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Class of 2018

Ron russell


Ron began his fitness career in 1955 while a freshman in high school at Sheffield High School. At the age of 15 with just one year of training he traveled to Birmingham to compete and win his first Olympic-Style Weight Lifting Championship. That was the beginning of a career in fitness that would lead to 25 weight lifting and 25 body building titles. He earned titles of Mr. Alabama, Mr. Texas, Mr Virginia and Junior Mr. America along the way. While in the Navy from 1961-1963 he was a fitness instructor testing the fitness levels of those enlisting and continued to compete winning Navy fitness competitions in weight lifting and body building. In 1971 Ron earned his degree in Physical Education from Florence State University and would teach PE at Forest Hills Elementary School while operating a gym in his garage. He owned and operated Ron's Gym until 1989 when he sold the business to retire. He still continues to work at Unlimited Fitness as a personal trainer. Ron is considered by many to be a forerunner of the fitness movement we have today.


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