By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
What Bonnie Katz Sailors‘ business is all about can be measured, in part, with numbers – inches, pounds, repetitions.
This week, Fitness Together West Seattle is about one big number: Ten.
That’s how many years her personal-training studio at 4546 California SW (a WSB sponsor since 2008) in The Junction has been open, helping people get and stay fit.
Ten years is a massive milestone for any business, and Fitness Together West Seattle will celebrate with an open house this Saturday (January 28th).
Bonnie has been working in fitness and health for a long time. Before opening FT West Seattle in 2007, she was a personal trainer at an Eastside gym, and worked on a diabetes-research program at the University of Washington.
Personal training is what Fitness Together West Seattle offers. “All we do is one-on-one personal training,” Bonnie explains. And that means they can customize for every client. “We’re not locked into any (specific) type of training … we can do anything. That’s what I like about this – we can do crossfit-type workouts, physical-therapy exercises, train for specific events, or anything the client wants to work on.”
The setting is a point of differentiation, too. Since it’s a private setting, in a bright studio on the second floor, “we have some people who don’t like the gym, don’t want to work out in front of other people, people who want the more private, personal setting.”
They serve a wide range of ages, too. And along with getting fit, you can get some myths debunked – “Some people think they have to be in shape” to start working with a trainer, Bonnie says. “We really start people where they are – at ground zero.” You’ll be assessed for your strengths and weaknesses. You might need to work on basic joint mobility before you can do “real exercise.” Or, you might already be so fit, it’s just about fixing your form.
Squatting and pressing are among the “basic foundational things,” and they’re “functional things that everybody needs,” she explains – how to get up out of a chair, up the stairs.
The need for a healthy body that works well never changes. So what has changed for Fitness Together West Seattle in 10 years?
Communication methods, for one – text messages are more common than phone calls.
She has a staff of five trainers; the director of trainers is her husband Duncan Sailors, who was her second employee. They’re celebrating their third anniversary this week, in fact.
As Duncan joins the conversation, he and Bonnie enthusiastically point out that the idea of fitness has “transitioned from a body-part-focused idea to a movement-focused idea – the idea that the body is one piece and moves as one piece,” so the training they do has “transitioned into more-functional movements. … It’s not so much about working and building and getting sore.” And they look at other components of your physical fitness too, such as nutrition, which they point out is much more than “calories in/calories out.”
Duncan adds, “Machines put you in a box … we teach the skills of exercise, the proper form.”
So, about that party on Saturday:
It’s an open house, so you’re welcome to stop by, 4-6 pm. (They’re upstairs, with the entry on the alley.) “We’re going to honor some of our longtime clients,” too, and there’ll be raffles with prizes from other local businesses. Food will be from two West Seattle providers, Duos Catering and Nibbles, and dessert from Dolcetta Artisan Sweets (a FT client). They’ll have a “train the trainer” session with a client who won a holiday-season contest.
And if you’re not already a client, note that FT does have room for new clients; they’re open 6 am-9 pm Mondays-Fridays, 6 am-3 pm Saturdays, closed Sundays. If you want to give them a try, they have trial weeks, Bonnie says, and you can sign up for anything from one session to a year of sessions. You’re not paying for a membership to the space, Bonnie and Duncan point out – you’re paying for time with trainers. You can contact FTWS online (or phone – 206-938-7828).