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Two women open fitness center in Colusa
Stationary bicycles and towers of weights have replaced a stage and bar in a brick building in downtown Colusa.
Better Body Fitness Studio was opened on Jan. 7 by Lisa Burkhart and Sheryl Faris, growing the business out of a series of fitness classes they held at the City Hall for the last four years.
"We've gotten our clients really good results and our classes were up to 40 people. We decided it was our time to open our own business. We had a good client base that came here with us," said Burkhart.
The studio offers classes and personal training sessions.
The class list includes women's boot camp, spin, a class for seniors, youth karate, a yoga-pilates-tai chi fusion, and an upcoming boot camp for men.
"We're not the typical gym. We don't have the big machines. Our vision is that when our client is here, we are with them 100 percent. We make sure they are using correct form and that they're not going to get hurt," said Burkhart.
The result of their offerings so far as been a diverse clientele and the feeling of community.
"The age range is vast. I train with a woman in her 90s and Sheryl trains with a 16-year-old baseball player. We offer so many things for different populations," said Burkhart.
Burkhart says the studio serves individual's personal fitness needs as well as their social needs.
"Its a lot of fun," said Hanna Schreider, 13, of Colusa, who participates in boot camp two times a week.
"When you come in to work out and everyone is excited, you can't help but draw from that energy," said Burkhart.
Erica Miles travels out of her way to workout at the studio. Miles works in Yuba City and lives in Arbuckle. She has been taking classes with the instructors since April of last year.
"I come here for the trainers; we like them," said Miles.
The co-owners both moved to the area from larger cities. Faris had been a physical education instructor in Santa Cruz and Burkhart a personal trainer and fitness center manager in Sacramento and then Chico.
"We were stay-at-home mommies," said Burkhart.
After meeting online and discovering a shared background in fitness, the entrepreneurs realized they could fill the void that they saw in the fitness market for drop-in classes.
The studio is in what was the Crooked Cue bar, but has a diverse history. It required renovation, Burkhart and Faris have been working in the space since October.
"People would come by looking in the windows and say, 'Two women, can they do all that work?'" said Burkhart.
"We had a lot of doubters," said Faris.
They are happy with the results and are seeing up to 50 clients a week.
"We put a lot of love into it. We built it from the bottom up. There is a lot of passion and a lot of love. Its hard to look at this as a job. This place is ours, it's our vision," said Burkhart.