PROGRESS 2014: Balance for Life Fitness Center

Balance for Life Fitness Center: where comfort and fitness go hand in hand

Balance For Life Fitness
3777 Lexington Ave N
Arden Hills, MN

One step into Balance for Life Fitness Center and it’s clear: this is no gym.

Instead, it’s a refreshing change of pace — a place to stay fit that’s a welcome contrast to the busy, loud environment of a health club or a gym.

Tucked into a storefront on Lexington Avenue, the training studio is a hidden gem with a cavernous, open space for personal training.

With small-group classes that can match up with just about any schedule and one-on-one training, the place is for anyone looking to improve physical fitness.

Julie Gronquist, owner of the fitness center, opened it after spending years working as a personal trainer in bustling gyms and health clubs.

In such environments, it was hard to give clients the one-on-one attention they deserved, she says. She wanted to spend more time focusing on individual clients, to make sure their needs were met. So, she decided to open her own studio.

“I really wanted to create a smaller, more customized atmosphere for clients,” she explains.

14 years later, it’s a proven success.

The place is everything a busy health club is not — it is immaculately clean, and with giant floor-to-ceiling windows in the front and skylights above, the whole place lights up, making it feel like an open sanctuary — you won’t feel like a gym rat here.

And the low-key, welcoming atmosphere sets the place apart.

“People already have a lot of barriers to exercising. The more of those you take away, the more comfortable a person is, the more success they have,” Gronquist says.

Expert staff, full line of gear

The fitness center is decked out with a full line of equipment for Pilates and personal training. It’s one of only three places in the Twin Cities with Pilates CoreAlign equipment.

But most importantly, Gronquist says, Balance for Life Fitness Center offers an expert roster of trainers.

“The staff here have many years of experience,” Gronquist says proudly.

All the instructors on staff have different degrees, certifications and specialties, and the fitness center works with each client individually to find the best staff person for the client’s need. With diversely trained staff, they are poised to work with just about any individual’s needs but specialize in weight loss and injury management.

And with classes capped between five and eight people, even in a group setting a client won’t get lost in the pack.

“Even in a class, people can get one-on-one attention from an instructor,” Gronquist says.

Flexible and private

The center works with clients on all sorts of schedules — some people come in three times a week, while others come in as little as twice a month.

The non-membership-based facility allows you to only pay for what you use instead of being trapped in a membership.

Balance for Life Fitness also creates workout regimens for people to pursue at home, so they can maintain their fitness.

Clients can also relax with a massage in the secluded, warmly lit massage rooms. The massage therapists have a combined 38 years of experience, so you’ll be in expert hands.

To top it off, the facility offers private shower rooms, so that clients can get ready for a class and clean up after a workout without the discomfort of a high-schoolish communal locker room.

Gronquist and staff clearly are on a mission to make high-quality personal fitness an accessible, enjoyable experience.

A school, too

After 13 years in the business, Gronquist decided last year that it was time to offer Balance for Life’s expert knowledge to others wanting to become personal trainers.

Balance for Life partnered with the American Council on Exercise (ACE). The fitness center offers an ACE personal training prep course to aspiring personal trainers, so that they get a feel for personal training beyond simply passing a written test.

With such a variety of certification levels for personal trainers, Gronquist says the fitness center’s classes offer a way to ensure trainers have that crucial hands-on experience.


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