More than 300 health-conscious Southern Marylanders took their first steps toward buns of steel on Saturday at the grand opening of the tri-county area's largest fitness complex.

Olympus Fitness Center celebrated the opening of its new 30,000-square-foot location on Post Office Road in Waldorf with a free guest day, a nationally acclaimed aerobics instructor, clowns, food and door prizes, said sales manager Bret Rogers. The expanded center features indoor basketball, racquetball, volleyball, 30,000 pounds of weights, kick-boxing and experienced trainers on hand to help sculpt thighs and beef up biceps.

"We're getting people who have never been members of a gym before," Rogers said. "This is not just your storefront gym. There's something different going on here."

The local branch of Olympus, a national chain based in Oxon Hill, has operated out of a 12,000-square-foot facility for the past seven years. The fact that the new location is more than double its former size reflects a trend toward health consciousness in the region and across the nation, Rogers said.

"Fitness is becoming a lifestyle," he said. "We used to see just a young crowd, but now the vast majority of society has seen the benefits."

CAPTION: The expanded fitness center offers activities such as indoor basketball, racquetball, volleyball, weightlifting and kick-boxing.