Club Pilates recently opened a new location on the corner of Pilot Knob Road and Yankee Doodle Road. Topher Nelson (back), Jodi Jorgenson (left), Kristin Montpetit (middle), and Colleen Atkinson (right.)

Number of small scale fitness studios increasing

Club Pilates is one of the latest fitness boutiques popping up throughout the metro.

The studio recently opened in the Minnesota Valley Transit Authority station in Eagan at 3450 Pilot Knob Road in an old Starbucks.

The business specializes in reformer-based strength training classes suitable for a wide range of ages and fitness levels.

It’s a rapidly growing business with more than 500 locations in 38 states.

Operated by Kristin Montpetit and owned by Topher Nelson, the Eagan location is the 11th in the Twin Cities.

Members can choose from several instructor-led classes that utilize a variety of equipment including reformers, EXO chairs, TRX, TriggerPoint and springboard. The club also offers one-on-one training.

“We really use a variety of apparatus to help the body move,” Montpetit said. “The reformer assists you in getting stronger without relying on what’s inside of you already. With reformer pilates there’s no expected level of fitness. It doesn’t matter if you’re young, or old; sedentary all day, or an elite athlete.”

She said participants can expect a full body workout for each class.

“You’re going for that standing up tall; that long and lean look,” she said. “We get you stronger in a low impact way without getting hurt.”

The club hopes to attract MVTA station customers who use the park and ride.

Club Pilates represents a growing trend in the fitness industry.

While there’s still a market for a large fitness centers with gyms, pools and treadmills, there’s been an increase of smaller, more sport-specific fitness boutiques focusing on yoga, kickboxing, cycling and weightlifting.

Orangetheory, Farrell’s Extreme Body Shaping, 9Round HIIT Kickboxing Fitness and ONX are among several fitness boutiques that have opened up in the Eagan area in recent years.

Montpetit said she thinks the smaller, instructor-led boutiques can be less intimidating.

“Everyone is coming in to do the same thing,” Montpetit said. “Their stories may be different, but they’re in this together. I think there’s an intimidation factor of walking into one of those big box fitness studios with thousands of pieces of equipment and you don’t know how to use any of them.”

It’s a relatively recent idea. Club Pilates needed amendment to the city code in order to open.

When the original MVTA station development agreement was set up in 2000 it accommodated larger fitness studios.

The initial agreement prohibited destination uses such as health and sports clubs and other uses like department stores, theaters and motels.

The Advisory Planning Commission spent several minutes discussing the change and it was approved last summer by the Eagan City Council.

Club Pilates’ class sizes cap out at about 12, so there’s not a need for more parking compared to a coffee shop.

For more information, visit www.clubpilates.com/eagan.

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