The new gym brings personalized fitness to the center

From left, Emily Flores, operations manager at Natural Fitness ABQ, and her husband Gabriel Flores, owner of Natural Fitness ABQ. They are pictured with their 10-month-old daughter Karin. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Journal)

Gabriel Flores is a lifelong teacher.

Before receiving his personal trainer certification from the National Academy of Sports Medicine last year, he taught high school science and coached football.

“I’ve always loved the coaching aspect more than anything,” Flores said.

But Flores felt that the big dealerships, including the one where he worked as a personal trainer, weren’t serving his clients. So he decided to open his own Natural Fitness ABQ studio last month.

“All my clients kept repeating the same theme,” Flores said. “They were saying, ‘I don’t feel comfortable in this big atmosphere.’

Natural Fitness ABQ is located in a single room at 1 Central NW and is by appointment only. Members, Flores said, don’t have to scramble to use equipment during busy times. At each session, clients can expect to be in a group of one to four people.

“It’s not such a big group that they get lost in the crowd,” said Trina McKee, a personal trainer at Natural Fitness ABQ and a former Flores client.

Routines are customized to each client’s body and goals. The gym has five personal trainers, including Flores. Each coach has a distinctive discipline; for example, trainer Anita Mueller is certified as a yoga teacher and infuses yoga into her routines. All trainers are certified in various fields.

“We really strive to make our customers feel special,” Flores said. “… When they come in, we say, ‘Hey. This is your studio.

Currently, the hall has less than 10 clients.

Gabriel Flores, personal trainer and owner of Natural Fitness ABQ, demonstrates the rope at the Downtown gym. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Journal)

The studio also works with a chiropractor and offers specialized treatments for people undergoing physical therapy. McKee said many clients have to stop going to physical therapy appointments when their insurance stops covering it. That’s where Natural Fitness ABQ steps in, McKee said — providing both equipment and accountability for people in recovery.

Every new member goes through a consultation process. First, their bodies are scanned by an InBody machine – a digital scale on steroids. The InBody machine analyzes body composition, scanning for muscle mass, fat and water content. It can also identify specific areas of the body that might need extra attention.

McKee trained with Flores at his last gym before joining the Natural Fitness ABQ team. She specifically signed up for this gym to use their InBody machine.

“You know, over a six-week period, you might only lose two pounds overall,” McKee said. “But the InBody can tell us you’ve gained eight pounds of lean muscle and lost 10 pounds of fat, which is a huge difference in your body and your health.”

Each month after their initial assessment, members can use the InBody machine to track their progress. The machine also tracks metabolic rate, which helps guide Natural Fitness ABQ’s individualized nutrition program.

After the body scan, trainers assess the prospects’ posture, squats, and shoulder and ankle mobility. By looking at the client’s posture and movements, trainers can identify muscle groups that need to be strengthened. Someone with a hunched back, for example, may need to work their lower back more, Flores said.

“I’m a teacher by nature,” Flores said. “So, I really pride myself on being able to break down all the details of how your body should move in a squat. It’s not just a squat; it’s important what muscles you need to feel, the dynamics behind the movement and giving people the information to be experts in their own body.’

Tuition costs $110 per week for two weekly sessions and $165 per week for three weekly sessions.

The meal program costs $260 for weekly meetings, $130 for biweekly meetings, and $65 for monthly meetings.

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