Jamestown fitness clubs ‘here for everybody’ – Jamestown Sun

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JAMESTOWN — Fun and fitness go hand-in-hand at three of Jamestown’s most well-known work out facilities.

“We want people to be happy and healthy and exercise is a free form of therapy,” Flex and Flo Co-owner Morgan Balskowski said. “If we can make it fun and an enjoyable experience where they can laugh and get into the music I think that is a game-changer.”

While Flex and Flo, New Age Fitness and Anytime Fitness have already helped to keep healthy 1,000 area residents, every year around the Jan. 1 mark, there is at least one new person ready to begin a fitness journey.

“My husband and I have been active our entire lives and have religiously made exercise a priority,” Blaskowski said. “We are passionate about people moving their bodies and think it is important.”

Blaskowski and her husband, Nick, recently took over the ownership of what used to be: I Will Fitness and Training. The couple renamed the facility Flex and Flo but the majority of the services offered have remained the same — most notably the group fitness classes.

“I love the group setting,” Dale-Blaskowski said. “It’s community building, it’s fun, and you build friendships that you might not build anywhere else.”

Flex and Flo offers spin classes, yoga classes, high-intensity interval training (H.I.I.T) classes and BARRE classes.

“We have a combination of people to come in and anybody could do any class,” Morgan said. “Sure some, in theory, might be a little bit harder than others but that is why the instructor is there to provide modifications and help you feel comfortable and relieve some of that anxiety of going to the gym for the first time.

“That’s the beauty of having an instructor,” she said. “They can kind of help you ease into it no matter what class it is. Everybody here was a beginner at some point.”

Flex and Flo is also the only facility in Jamestown to offer hot yoga — a class that would aid individuals who are experiencing fatigue, muscle soreness and a build-up of toxins in their systems.

As of Jan. 23, the hot yoga class is not available for members but is expected to begin running in February.

In addition to the group exercise classes, Flex and Flo offers personal training for its clientele. Unlike New Age Fitness and Anytime Fitness, Flex and Flo is not currently set up for people to use the equipment on their own on a 24-hour basis

“We love it when new people come in and try something that they haven’t done before,” Morgan said. “I know it’s really scary to go somewhere new and exercise but we’re there to meet you right where you are. We get it. We understand. We’ve probably been there ourselves.”

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Flex and Flo offers many classes to its members.

John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun

Since the beginning of the year, Morgan said there has been a big increase in new members and she thinks people are realizing they will need to prioritize their health at some point.

For New Age Fitness owner Matt Odin, that realization came while he was a student at Jamestown College.

“I didn’t really come from a fitness background,” Odin said. “I went through a period of having some mental health issues so I started working out and that kind of took care of it.

“I got big into the fitness side of it when I was going through all of that,” he said.

After graduating from Moorhead State University with a degree in exercise science, Odin moved back to Jamestown and started what would become — at the time — the only locally-owned gym in the Buffalo City.

Since establishing his own gym back in 2008, Odin said there have been some adjustments to how the facility works and the type of equipment that is offered to members and potential clients.

“We do a little bit of everything and it’s not always the stuff you would see in a typical gym,” Odin said. “Everyone has power treadmills. We have power treadmills and self-powered treadmills. We have pieces for the regular people who come in, we have pieces for the people who just want to do cardio and we have pieces for those people who like to do cross-fit style training.

“For weights — it’s the same thing,” he said. “We have a little bit of everything. We have four sets of weights ranging from 5 pounds to 50 pounds. All of our benches are adjustable benches meaning they go all the way from shoulder press to decline. Because of stuff like this, our members don’t have to sit there waiting to do the next phase of their workout.”

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Flex and Flo offers a variety of group exercise classes to its members all of which require different equipment which is pivotal to any fitness facility.

John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun

Unlike Flex and Flo, New Age does not offer any group exercise classes. Rather, the facility is best known for its personal training.

“If anyone comes and asks me a question — or even if they don’t but they are doing something wrong — I am going to come up and let them know,” Odin said. “That’s how I am. I am here to help people get to their goals.”

Odin and his staff of three other personal trainers service clients ranging in age from 10 to 82.

“We do anything from sports training, to bodybuilding to CrossFit and cardio workouts to physical therapy,” Odin said. “I think everybody expects different things when they come into a gym or they have different goals in mind, and we’re here to help them with whatever they need.”

New Age’s current member count is holding steady at approximately 200 members. Odin said the gym doesn’t see that big of an influx of new members at the start of the year, but said those who believe the gym is a good fit stay for multiple years.

“If you are just in the fitness industry for the money — that’s not a good enough reason to be in the industry,” Odin said. “You have to be there because you care about your clients and care about the results that they are getting. You should be there to help.”

Jordan Padilla, district manager for Anytime Fitness, shares Odin’s mentality.

“We’re here for absolutely everybody,” Padilla said. “Our motto here is: Everybody is a cool kid. Going into the gym is kind of intimidating at first if you have never been in one or if you haven’t worked out in a long time. We work with everybody, we accept everybody and we love everybody.”

Prior to becoming the general and district manager at Anytime Fitness, Padilla was a trainer at the facility for more than five years so he has an idea of what people need when they enter the gym for the first time.

“Right now there are so many health issues going on so people are much more conscientious about their health and getting better,” Padilla said. “Lots of people are coming in saying ‘my doctor says I need to lose this weight’ or ‘I need to gain some weight’ or ‘I just want to be a little bit healthier.’

“We’re here to help,” he said. “We get them started. We have an in-body scanner that scans your whole body and gives us your skeletal muscle mass, your body fat percentage and what it takes calorically for you to lose some weight or gain some weight.”

Anytime Fitness also will conduct functional movement screens in order to better explain what is needed for each person’s individualized workout.

Padilla said like many fitness clubs, Anytime Fitness will see an influx of new members right around the Jan. 1 mark but it is very typical for most of the members to stay well into the year. Anytime Fitness also allows members the convenience of freezing their membership for a period of time and then reactivating it when needed.

“For the most part working out is not too much fun,” Padilla said. “When you make it more fun and joke around a lot — it makes it easier for them to come and work out. “We have a lot of fun here. We mess around a lot so it makes a lot of people really happy when they come and work out and see us. We’re always joking, always laughing and help people as much as we can.”

Anytime Fitness offers personal training, yoga, strength training, cross-training and cardio training. It is technically a coaching facility — meaning employees are trained to train members or teach them the basics regarding the equipment.

When trainers aren’t available members can download Anytime Fitness’ free app and work out using the video provided. Members can also work out on their own time without coaching if wanted.

Anytime Fitness’ current member count is at 632. Those interested in purchasing a membership can sign up online, visit the facility, get ahold of the office via social media or make an appointment to meet with Padilla — either in person or virtually.

Anytime Fitness is currently located in the Buffalo Mall and is moving to a larger space within the mall in a few months.

“No matter where people choose to exercise they are all great gyms and they all have their own unique things that are brought to the table,” Blaskowski said. “Taking that first step is always the hardest and once you take that step — I don’t think you’ll regret it.”

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Jamestown’s Flex and Flo and Two Rivers Activity Center offers spin classes to their members.

John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun

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