The intensity of chiseled body builders and jumble of complicated machines can make the gym an uninviting and overwhelming place.
That’s not the case with MOVE! Fitness Center, a new Nevada City gym opened by Wendy Riley and Marilyn Rohrbacher with holistic nutrition consultant Katie Carter.
Upon walking into the fitness center, you are faced with a bright and colorful room with lime-green walls and the genuine smiles and friendly personalities of Rohrbacher and Riley, who worked together at a previous fitness center for 10 years until it closed.
“It came time for us to do our own thing, so that’s where MOVE! came from,” said Riley.
The center opened in November, requires no monthly fee or contract and offers personal training for $45 for a 50-minute session, $35 for 30 minutes, partner training for $30 per person for 50 minutes and introductory sessions for $35 for 50 minutes as well as MOVE!-it classes for $10 for each 45-minute class.
In addition to the affordable sessions, MOVE!’s appeal is the fun and friendly environment, said Laurie Alire, 67, who has worked with Riley and Rohrbacher for four years, three of which were at the previous facility.
“You walk in, and the color just says, ‘Let’s have fun!” said Alire, who has lost more than 20 pounds.
“It’s really a fun place, and I don’t think I’ve ever had fun working out,” she laughed. “They really make it fun, and they’re such personable people. You feel like you’re going to play with a friend instead of trying to just sweat as much as you can, and you work those muscles.”
The fitness center is equipped with weights, cardio machines and thick elastic bands you can step onto, with the trainer’s assistance, to complete a pull-up.
The gym also includes a NuStep total body exercise machine, one of two in the entire country, Riley said. NuStep is a seated machine that can be used by disabled clients — some of whom have no ability to move their hands — because it has Velcro straps that can secure arms in place, which help move the body on the machine, as well as Velcro leg straps for those who cannot use their hands.
The center also includes a four-square court taped in the center, a fun feature, Alire said.
“We play four-square every once in a while, and that is just fabulous that they can adopt that kind of going-back-to-childhood attitude. I think it’s wonderful.”
The two trainers have a breadth of experience with specific certifications.
Riley has a personal trainer certification from the National Academy of Sports Medicine as well as a post-rehabilitation conditioning specialist certification, and Rohrbacher is certified in personal training through Aerobics and Fitness of America. She is also a post-rehabilitation conditioning specialist and medical exercise specialist.
Before Rohrbacher was a trainer, she was an avid cyclist, professional and mother. When her son grew up and moved away, she decided to pursue her passion and began teaching fitness at a local gym.
“I got into teaching fitness so I could help others have more fitness in their lives and better strength and well-being,” she said. “I loved it and it was just oozing out of me, so I wanted to share it.”
Riley worked as a facilitator for outdoor adventure education on a local ropes course in Grass Valley through In Course, where she guided thousands through team building and increasing self-esteem.
A self-proclaimed lover of the outdoors, she has always been a hiker and backpacker.
“I wanted to turn that passion of mine to other people as well and became a personal trainer,” she said.
The pair shares a love of helping others become fit and maintain good health.
“We are both passionate about it. We know the value of being healthy and fit for insurance for the rest of your life,” Riley said. “People say, ‘I’m in the prime of my life’ at 30, and I think you’re in the prime of your life every day. We want people to feel that and think that.”
“We’re seasoned trainers who have been around the block,” Riley said. “We’ve been doing this a long time and we’re able to work with whoever walks through the door.”
“Another thing that’s really cool is we’ve spent the last 10 years at another facility,” Rohrbacher said.
“We know each other’s styles and are a good complement to each other,” Riley added.
The pair’s complementary personalities are also used in sync with each client who receives attention from both trainers.
“We are always on top of letting the other one know what’s happening with that client, so that client gets two people watching them, not just one,” Riley said.
The women have seen clients with a range of ages and conditions from multiple sclerosis and fibromyalgia to Parkinson’s and Lyme disease, as well as obesity.
They have been able to carve out a niche with the baby boomers, whom they can relate to on the challenges aging brings, they said.
“The three of us are in that baby boomer demographic,” Riley said. “We are it, and we feel it like they are feeling, and we know how to work with it because we work with it, too.”
The fitness center also includes the nutritional expertise of Katie Carter, who owned Wild Mountain Yoga and taught yoga for 15 years. She met Riley and Rohrbacher when she came into MOVE! to exercise and found the small class sizes to be refreshing.
“I was in this yoga bubble, came out here and, oh my god, it was so much fun,” Carter said. “I probably noticed the biggest difference in my body doing weights and working out with them.”
Carter offers nutrition classes from healthy eating and weight loss to building strong bones and menopause and balancing hormones.
“Nutrition is a big percentage of weight loss,” she said. “My business really focuses on the women going through hormonal changes. I fit right in here.”
The incorporation of both exercise and nutrition was demonstrated with one client in particular, who lost 10 pounds with the exercise portion, attended one of Carter’s four-week classes and lost more than 10 additional pounds.
“With Katie’s coaching and counseling and strength training, she’s lost over 20 pounds,” Riley said. “That is really the whole idea.”
Another aspect of the gym is its commitment to fun.
“We’ve had really fun things here like Zumba and belly dancing,” Rohrbacher said. “We bring other instructors in to do fun stuff like that.”
“Everybody can be strong, healthy and even sexy at any age.”
For information, visit http://movetobefit.com or contact 530-913-4374.
To contact Staff Writer Jennifer Terman, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4230.