One size doesn’t ‘fit’ all
Luis Velazquez works with client Toula Kelikian of Hinsdale. | Joe Cyganowski~For Sun-Times Media
ON THE CLOCK
New location: To open at 2,700-square-feet of space at 777 N. York Road in Gateway Square by October.
Child care: Owner Kyle Hoffmann has 18 of his clients’ children signed up for the service.
New programs: Possibly pilates, spinning, yoga.
For sale: Nutritional supplements, fitness clothes and accessories from heart-rate monitors to exercise mats.
Updated: August 20, 2012 10:49AM
HINSDALE — A fitness trainer learned area residents are more interested in having someone help them work out than buying equipment to get fit at home.
Kyle Hoffmann opened Air Fitness, at 5 E. First St., Hinsdale, in November 2010, as a store selling exercise equipment. And he sold $32,000 in the first three months, he reports. But that was right before Christmas and included setting up entire home gyms for clients. Then sales declined for six months.
In that time, demand for fitness lessons really caught on, Hoffmann said.
“That overtook our revenue for retail,” he said.
Hoffmann, who was the sole trainer when Air Fitness opened, designed individual exercise routines for each person.
“Everyone’s bodies and balance and injuries are so different, it has to be customized,” Hoffmann said. “I was working 80 hour weeks in the first 12 months. I was there from open to close, six days a week. After about a year, I could afford another trainer.”
His business has grown to 125 clients and three more staff members. The majority of clients live in Hinsdale and Western Springs, but residents of Clarendon Hills, Burr Ridge and La Grange also have joined. The growth caused the need to relocate, first because he wanted more room, and second, healthy income from fitness services meant the business no longer complied with the zoning in the downtown area. Service businesses and offices are not allowed on the ground floor of commercial buildings in the Hinsdale’s central business district.
Hoffmann has found available space in the Gateway Square shopping center, at 777 N. York Road. The Plan Commission held a public hearing last week to allow fitness facilities as a special use in community business districts, such as Gateway Square and the Grant Square area. The commission unanimously recommended the change and Hoffman’s request for to relocate his business. He plans to rename the business Spark Hinsdale.
Patrick McGarry said he likes Air Fitness because it’s close by. He used to be a member of the Lifetime Fitness center in Burr Ridge.
“But that involved driving. It gave me a reason not to go,” McGarry said.
Scheduling workouts with a personal trainer by appointment also motivates him, McGarry said.
“Knowing someone is waiting for you gets you to show up,” he said.
His workout combines cardiovascular exercises and resistance training, with new elements added frequently.
“They keep you off balance by constantly learning something new,” McGarry said.
“You get a specifically designed workout and the trainers chart each workout,” said Jerry Klingenberger.
He and his wife, Mary, who live in Hinsdale, have been members since shortly after Air Fitness opened.
Mary Klingenberger said she has gone to health clubs on and off in the past.
“I’ve never been this dedicated,” she said.
The difference is “the personal attention, the discipline and the results,” she said. She also likes that the number of people working out at any one time is limited and the people are friendly.
Clients pay a $299 monthly fee, so “the more you come, the cheaper it is,” Mary Klingenberger said.
For more information, call (630) 432-2742, or look at the website, www.airfitnessgyms.com.