Fitness Center for Physically Challenged

Split Second Toomer Exam

Culicchia Neurological’s Andrea Toomer examining Mark Raymond, founder of the Split Second Foundation.

New Orleans finally has a fitness center for people living with paralysis and disabilities. The Split Second Fitness Center opened in February and is located at 1995 Gentilly Blvd. It should prove to be a healthful resource for the physically challenged.

The specialized gym is the brainchild of Mark Raymond, who suffered a severe spinal cord injury in 2016 and made remarkable strides at a similar center in California. He started a foundation and raised enough funds to open a facility here.
The center is staffed with trainers and others dedicated to changing the quality of life for people impacted by paralysis, amputation, and limited mobility. They are knowledgeable about multiple medical conditions including spinal cord injury, stroke, amputation, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, and transverse myelitis.

Dr. Andrea Toomer is a specialist in rehabilitation and physical medicine at the Culicchia Neurological Clinic in New Orleans. Dr. Toomer is a firm believer in the importance of physical exercise and for a paralyzed patient, it plays an important role. “The fitness center that Mark and the Split Second Foundation have built will make a positive difference in the lives of so many dependent patients,” Dr. Toomer said. “It will allow them to work their muscles, cardio, increase their independence, motivation and provide wonderful social interaction. It can be an uplifting experience, both physically and mentally. Click here for a program overview.  Some of the benefits of working out at a dedicated fitness center include:

  • Improved mental state
  • Improved functionality and build muscle
  • Decreased spasticity
  • Increased stimulation to musculoskeletal system
  • Increased circulation and blood flow to areas prone to skin breakdown
  • Improved posture and balance
  • Improved overall health
  • Potential to reduce pain
  • Increase or maintain bone density and improve potential for increased joint integrity
  • Provide socialization which decreases effects of depression associated with isolation
  • Potential to increase motor function

Each member is initially assessed by staff personnel, who then work up an individualized regimen using exercises and treatments developed through activity-based therapy programs. Visit for more information. To enroll in the fitness program, click here or contact them at::

Split Second Fitness
1995 Gentilly Blvd., C-18
New Orleans, LA 70119