One-on-one training studios take fitness personally
NEW YORK - Personalized fitness is no longer the domain of movie stars and world-class athletes. Studios providing one-on-one fitness are catering to clients who prefer their fitness far from the all-purpose gym crowd.
"This is definitely a growing area," said Meredith Poppler of the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), the trade association of the fitness club industry.
In 1999, 4 million Americans were using personal trainers, according to IHRSA, but now the number hovers around 6.5 million.
Poppler said personal-only trainer facilities run the gamut from franchises to independent, boutique clubs that pop up in major cities.
Dwayne Wimmer, owner of Vertex Fitness Personal Training Studio in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, said his clients range from retirees to students who are often fleeing mass-market gyms.
"It's never crowded, never busy, always focused, and the music isn't blaring," said Wimmer, who has operated his studio for more than 11 years.
Many of his clients, he said, have been frustrated at the big gyms because they didn't get the attention they wanted or needed.
"Others are intimidated by big health clubs," he added.
An individual session at Vertex costs US$90 (S$113) an hour, comparable, Wimmer said, to a personal training session at a standard health club chain.
But he added that his studio makes it more personal beginning with a discussion about health, injuries and goals.
"Every time they come in it's one-on-one. Every inch (of the workout) is being monitored and critiqued."
Steve Morrison, a disk jockey, has been going to Vertex for almost eight years. He said that personal touch has allowed him to reclaim major chunks of his day.
"Having the trainer there completely maximizes your time," he explained. "I used to spend close to two hours at the gym. Now I go three times a week for half an hour and I have better results and no injuries."
Morrison said even when he works out by himself he tries to use what he learned.
"It's the form. It's having the trainer there," he added.