Story by Callie Sharkey | Photos by Denise Fleischman
One of the challenges when it comes to tackling personal fitness is finding a safe, convenient space to work out. Many gyms are driven by numbers and contracts, but Lynette Laufenberg wanted to create something new at her Balance Fitness studio by putting her focus on the clientele and their individual needs.
“Before I start any client, I always do a complimentary consultation. We cover their health history, fitness history and what kind of activity they are currently doing,” Laufenberg said. “We talk about their current nutrition program. How is their sleep? What about their stress management? And, of course, what are their goals? From there, we can design a program.”
Everyone who steps into Balance Fitness receives personalized care in carefully tailored programs. The experience is designed to remove the pressure and allow clients to focus on their own goals at their own pace and get the most positive results possible.
“Balance Fitness is a boutique studio that is very personal and very private. It’s all personal training. People in the studio are working with a trainer or taking a small class,” Laufenberg said. “We offer anything that meets an individual’s goals from a fitness or wellness standpoint. This includes strength training, cardio, flexibility and stretching, balance, yoga and Pilates sessions, boxing, battle ropes and even TRX [suspension weight training]. The boutique recently opened a shop for women’s fitness wear, too.
Clients will see plenty of equipment for training, but maybe not as many machines as they’d expect. Laufenberg focuses on training that goes beyond sitting down to push or pull.
“I’m not opposed to machines. I think machines can be fantastic, and there is a purpose to them, but I just believe so much in training movement patterns more than just training a muscle group,” she said. “It’s all functional work and training in multiple planes and directions — using your own body’s intrinsic core strength and balance. That is more effective for the average person.”
Balance Fitness is not a membership-based facility, where one can join and come in to work out on their own.
There are classes offered regularly in Pilates, vinyasa flow or refresh and restore yoga — the latter is perfect for beginners. The hour-long classes are available as drop-ins for $20 each, or a 10-class pass for $149.
“The studio is mainly a personal training studio,” Laufenberg said. “But the small group classes are great because it’s a way for people to get instruction with a social interaction and connection as well. They are able to take guidance in a personal way that’s a little less expensive than personal training.”
The classes are small, with a maximum of 18 participants able to attend in person. What is unique about Balance Fitness is the classes are also simultaneously offered virtually through a livestreaming platform. Drop-in classes via livestream are $10 per session. For clients who love flexibility, they can purchase unlimited online and onsite group classes for $129 per month, or stick to all livestream classes for $80 per month.
“I have students who travel and find they can still keep up with yoga if they want to and just take the class from wherever they happen to be. For people on screen, if they choose to turn on their camera, I see them all, and I give them tips and check on them throughout the class, as well as teaching the people in the studio,” Laufenberg said. “I do highly recommend starting out with in-person classes, especially if they are new.”
Clients are also never locked into a contract. They can sign up and pay for classes online, or they can come in person to register. Monthly subscriptions are available on auto-pay or month-to-month. They can even shift the subscription from in-person to all virtual with no penalties.
Balance Fitness is open Monday through Friday, with the first personal training session scheduled as early as 7 a.m., and the last one-hour private session at 4:30 p.m. Saturday group classes are also available at 9 a.m., and clients may reserve personal training sessions afterward.
Laufenberg has always included fitness in her own life, starting as a gymnast. While in college, she discovered group classes. After an instructor suggested she become a fitness instructor, she was hooked. Laufenberg migrated from Iowa to Florida in 1995, and Wellington became her permanent home in 1998. She spent 22 years at Ultima Fitness as the wellness and program director, while teaching classes and individual clients.
She opened Balance Fitness in 2020, shortly before the pandemic, and managed to keep going with a strong support crew and devoted clients. Laufenberg continued to follow her dream and her passion to help others.
“I would consider what I do as the bridge between therapy and fitness,” she said. “People will have a back problem or knee problem, and we teach them that movement is prescription. By learning how to move properly, stretch properly and strengthen the area, oftentimes you can help that person battle to improve.”
Laufenberg most enjoys teaching vinyasa yoga as a class, but working one-on-one with clients is her favorite.
“I might teach them an exercise, but oftentimes what they learn is the mind-body connection that they carry through into their daily world,” she said. “For instance, we might address back or neck pain and work on how to fix that with posture training and other exercises. Those are the most rewarding to me, to have my clients out taking the information that I try to share with them and apply it to their daily life.”