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New Gym Focusing On Personal Training Opens In Andersonville

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When more than 600 people took part in the Edgewater Back to School 5K Run/1 Mile Walk in late September, Orange Shoe Personal Fitness was there to help guide them with a free eight-week training session.

“We did a lot of injury prevention and talked to (participants) about what else they should be doing besides just running,” Ted Fournier said on Monday.

Now, Orange Shoe Personal Fitness is open for business here in Andersonville. The gym, located at 5607 N. Clark St., offers custom training solutions in the form of personal training, in-home training and small group training. The name of the company comes from the founder’s choice of footwear, Fournier said.

This is the second Orange Shoe Personal Fitness shop in Chicago. The company should not be confused with Orangetheory Fitness, which is located at 1126 W. Granville Ave.

The two companies with similar names happen to both be located in Edgewater, but they are not connected and offer different gym services, Fournier said.

He and Wade Anderson co-own the new Clark Street gym. Fournier is the majority owner of the Clark Street gym. Anderson owns the other Orange Shoe Person Fitness gym, located at 3845 N. Lincoln in the North Center neighborhood.

Fournier worked as a personal trainer at the North Center store but wanted to open his own business. He said he decided to open his shop in Andersonville because Orange Shoe Personal Fitness is referral-based and community-based.

“When you are a local business, being involved in the local community is probably the best way to grow your business,” Fournier said. “We care about that community. My life savings is invested in that space. When you invest in the community — we are investing in rebuilding that north end of Andersonville — you want the community to do the same. You are cheering on the community.”

A 2006 graduate of the University of Connecticut, Fournier holds a bachelor’s degree in finance and became a certified personal trainer through the National Personal Training Institute in 2012. His dedication to health and fitness began after he began recovering from multiple traumatic injuries sustained in a 2007 car accident, according to the company’s website.

The experience has given him a level of perspective on health issues that other personal trainers might not have.

“I personally have a lot of restrictions, but that by no means should stop me from being healthy or moving,” Fournier said. “I take a very educated approach to (client exercise programs.) When (clients) go through something, they seek me out.”

First-time visitors to Orange Shoe Personal Fitness receive a free consultation and assessment of their body and abilities. This consists of a discussion about goals, fitness and financial budget. Clients are screened for injuries, as well.

“It’s based on the client’s needs and financial budget,” Fournier said. “Everything is very customized to the client. We have over 90-percent retention, long-term, with our clients.”

The Clark Street store currently has two trainers, Fournier and Paul Rogus, but a female trainer will start at the gym next week, Fournier said. 

According to the company’s website, Rogus has a bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Carroll University in Wisconsin, where he also completed all of his didactic coursework in the school’s physical therapy program. He is a certified strength and conditioning specialist.

Additionally, Fournier said the gym will also rely on personal trainers from its North Center store location. The company’s personal trainers are salaried and receive full benefits, he said. Most have a minimum of a master’s level education in an exercise-related field. The company is currently hiring, he said.

“Our goal is to have six to eight salaried trainers in Andersonville within a year,” he added. “We’re strong allies of the health of the LGBT community via our partnership with new local business Right Fit For You.”

Right Fit for You, founded by Sam Provenzano, is an LGBT-friendly personal trainer referral service. Its website is www.rightfitforyou.com.

Fournier said Orange Shoe Personal Fitness specializes in customized personal training, but that does not mean it does not offer small group classes, as well. Class sizes are usually capped at eight people, but “you could have two people of very different backgrounds in one class,” he said.

For instance, a 55-year-old and a 22-year-old could be in the same class and have very different needs, but the trainers would know so much about each client that they would still be able to help both people obtain the same level of exercise.

Orange Shoe Personal Fitness took over the lease for the 2,200-square-foot facility, part of which used to be called Turkish Cuisine, about a year a half ago, he said. The company took possession of the space in August. Located on one floor, the open space is separated into four quadrants, meaning four one-on-one personal training sessions could take place at the same time. 

That said, “there is a sense of privacy even though you are in one area,” he added.

The gym has cardio equipment, a cable machine, a squat rack, dumb bells, kettle balls, and a TRX suspension trainer, for instance.

Goals are devised based on an eight-week plan. “Then, we reassess,” Fournier said. “We make sure the client is happy and they did what they” wanted to do.

Orange Shoe Personal Fitness is open Mondays through Thursdays from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Fridays from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.; and Sundays from 9 a.m. to noon.

The gym is having a pre-sale this week, Fournier said. For more information on the sale or the gym, visit andersonville.orangeshoe.com, or call 773-234-1552.


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