Alexander Ersing got involved in construction when he graduated from Case High School in 2005, but he knew in his heart he wanted more in his life. What really appealed to him was the world of fitness.
So for the 12 years he worked in construction at J.H. Findorff, Ersing dedicated himself to putting away money from each of his paychecks for equipment for the gymnasium he planned to open some day. Little by little, he accumulated equipment in storage areas.
“About 30 percent of my stuff came from one of my auction buddies,” said Ersing, who competes in powerlifting among several other sports. “He got me like brand new equipment for next to nothing. And then I looked for gyms that were going out of business. You could get a brand new treadmill for one tenth the cost.”
When Ersing was laid off from his construction job at the end of 2016, he had set himself up for the next step. And on June 1, 2017, he opened the Mt. Sinai Gym that has seen rapid growth during the last two years.
The facility, located at 2005 Lathrop Ave., is 15,000 square feet with ceilings that are 30 feet high. The gymnasium features indoor turf, American Ninja warrior obstacles, about 60 weight lifting machines and strongman training equipment. Membership is $25 a month.
“I’ve got firefighters over here, a lot of high schoolers, pastors, doctors, everybody you could think of,” Ersing said. “It’s a very different facility. It’s a one-stop shop. We do it all.”
Under Ersing’s watch, the gymnasium offers a list of programs that include weightlifting, boxing, self-defense, yoga, conditioning and weight loss.
“We’ve had people who have lost 50 or 60 pounds here in three months,” he said.
He coaches Special Olympians, who receive free membership at the gym. One of the girls he coaches, Gabriella Moffett-Fergi, recently won three gold medals at a state competition.
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The gym has also partnered with Racine’s Golden Touch Boxing Club and young boxers train there.
It all adds up to one big success story.
The 32-year-old Ersing has seen his list of clients grow from about 20 when the gymnasium opened to more than 200. He leads by example, having competed the last eight years in powerlifting, strongman, natural bodybuilding and obstacle course racing. Boxing is his next sport he plans to pursue.
His highest honor came May 3 in Sheboygan, where Ersing was named Coach of the Year by the Natural Athletic Strength Association Coach of the Year in Wisconsin. Ersing was one of three finalists for the award.
“It was super fulfilling,” Ersing said. “When they notified me that I was nominated, I just felt super honored. I definitely wasn’t in it to be recognized like that. I just applied myself because there’s a lack of good coaches out there. I couldn’t tell them thank you enough.”
There’s also been plenty of gratitude for Ersing. Take Jenniefer Fish, the mother of Case linebacker Chris Fish.
“My son, Christopher Fish, along with two of his friends and teammates from Case, Mason Guillame and Michael Wittke, started training with Alex Ersing approximately five months ago,” she said. “The original plan was to improve their strength and speed for football. Since that time, the boys have made great strides.
“Recently, Alex suggested the boys enter a powerlifting competition, which they did on May 4 and all three boys broke state records. There is a national competition for powerlifting in August that all three boys will be entering.”
To be sure, Ersing’s investment has paid off in a big way.