By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski
Foothills Focus Executive Editor
Theresa Vogel says closing her SWEAT Individualized Fitness during the quarantine was challenging, but she had more on her mind than finances.
She wanted what’s best for her clients.
As the pandemic swept the world, Vogel kept her members moving at home.
“We were doing everything we could to support our members during this crisis,” Vogel said. “Our goal was to help them maintain their fitness and health until our doors opened again.”
The staff, including trainer Dana Clark, stayed employed by filming online workouts and creating a proactive plan for how the gym would operate under new restrictions.
“Because we are a small gym, we are uniquely positioned to quickly adjust to changing guidelines and directives,” Vogel said.
“Our reopening plan follows extensive CDC, federal, state and local guidelines for the cleaning and sanitizing of our facility. Our plan also adheres to strict social distancing guidelines, while still offering our members an exceptional workout.”
SWEAT’s plan was to clean and sanitize with CDC-approved materials, according to Stephanie Osha, marketing director.
“We also positioned the equipment on the gym floor to meet the social distancing requirements,” Osha added. “We also limited the class size in terms of the number of people here at any one time. The key point is, because of SWEAT’s size and the focus of the business, we’re uniquely positioned to quickly adjust to changing guidelines. We had our plan in place, so we were ready at a moment’s notice when the guidelines came down from state and local governments.”
SWEAT provides individual training to its members and in small-group settings, which allow trainers to be able to work with each member directly.
“We lead them through a workout and modify their exercises accordingly,” Vogel said.
“Our trainers support each of our members and where they’re at in current fitness levels and help to guide the members into reaching their full potential.”
Osha said the members are slowly returning to SWEAT and accepting feedback from them.
“The members are very appreciative for what we’re doing to make a safe workout environment,” Osha said. “We’ve been pleased that the plan we implemented has gone smoothly. The members are on board, and everyone is cognizant of the plan.”
For those who are uncomfortable returning to the gym, SWEAT is holding daily virtual classes that are accessible at home and creating a virtual library from which clients can select.
A former interior designer, Vogel was also in the beauty industry before acquiring SWEAT.
“I loved working in those fields,” she said. “Whether it was helping a lady feel good about herself with a new beauty regime or pulling a room together.”
Vogel took over as owner in 2018. She was always interested in fitness and health and had a strong desire to help others.
“It seemed to be a natural fit,” she said. “My goal with SWEAT is to help create a welcoming environment and provide exceptional workouts to help members maintain a healthy lifestyle.”
Just as she was getting her footing, she was knocked down by COVID-19. However, she and her staff rallied and adjusted to the “new norm” as best they could.
“We’ve had a lot of great support,” she said. “We’ve had support through our members and through our staff. Anthem is a small community and a tight community. I believe the small businesses support each other.”
SWEAT, which reopened May 15, started a lifestyle challenge with Anthem resident and registered dietician Kristine Sinner with Scottsdale-based Sinnergy Wellness.
“We recognize everybody has a different journey,” Vogel said. “Our goal is to just help people achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle by introducing Kristine. This will allow us to help our members develop a healthier eating plan as well as exercise. We do this quarterly. We missed the last one because of the shutdown. The next one starts in July.”
SWEAT is also rolling out a youth performance-enhancement program on Monday, June 8, expanding its offerings to student-athletes at various schools.
“We’ll see if teams would like to train together maybe to increase speed and agility or if individuals would like to come to that sort of training,” Vogel said. “We’re helping every segment of our community.”
At SWEAT, unlimited small-group training is $149 month to month. Discounts are available to those who pay in full, and punch passes are another option.
“New members get the first week free to check us out,” Osha said. “If they want to extend that for the first month, it’s $99 for small-group training. These are our training options in place going forward. I think they’re going to love this workout.”