• Gym founder trains teens and motivates them to make good life choices

    By: Lauren Coleman

    Updated:

    MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Nestled in the Northaven Shopping Center is a training gym, but the teens in this gym aren’t just lifting weights. 

    They are a part of a program called Resisting Inappropriate Pressures (R.I.P.). 

    “My goal is to let these young guys know that they don’t have to be a victim to the jail system and the penal system,” Founder and CEO Jodie Chambers said. 

    Chambers said he strives to educate young boys about the importance of making good life choices.


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    He uses a method he called “Discipline Through Bodybuilding.” 

    “You know you have to have discipline in training, your nutrition, and your rest,” Chambers explained. 

    “Once they get some form of discipline in their life they can display it through any other area in their life.” 

    Chambers said since he founded the mentoring program three years ago he has worked with about 70 teens. 

    This is 15-year-old D’Shawn Heffner’s second year at the gym. 

    “My friends started here, and they were like, ‘You need to come to this thing we go to it’s like a fitness gym,’” Heffner said. 

    He said the training and group talks have encouraged him to pursue a professional football career and a career in software development. 

    “Some of the stuff I’ve learned was like how to stay out of violence and stuff,” Heffner said. 

    “Stay out of bad things and start good habits about yourself when you get older.” 

    Chambers said, if he can change at least one life with his program, he knows he’s done good. 

    Chambers is also a service provider for Shelby County Juvenile Court.

    He can be contacted at ripmemphis@aol.com

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