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Total Fitness in Cambridge has been a place for those hoping to stay healthy and get in shape since 2016, but since COVID-19 and the governor’s guidelines for gyms and fitnesses changed, so did the look of working out.

Not being prepared for such a pandemic, owner Tina Brown found herself trying to develop a plan to continue working with her clients — which resulted in renting out equipment to some and offering online virtual classes from her spare bedroom.

“When COVID happened, we had to shut down, and since then we’ve been trying to get back into the gym,” Brown said. “We had to leave our space at that time anyways because it was just temporary. I knew I didn’t want to just close the doors, I wanted to continue to connect with members.”

“I just knew we had to continue, so I opened up a bedroom in the house and Sheila (Heinrich, a trainer) did classes in her living room; it was awful, but at least we were connecting,” Brown said.

Since restrictions have begun to lift, Brown and Heinrich have been working together to expand to two locations, better serving clients and the community, and in doing so the Cambridge and Isanti locations were developed.

“I knew that I wanted to be ready for when we could open up, so Sheila and I met and talked about it and decided on the two locations to better meet the needs of everyone and to offer more flexibility safely,” Brown said.

“Both locations will be more convenient for people who live on different ends of town; I have clients who drive from Milaca and Rush City,” Heinrich said. “Our goal is to make it work the best we can until we find a permanent location again.”

“We are so excited to be able to have the two locations,” Brown said. “The thought process behind it is to better serve everybody, and with what’s going on with COVID we can’t have as many people in each class. Being able to offer the two locations offers opportunities for more people.”

“We are also still finalizing the schedule but plan to have four classes each day during the week, three on Fridays and classes on Saturdays, which will also provide opportunity,” Brown added.

Total Fitness will continue to offer a large variety of classes, just on the smaller scale due to restrictions.

“We hope with the new schedule of classes we will be able to capture all ends of the day and provide a good variety. We’ll still have the strength classes, TRX, spin classes, small group training and yoga, just adding them all back,” Brown said.

In addition, classes will still be offered via Zoom for those wanting to continue to workout from home.

Despite the changes that have been made in order to safely open, both Heinrich and Brown are up for the challenge and excited to have clients back in the gyms in person.

“We are really trying to get up and running as close to what we had before. Things will probably never be the same again, but we are trying to make it that way,” Heinrich said.

Reopening has had its struggles and all of the kinks are not quite ironed out yet, but both trainers know the value of providing personal training to their clients, and the clients know their value, so together they will make it work, according to Heinrich.

“We are following the guidelines of cleaning and staying distant, which means we allow less people in classes, and so far the members have been really helpful with everything especially cleaning things,” Heinrich said.

“Everyone knows things are different, but we are adapting pretty well, and hopefully that will show in our classes again,” Heinrich added.

The value of Total Fitness is

immeasurable for new members and veterans

For new member Kristy Payzant, it’s the support and encouragement that drew her in.

“Being a newer member of nine months and never had worked out previously, has been life changing,” Payzant said. “Members are very welcoming, supportive and encouraging.”

The draw for more veteran member Kim Carlson is the relationships made within the gym.

“Total Fitness is more than just a gym. Having a supportive group of people who encourage me has been amazing,” Carlson said.

Being able to be back in the gym face to face has been something Carlson has been waiting for since the closure.

“It has been wonderful to have the ability to workout together again,” Carlson said. “The online classes have been a great way to keep working on my goals. But being able to get support in-person is invaluable.”

“At Total Fitness you are treated like more than just a member — you are family,” Carlson added.

“I’m so pumped to be back in person doing small group training and fitness classes at Total Fitness,” Rosanna Pesicka said. “It’s a huge factor of good mental health to be part of a fitness community that supports, encourages and positively motivates you to be your best.”

The variety of classes is also a benefit for members.

“I love the variety of classes offered and some more challenging than others, like Tabata; I feel proud when we finish,” Payzant said.

For more information on Total Fitness or to become a member of the Total Fitness family, follow Total Fitness Inc. on Facebook or visit www.totalfitnessinc.com.

Total Fitness Cambridge is located at 425 322nd Lane NW; the Isanti location is at 29098 Flanders St. NE.

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