Fitness studios gear up for new year’s heavy lifting

Experts say it’s about creating new habits

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Participants at Empowered Fitness in Half Moon Bay get serious about their workout goals as the new year looms. Kyle Ludowitz / Review

Once the holiday treats are gone, many find the new year the ideal time to prioritize getting in shape. And when new resolutions are set, local gyms fill with good intentions.

On the Coastside there are a variety of options for people hoping to lose weight, get healthy or start a new habit.

Boutique fitness studio Empowered Fitness, which has locations  in Half Moon Bay and Pacifica, offers more than 40 group fitness classes to its clients. Owner Diana Inglis opened her studio with her husband about nine years ago as a way to provide a “high customer service” gym. Unlike most traditional gyms, Empowered Fitness operates on a class-by-class basis and relies on bodyweight training exercises rather than treadmills, stationary bicycles or free weights. 

“It’s personal training emphasizing helping people build results through different modes of exercise,” Inglis said. 

A personal trainer herself, Inglis said she works to create relationships with all her clients and sets individual goals that are achievable for them. 

Inglis said people will flock to the gym in January expecting immediate results, however she’d rather see clients attend classes on a consistent basis, slowly building up the intensity of the workout. 

“It’s about frequency and getting in the habit to come to class,” Inglis said. 

Each class features a combination of high-intensity intervals, strength and circuit-based training.

Empowered Fitness also assists clients with reaching their goals by hosting a Facebook page for users to motivate each other and offering cleanses for people looking to reset their nutrition goals. 

“The biggest part is getting nutrition on track,” Inglis said. “Coming to class is part of it, but we’ve got to help people change how they eat.” 

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Riders participate in a sold-out spin class at FIT Studio in Half Moon Bay. Coastside fitness studios are already filling with eager exercisers as the new year begins. Libby Leyden / Review

Inglis knows the value of her clients’ time, so the goal is to make the most of one hour. 

For those seeking a fitness option available 24 hours a day, Snap Fitness is a do-it-yourself gym located in the Stone Pine Shopping Center in Half Moon Bay. 

Rather than group fitness classes, Snap Fitness provides treadmills, elliptical machines, stationary bicycles and stations for weight lifting. Members are given an access card and can enter the facility anytime of the day or night. Snap Fitness also has personal trainers available for clients to book for an additional cost. 

“In our membership we offer a heart monitor, which is given to all new members,” Snap Fitness Club Manager Sharad Sabharwal said. “… It tells you how hard you pushed yourself. It’s just something fun to mix up the workout.” 

While Sabharwal said the beginning of the year is a busier time for the gym, “people tend to be civil.” 

Others hoping to have a variety of options in workout classes may try FIT Studio, which has two locations in Half Moon Bay. Owner Jodi Miller first opened her gym in 2006; since then it has evolved into two studios featuring yoga and dance classes, a spin studio and specialized strength-training classes. 

“People are now recognizing they need a balanced program, not just one thing over another,” Miller said. “So what I try to do is offer a little bit of all of it.” 

Miller said she’s been gearing up for the January rush since the beginning of fall. “We get a lot of people and it is very exciting,” she said. 

FIT Studio also emphasizes proper nutrition, and Miller works to create a feeling of community at her gym.

“We want them to feel welcome. Most people, they get nervous about going to a gym for the first time,” she said. “My goal is take some of the barriers away and make it fun.” 

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