True Fitness’ clientele is a little different from what you might find at other gyms, according to owner Preston Gilbert. While it has members of all ages, the majority of those attending classes and working out during the day at True Fitness are older residents.

These members are looking to improve the quality of their life, not necessary build muscle or compete in sports, Gilbert said. They’re looking for ways to improve their balance, prevent falls at home and improve their mobility around the house.

Gilbert realized this after taking over the gym from its previous owner, Karin Anderson, about a year ago. The gym was previously named Truly Fit and had a specific focus on helping those recovering from injuries or with limited mobility to improve their health and quality of life in a comfortable and safe way.

Gilbert wanted to continue that tradition and started looking into the idea of adding functional fitness programs like Silver Sneakers and Silver and Fit.

“I wanted to help our current clients and our new clients,” he said.

These kinds of exercise programs focus on muscles and movements that people use every day, like squatting to sit in a chair and standing up from a seated position. The idea isn’t to build large muscles or lift heavy weights but to strengthen muscles a person already has so everyday movements, like getting out of a car, aren’t so painful and to improve balance so falls are less likely.

The great thing about the programs is that some health insurance companies foot the bill for some of the class. For example, United Healthcare covers part of the cost of Silver Sneakers classes and Blue Cross, Blue Shield covers part of the cost of the Silver and Fit classes.

The exercises from each class are easily modified to meet the needs and the injuries of the members taking the classes, he said. True Fitness does this with all of its classes and with all of its members regardless of age because each person is different and has different limits.

Gilbert brought in a bit of equipment that a person might typically see in a CrossFit gym, such as boxes, straps, bars, etc. That can be intimidating to some people until you understand how to use them and how they help you in your day-to-day life, Gilbert said.

The gym also offers Barre classes, which is a combination of ballet, yoga and Pilates moves done while using a ballet barre. The method works to strengthen smaller muscles that help the body balance.

There are also classes in boxing, which helps with overall strength, high-intensity interval training, which are short workouts designed to get the heart going and burn calories, and lower intensity activities like yoga and Pilates. True Fitness also offers the ever popular Zumba dance fitness classes.

There is one-on-one training available as well as classes, Gilbert said. All class instructors are actively involved in helping members during class strike the right pose or modify a pose that a member can do within the limits of their body.

For example, a yoga instructor might lead a class into a pose and then circle the class helping members with their form or giving tips.

They also offer youth boxing, athletic training and fitness classes and open gym times for members to work out during the day. All ages, shapes and sizes are welcome to join, Gilbert said. Membership dues include unlimited access to group training classes and access to the gym during open hours. It does not include personal training time.

The whole idea behind True Fitness is to make fitness more interactive and demolish the stereotype of gyms as big boxes where you are incredibly fit and lift heavy weights without the help of a trainer, he said.

“We want this to be a safe environment where people can come and work out without being judged. We’re the gym for every body,” he said. “After all, that’s what you come to the gym for, right? To get fit.”

The reporter can be reached at sadams@azdailysun.com or (928)556-2253.

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Education/Business Reporter

Suzanne writes about education and business. She covers the local school district, charter schools and Northern Arizona University. She also writes the Sunday business features.

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