CLIFTON PARK — In a world where large gyms packed with people on wall to wall treadmills have become the norm, smaller, more personalized exercise facilities, such as Fitness Artist in Clifton Park, are popping up to provide clients with a private, less intimidating workout experience.
Fitness Artist is a personal training studio with locations in Saratoga, Loudonville, and Clifton Park. The Clifton Park location is at 1581 Route 9.
Owner and personal trainer Travis Gil started the enterprise seven years ago in a small studio that was roughly the size of his current office. After a year-and-a-half in his first studio of working from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. with nonstop training, Gil realized he needed to better maximize his time.
When Gil previously worked in other local gyms as a personal trainer, many clients expressed how awkward and intimidated they felt while working out in front of other people in large gyms. That, Gil said, was when he knew that he wanted to provide a space where people could exercise privately without feeling judged.
“I started this because I really want to change the perception of fitness,” Gil said.
He has a background in communication and acting, but was interested in fitness from a young age. A graduate of the Shenendehowa Central School District, Gil read Arnold Schwarzenegger books in his youth, striving to someday look like the bodybuilder-turned-movie star- turned-politician. After dabbling in acting and producing for awhile in Plattsburgh after college, Gil returned to the Capital Region and started to work out in a local gym in Latham, where an employee spotted him and suggested he become certified as a personal trainer. Since he loved both fitness and talking with people, Gil got his certification and has since found his true calling as a personal trainer.
Fitness Artist has 14 personal trainers all with different certifications and backgrounds who are spread out over the business’s three locations. The point of having so many different types of trainers, said Gil, is to provide his diverse clientele with a truly personalized workout experience and creative workouts that challenge people to make continuous progress.
“Everybody that I have on staff has a different skill set,” he said.
Healthy lifestyle changes have become a typical New Year’s resolution that often ends in failure, and Gil attributed that failure to the possibility that some people try to take on too much too quickly in working out. He said he frequently sees burnout in people who try over and over to stick with going to the gym.
“It’s going to take a little bit of time,” he said, emphasizing the importance of baby steps n in the journey to fitness. He also noted that change has to happen mentally first, and the people who succeed in becoming healthy always have a strong, personal reason for doing so.
“You have to have a strong ‘why.’ If it’s for somebody else, it’s most likely not going to be sustainable. It has to be for you,” he said. In keeping with the hyper-personalized theme behind Fitness Artist, the business offers a free consultation for anyone interested in joining, which includes an tour of the facility, and interview about personal fitness goals, and an assessment of an individuals movement patterns while working out. Fitness Artist offers different options, including eight or 24 session packages, along with payment plans.
“We aren’t in business to rob people,” Gil said. “Most of the world is super busy, they have a hard enough time even carving out a half hour to 45 minutes, let alone having to think about their workout.”
Recently, Fitness Artist began a new program, called the Sculpted Bride. This exercise regimen, which focuses on clients who are preparing for weddings, is a 12 week program that coincides with whatever the client’s wedding goals are, whether it be weight lose or body sculpting.
Gil has had the idea for the program in his mind for a while, but was only recently able to set aside to time to bring it to fruition. The program offers multiple packages that customers can choose from, all with a high focus on accountability and nutrition. Though this specific program has a technical end goal of a wedding day, Gil said that the workout habits are something that he hopes will stick with his clients long after the big day.
“These are things that they can hold onto for the rest of their lives,” he said.
At the end of the day, Gil’s goal for Fitness Artist is to enact long-term positive change in his clients’ lives, no matter their age or current state of health. For those on the fence about taking up personalized training, Gil would urge people to remember that it’s never too late to start trying to be healthy.
“That’s what’s great about this industry, is that when you can change someone’s life in a positive way,” Gil said. “You can’t beat that feeling.”