Red Lerille – Fitness Icon and Community Inspiration

If you ask Red Lerille about the best methods for staying in shape and in good health, you will hear one answer, over and over: Work out with weights!

He knows what he’s talking about; Red Lerille has been in the health club business since the early 1960’s. Selected as Mr. America in 1960, prior to that, Red was the recipient of numerous other fitness awards which led to his dream of owning his own health club. He has dedicated his life to helping others achieve fitness in an iconic health club that makes changes every month. He’s the epitome of health and has proven that aging can be slowed down, accidents can be overcome, and life is better when you work out with weights and take care of your body.

Red Lerille was inspired to lift weights when he was in 7th grade.  His school teacher had been a submarine sailor who worked out with weights. Red became a friend of the family, and this teacher’s inspiration inspired him to join the Navy, go to submarine school, and to pursue weight competitions.

Red’s first competition took place when he was 14, in the Mr. New Orleans contest. At that competition, Red befriended Mike Stansbury from Lafayette whose friendship served as the catalyst for leading him to move to Lafayette when they crossed paths a few years later as Red’s service in the Navy was winding down.

Red believes in envisioning the accomplishment of his goals. This started for him at the age of 7 when he put up pictures of Mr. America on his bedroom wall. He told everyone that came to his house that he would be Mr. America one day. Red says it best, “Everything I’ve ever wanted in life, I put a picture on the wall and dared it not to show up!” This tool hasn’t failed him, ever.

On January 13, 1963, Red opened his first fitness club on Johnston St, where Dwight’s is currently located. In 1965 the club moved to its current location on Doucet Road and has been growing ever since. With a goal to make an improvement each month, Red oversees daily operations of his dream club which is now the largest and best in the South with approximately 13 – 16,000 members. By investing in the community, the community invests in Red. Beginning his workday at 2:30 a.m. by opening the club, Red has created a place that is a true melting pot of our community.

Listening to Red’s voice is better than reading this post! Please listen and check out his Health Club which is, hands down, the best health club in the South! Visit for more information.