GYM: Grass Valley facility has new name, new classes and new approach to fitness |

GYM: Grass Valley facility has new name, new classes and new approach to fitness

With every new year comes a flurry of self-improvement resolutions, many of which are health and fitness oriented.

Don Huntsman, 39, is simply trying to get stronger.

George Dyer, 57, wants to continue building on the progress he's made in the last year.

Michelle Oran, 35, wants to look good in a newly purchased Elvis costume.

All three are among a growing group of clients that are looking to achieve their 2018 fitness goals by participating in Team Limitless training sessions held at EmPOWERment Fitness, formally known as Pam's Fitness First.

"The new name change is basically me taking my name away from everything because I'm here to empower everyone else in their fitness journey," said Pam Blankenship, who remains the owner, but felt the gym she's ran for 10 years needed a new look and approach. "I'm here to empower the community, help everyone with their fitness journey and keep them on a healthy and affordable path."

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The name of the 24-hour fitness facility located at 1050 Whispering Pines in Grass Valley isn't the only thing that has changed.

"The atmosphere in here is different," said Blankenship, who graduated from Bear River high school in 2001. "We're more friendly and there's a lot more positive vibes… You will be supported in your fitness journey and I just want everyone to feel empowered."

Since the name change in October, Blankenship has upgraded the facility, adding a functional training area where Team Limitless trainers Matt Reiswig and Courtney Parker have been running Lift Yourself Bootcamp classes designed to help clients reach their fitness goals and have a better understanding of their bodies.

"We try to educate every client about the mind-body connection. That every movement has a purpose," said Parker. "What Matt and I strive for is to make it matter to everyone. We are trying to help people know their bodies."

Reiswig calls the sessions a hybrid form of training.

"It's never the same thing twice," said Reiswig. "It's not a cookie cutter routine. We always start off with a dynamic warmup, we go into our circuit training and then we always finish with core. We try to connect people with their bodies, rather than have people try to achieve a certain amount of reps in a certain time."

Reiswig added that the classes are kept to 6-8 participants per session so that no one is overlooked and the trainers can offer personalized training in a group setting.

"Every single class is really well looked after," the 2004 Nevada Union graduate said. "We're creating more efficiency by having at least two trainers and sometimes three at all of the classes. One runs the class while the others help out with form and tips and encouragement along the way."

Those who have taken part said the training sessions are unique and extremely beneficial.

"It's kind of like having a personal trainer but doing a fitness class too," said Dyer, who was working with Reiswig even before the Lift Yourself Bootcamp classes. "He's unbelievable. I've had a few trainers in my life and he's just the best."

Huntsman added the workouts are tough but the results are worth it.

"It's awesome and it's brutal," he said. "They really want you to grow as an individual. They want you to see the results, but it goes beyond that. They want you to grow in this and they want you to be your best self."

For Oran, who has been working out at the facility for about two years, the Team Limitless classes and the changes around the facility are just part of what makes EmPOWERment Fitness the place for her.

"The people are friendly, the owner and trainers are fantastic, the people that come into the gym are like family. Everyone's a friend and quick to help you out," she said. "I love the new changes. This is completely different from other gyms… I like all of their workouts and they are just what the name says: Empowerment. They encourage you to keep coming and there is no gym intimidation."

EmPOWERment Fitness is currently offering a special for new members. For those who join during the month of January, the gym will waive the $49 signup fee as well as the $15 key tag fee and charge $20 per month for the first three months. After the first three months, the regular monthly fee of $35 kicks in. EmPOWERment also offers a $25 a month standard rate for those who work in law enforcement, or as firefighters, paramedics and EMTs.

The Lift Yourself Bootcamp offers a drop in rate of $30 per class or a monthly rate of $200, which breaks down to $25 per class. Lift Yourself Bootcamp classes are Monday through Thursday at various times and the cost is in addition to the monthly gym dues.

For more information about EmPOWERment Fitness visit its Facebook page at For more about Team Limitless visit their Facebook page at

To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email

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