Longtime personal trainers Christopher Cody, Jon Swenson and Bryan Lundstrom know what works and what doesn't in a gym.
The trio recently opened Trison Studios, a gym where a stable of personal trainers give clients personal and customized attention.
"It's a place not just for a quick fix," said Swenson. "It can help you in your functional life."
Trison Studios is located just south of West Chatfield Avenue and South Shaffer Drive, in a new upscale office development just off the Deer Creek Golf Club.
The half dozen trainers who work out of the gym are independent contractors who use the 1,500 square feet of gym and locker rooms to work with clients. Every first appointment is free, and the owners say the arrangement helps clients get matched to trainers who fit them best. There's also no gym membership fee, only the fees charged by the individual trainers.
Cody said the owners were careful what trainers they invited to work at Trison.
"A lot of our business is interpersonal relationships," Cody said. "Some come for knowledge, some come for accountability, some for motivation or stress-relieving therapy, or just me-time. We wanted trainers that are sincere in their motivation to help people achieve those goals. If you honestly care about your clients, they can tell."
Cody, Swenson and Lundstrom like to emphasize their experience. Cody has been training for nearly 18 years and holds almost every certification a trainer can earn. He also works with Jeffco Public Schools as a backcountry wilderness survival instructor. Swenson has been training for 12 years, with a specialty in post-rehabilitative and therapeutic training. Lundstrom has seven years of training under his belt.
"I want to teach people to live stronger, healthier, more vibrant lives," Lundstrom said. He explained that some clients come in just to lose a few pounds and end up training for triathlons.
In a slumping economy, Cody and Swenson think the relationships they've cultivated with clients will help the business prosper. They also think economic pressures increase the need for an investment in health.
"(The economy) is definitely a consideration right now, but people need outlets for stress," Cody said.
"Keeping your stress down keeps you healthy," Lundstrom agreed. "People don't realize what stress does to a body."
If several clients' reviews are any indication, the trainers' confidence well founded.
"He is absolutely the best trainer I've ever seen," said Carol Hoffman, 77, who has been working with Swenson for five or six years.
A shoulder operation led Hoffman to seek a trainer. When she first came to Swenson, she couldn't lift her arm more than a few inches from the side of her body.
"After working with him for a year, I could raise my arm above my head,” she said. “I'm very happy."
Hoffman, who lives in Littleton, said she's followed Swenson to several of the gyms where he's worked.
"I wouldn't go a thousand miles, but (Trison) is just a little farther than the other one," Hoffman said. "He is the greatest."
Joyce Hier, 63, of Sedalia has been working with Cody for nine years.
"I think it's because he cares about your total being," Hier said, explaining why she would follow one trainer for so long and drive many miles to see him. "Not just in the physical sense, also in the state of mind. He seems to be able to read your personality a little bit and know those days when you may be a little down and may need to be picked up."
Cody helped Hier through a rough period in her life when she went through medical troubles, and when she was able to bounce back he was cognizant of her health needs.
She's a fan of the new gym.
"I like it very much," Hier said. "It's small, and that's good for me. With bigger gyms, there's too many people, and I don't like that situation very much."
Hier also likes looking out the large bay windows in the gym, which overlook the seventh hole of Deer Creek.
"Doing cardio and watching the golfers — it just makes time go a little faster when you're doing one of those boring things you know you have to do."
Swenson said the clean, non-intimidating environment will help Trison Studios thrive, despite the slumping economy or competition from large gyms.
"We're 100 percent sensitive to emotional needs," Swenson said. "There's a caring factor. This place feels like home, not to sound corny."
Trison Studios is at 11852 Shaffer Drive, Unit D. Call 303-332-9211 to set up a free first session.