

Q – The World Gym is just in Texas?
A – No. They’re world-wide. It’s a franchise. Our cos. name is World Fitness Centers Inc.

Q – Do you intend to expand your gym beyond the borders of Texas?
A – No. (Laughs). Not really. Actually now I’m pursuing more things in television, radio, and speaking. I do motivational speaking on throw out the diet, not the food. So, I’m pursuing that end of it.

Q – I see you’re involved in a Low Fat cooking show that either airs or aired on C.B.S. and P.B.S. Does that mean you’re also a cook?
A – Yes. I’ve been cooking since I was knee-high and enjoy it. Absolutely love it. I realized after we opened our third gym, that we decided to put a café in one of the gyms. I started offering my low fat cooking, my recipes, etc. From that, I started Sherry’s Low Fat Cooking School. But, I gotta tell you, I learned so much from the bodybuilders. I’ve always said this, if anyone knows how to lose body fat-----bodybuilders do. We just don’t need to take it to an extreme and get ready for a contest and stand on a stage in a bathing suit. But, to feel better, have energy, look great in clothes, feel good-----the bodybuilders really know the best way to reduce the fat. So, I started taking what they were requesting in the meals from me in the café and started developing recipes that would work for them, as well as for you and I. So, I started doing the cooking schools in the gym. I would cook anywhere from 10-12 items in an hour and a half and we’d eat it all. It was great. I’d have about 35 people all crammed in the kitchen and it was a lot of fun. We’d start with an appetizer to main dishes to side dishes and finish off with a dessert. I’d serve sparkling cider in champagne glasses. From that I started getting requests from television stations to come in and do low fat segments on t.v.

Q – Have you written a cookbook?
A – I sure have. It’s called ‘The Eat Right, Feel Good, Lose Weight, Have Fun, You Won’t Be Hungry’ Cookbook. That’s got some history behind it too. When we were in the fast food industry, I certainly had put on some pounds. After we opened the first gym, I made some changes in my eating. Actually, I ended up doing a 2 page spread with Lou Ferrigno, The Incredible Hulk that was in the national magazine, Muscle And Fitness. It was an ad for amino acids, which is just protein. To get ready, I started making some changes in my eating, started weight-training, doing aerobics, and literally went down 3 dress sizes in less than 4 months. Of course all the members in the gym were saying, ‘Oh my gosh Sherry, what are you doing’? This is so typical. People join a gym but they don’t necessarily change their habits, their lifestyles par se. They might lose a little bit at the beginning, but, they still sometimes reach a plateau and they can’t seem to get over that plateau and they can’t seem to get over that plateau and make even more changes in their physique. So, I decided to put up a poster with my picture in a leotard. I put weight training and nutrition for women only. Lose weight. Have fun. You won’t be hungry. Recipes included. I’m telling you. I was booked non-stop on the hour, 8-10 women a day, six on Saturdays, and six waiting to be scheduled. It was nuts. I did that non-stop for a year and a half. But, I gotta tell you, the most satisfying part was watching peoples’ medical problems disappear. I mean, women would just come up to me and hug me on the gym floor, because they had not had a migraine headache in a month, or their female problems disappeared or they no longer had to be on blood pressure medication. How great is that?!

Q – That is great.
A – Yeah. And all I made them do is eat and I made them work out. So, I really got a lot of satisfaction out of that. So, my cookbook is the result of training all those women and my low fat cooking schools, the first year and a half.

Q – I couldn’t help but notice that under Celebrity Associations, you list Chuck Norris and Arnold. What is your association with those gentlemen?
A – Well, first of all, Arnold is involved in the World Gym franchise. He’s good friends with Joe Gold who started World Gym. We now have our World Gym conventions at the Arnold Classic every year which is in Columbus, Ohio. And so, Arnold attends our meetings a lot. My husband is on the Board of Directors, for World Gym licensing and Arnold was too. So, that’s how we got to know him. When he comes to Houston, he will call us and we’ll either see him or meet him at the gym or sometimes he’ll want a piece of equipment to loan in his hotel room, so he can work-out while he’s there. And then, Chuck Norris made a movie here. We ended up at a fund raiser that was here locally. From that we met him and just kind of hit it off. So, we’d see him and get together and go to dinner whenever we could.

© Gary James All Rights Reserved