When Shawn and Victoria Groll opened their boutique fitness studio, Strive 4 Fitness, in downtown Brookfield exactly one year ago on Nov. 1, it was a modest beginning. The small storefront at 3749½ Grand Blvd. was hardly large enough to accommodate classes of more than 10 or 12 people.
This week, however, the Grolls plan to open the doors to their new location across the street in the space at 3736 Grand Blvd., a move that will quadruple their space and allow a wider range of options for personal training and possibly massage therapy.
“Not even after four or five months we were getting slammed with our classes being so crowded with wait lists,” Shawn Groll said.
Groll, who has worked as a fitness trainer for a decade, started Strive 4 Fitness as an outdoor boot camp about five years ago, and in 2016 he decided to lease a brick-and-mortar location, choosing Brookfield because it was centrally located for his followers, who were spread between Countryside and Westchester.
Although the Strive 4 Fitness studio in Brookfield started in late 2016 with about a dozen members, the membership rolls have ballooned to about 140. By early January 2017, in order to keep up with demand for classes, Groll opened another studio near MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn.
The Berwyn studio will continue to operate, he said, and the new location in Brookfield will allow classes sizes to double. In addition to the main fitness studio space at the front of the storefront, the new location has an area in back that can be used for personal training while classes are going on in the main space. There’s also a new ADA bathroom in the new location, something required by the village.
Classes and personal training run daily from about 5 a.m. to 9 p.m., said Groll, whose studio employs a total of 10 trainers. Members sign up for classes via a mobile app that allows them not only to see who is teaching but also who is taking the class.
“It’s like a mini-Facebook in a way,” Groll said.
The new location has also allowed Strive 4 Fitness to offer something its original Brookfield location lacked – larger fitness apparatuses such as a cable machine, climbers, stationary bikes and battle ropes.
However, the bread and butter for the fitness studio remains functional movement classes like kickboxing, kettlebell training, resistance training and core exercise classes. Machines isolate certain areas of the body.
“With functional movements, you have wide range of motion, you’re going to get every single muscle, joint and ligament in your body and you won’t be as tight versus that machine, which is hitting one area,” Groll said.
With members gaining more overall strength, the machines add targeted training options.