Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Frequently Asked Questions about The Garage!

I get a fair amount of emails asking about The Garage and how it works -- hopefully, this answers a few of those questions!

How many square feet is your garage?

It’s small! It’s about 26’ x 18’ so…, under 500 sf. But it’s big enough for personal training and small classes (I have classes of up to 6 people inside) – I have a cement drive-way outside that is about 10’ wide by 20’ as well, so, when it’s nice, I can have people skipping, etc. outside and the garage door open. The biggest challenge was to get equipment that wasn’t going to take up a lot of floor space, so the stairmaster and small-footprint bike work perfectly. And, instead of a lat-pulldown (back exercises being more difficult to do efficiently without some sort of pull-down type machine--although I also have a squat rack), I sourced out what is, effectively, a functional trainer, although they called it a cable crossover (Body Solid makes it)… it’s commercial-rated but a fraction of the price of more commonly used gym models – it’s slightly lighter duty but, since I’m not a public gym I don’t get really heavy lifters or undue wear & tear anyway and I love that machine! It also snugs in pretty close to the wall and is great for pull-downs, pull-ups, cable crossovers, rows--anything you can imagine with a pulley.

How did/do your clients react when they hear that they will be training in a garage?

I’ve had a few of my clients for over 3 years (since I opened!). They love it. It’s private and nobody cares what you wear. I have had quite a few people who never want to set foot in a gym for whatever reason—this way they can start in private and maybe take it to a public gym later. It’s also well insulated and I spent a lot of time (but not a lot of money) making it look cosy.
I bought my house and it didn’t have a garage so I had it built 4 years ago—I wasn’t originally intending it to be a gym—that is just kind of how it worked out. There is no bathroom, which is one of the downfalls, people have to use the one in the house but it hasn’t been too much of a problem other than the house has to be tidy and I keep the bathroom stocked with guest towels, etc.

Did you have to get a special liscence from your municipality to operate out of the garage?

I just happen to be outside of the “town” limits and in the regional district so I am exempt from business license fees and zoning restrictions. That was pure luck but definitely made it possible to do, although a personal training studio is, I believe, much like any other home-based business or alternative care provider (massage, chiro) where you normally would have a single client at a time, therefore the rules may be slightly more relaxed than if you were planning to be a “gym”. I do have additional insurance on the premises and make sure that all my equipment is commercial-rated.

Can you compare your experience of where you worked before the garage to your experience now?

My last “job” was actually writing and graphic design (which I still do free-lance). I was working full-time and getting my PT certification at the same time – I love being able to roll out of bed and be at work in 10 minutes (or so). And having my own gym is a dream come true! Very low overhead now that it’s completely outfitted. I’m an entrepreneurial type as well, so working “for” other people has never really agreed with me.

What benefits do you and your clients see with the garage gym?

All of the above ;-)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Summer News

Bootcamp on the Beach – with added early classes to suit your schedule!

Well, with the weather looking more like summer these days, we’re taking our bootcamp back to the beach! We’ve just finished the second week of our current Fitness Bootcamp Challenge – the next 4-week Challenge will start on June 1st! For those who prefer an earlier start I’ve added a 6am class to make it 3 classes/day (M/W/F) with your choice of 6 am, 7am or 7pm. Classes will be held with a minimum registration of 5 - call me at 604-886-3114 for more info – register early as spaces fill up fast!

Pay-What-You-Can Bootcamp Sundays to Benefit the Gibsons Food Bank!

If you are interested in trying out a bootcamp, please join us Sundays at 11 am at Dougall Park in lower Gibsons for an hour of fun, body weight exercises. This class will continue through August with proceeds benefiting the Gibsons Food Bank (administered by the Salvation Army). Anyone interested is invited to attend—non-perishable food items accepted! Please email me at for more information or if you would like to pre-register! Drop-ins are also welcome.

Yoga Continuing Through the Summer

Yoga with Tania Flynn continues Thursday evenings from 7 – 8:15 pm. Please call 604-886-3114 or email me at to pre-register as space is limited. Tania is leading a very relaxing and invigorating restorative yoga class once a month—with the next one scheduled for this upcoming Thursday—May 21st.

Please check my website for info on other classes and/or personal training – have a great Spring/Summer and I hope to see you soon!

Music events:

I will be performing JAZZ next weekend (May 22nd and 23rd) at Sailor Dans across from the Sunnycrest Mall in Gibsons. Please call 604 886-9112 to reserve. Accompanying me will be JJ on keys/bass and Paul Steenhuis on guitar/bass – come and check out the fabulous tapas menu and some great jazz!

On Saturday, June 6th I’ll be at Gramma’s Pub in lower Gibsons as part of the Gibsons Jazz Festival – joining me will be Sacha Fassaert – guitar/bass, Paul Steenhuis guitar/bass, and Doug Howden on drums,