Best Of 2008

BEST NEW GYM: Anytime Fitness, St. Petersburg

Steve Ashton and Shireen Hameed of Anytime Fitness in St. Petersburg.

Feel like rockin’ the treadmill at 4 a.m.? Prefer to lift weights in the company of others at, say, 5:30 in the afternoon? Have it either way, or anything in between — because Anytime Fitness means fitness … any time. Members just let themselves in with a pass card. Because this smallish but well-equipped gym has clients working out at all hours, it’s rarely, if ever, crowded. No waiting to get on a machine. Even so, Anytime has developed a friendly vibe, with no ’roid-heads grunting and glaring in the corner, no divas preening. The gym has several personal trainers available, most notably owner Steve Ashton, a 10-year Army Special Forces veteran who trained elite soldiers. Don’t worry about him screaming and hollering, though; he’s a soft-spoken man. And sales/marketing director Shireen Hameed is regularly on hand to flash an infectious smile — but not, as a rule, at 4 a.m. 900 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, 727-502-9100, anytimestpete.com