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Happy Valley resident Ryan Achenbach recently opened a personal training facility in the city

If people picked their gym like they picked their school, there would be a lot more people hitting their fitness goals these days. We pick our schools based off the quality of education it produces; we should pick our gyms and personal trainers the same way. 

COURTESY PHOTO - Happy Valley resident Ryan Achenbach, owner of Valley Strength and Fitness, works with a client on push-ups."What gym should I join?" This is the question that pops into most people's heads when they're looking to get into shape. Most people will go to the well-known club corporate gym because that's all they know. A corporate gym is typically tens of thousands of square feet with a large amount of machines, both strength-training and cardio equipment. Sounds great, right? Unfortunately, there are many cons to going to a large club gym, including overcrowding, wait times on machines, high membership fees, lengthy contracts and experienced staff. 

To be a profitable business, a corporate club gym needs 10 times the amount of members as they can fit at one time in their space. This means that at peak times, the gym can be extremely crowded; the crowds can cause wait times for certain pieces of equipment.

Happy Valley resident Ryan Achenbach recently opened a personal training facility Valley Strength and Fitness.Gyms also hire personal trainers as another source of revenue. While working as a personal trainer for a very well known corporate gym, a manager asked the training staff if we knew why trainers existed in the gym. The responses ranged from helping customers meet their fitness goals, to overcoming injuries. The manager told us we were all wrong. Statistics show that members using a trainer will keep paying dues for 18 months or more, compared to the six months if they didn't have a trainer. Dues were first, customer results were second.

It became very obvious that making a difference in someone's health was not why they hired me. I knew it was time to make a change. In 2019, I left the corporate-gym world and started a first-of-its-kind personal training facility in Happy Valley. My business model is simple: Education, Quality Training, and Customer Goals First. I wanted to provide a comfortable, private setting with highly experienced trainers, that you just can't find in an impersonal box gym.

Corporate gyms need a high volume of personal training sold in order to keep membership up, cover their overhead and hit their monthly profit goals. A typical membership goes for around $50 a month. Additional training from a personal trainer can range from $70-90 an hour. Because of the profit over customer health focus of the corporate gym, turnover of personal trainers is high. This is why you'll see a rotation of 15 to 20 trainers pictures on the walls of corporate gyms, most of whom with little training experience.

Experience matters! How you perform an exercise and moving properly with resistance and load is critical to avoiding injury and failure. This makes choosing the right trainer extremely important to your success. Simply put, do you want to put your trust into a trainer who's conducted over 8,000 training sessions or a trainer who just started, and you're their very first client?

In my experience, any trainer can make you sweat, and any trainer can make you sore. There has to be a reason and a method to the madness. Goals and workouts need to be designed around the customer and progressively build toward the ultimate goals. A fun workout is great, but the results of a well-designed training plan has the best chance of success.

Improving strength and improving fitness go hand in hand. Valley Strength and Fitness (VSF) is 2,300 square foot private gym with the latest strength training and cardio equipment. We have everything from treadmills to 100-pound slam balls!

Community is big here. Every person in the studio is either a VSF personal trainer or a client with a VSF personal trainer. This means no crowds, experts always available and everyone there is there for the same purpose. No judgement here! 

We offer one-on-one or small group training, which means maximum attention. We approach each client as unique who deserves individualized attention and a program that is created to fit them.

VSF clients are not held to a rigid class schedule. Scheduling is done between you and your trainer. You come up with times that work for both of you. While club gyms lock you into a long-term contracts and high membership fees, we at VSF believe the only way to keep you as a long-term client is to give you the best quality service. We do not use contracts and that is why we offer $0 membership fee. You pay for the training you want and that's it! Active clients also enjoy free to use of the gym on non-training days.

Giving back to the community should be part of the culture of every company. VSF is partnering with the Clackamas County Juvenile Department to offer strength and fitness mentoring to youths at risk in the area. In October 2018, I broke the Oregon state drug-tested raw bench-press record. I would love to train a teen to break a drug-free record in their division.

Don't go it alone but pick the right partner! At Valley Strength and Fitness, you'll get the accountability, the service and the one-on-one attention you need to reach your fitness goal. Whether you're looking to lose weight, gain muscle or recover from an injury, our qualified personal trainers can help you safely reach your goal. We work with a wide range of clients, from CEOs and gym owners to nurses, teachers, athletes, other personal trainers, adaptive athletes and teens. Our ideal client is anyone with a positive attitude and a willingness to work hard. That's really it. 

We have the demonstrated experience providing our clients the expertise and inspiration to achieve their desired results. To work with me or another personal trainer, contact us today for a free consultation, where we'll discuss your goals and figure out a program that will work for you.

Happy Valley resident Ryan Achenbach recently opened a personal training facility in the city and has a website at earnthosecarbs.com.


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