Husband-and-wife duo Tara Gally and Robert Strauss are bringing the F45 Training fitness franchise to the heart of Baldwin Park.
Fitness always has played a large role in Tara Gally and Robert Strauss’ lives.
In fact, the husband-and-wife duo first met at a gym — Strauss worked the smoothie bar, and Gally was a group fitness instructor.
Fast-forward more than 10 years, and the two now are preparing to open their own F45 Training franchise on New Broad Street.
“I’ve been active in fitness for over 20 years — working out has been a huge part of my life,” says Strauss, a former professional wrestler. “(My wife and I) have been together for 14 years, and fitness has always been a part of both of our lives.”
Although he and Gally are co-owners, though, they agree that their F45 Training location is primarily Gally’s project.
WELCOME TO BALDWIN PARK
Prior to the pandemic, Gally was a regional director for 24-Hour Fitness and oversaw a few hundred clubs across the nation. She also has been a Les Mills national presenter, instructor, trainer and educator. In fact, her connection to the Les Mills company is how she found out about F45 Training.
When she first began researching F45 Training, she and Strauss lived in New Jersey. At the time, there were no locations near them.
“I talked to some friends and convinced some other people to get involved with the brand, but I still wasn’t a member,” Gally says. “Two summers ago, a friend of mine opened one up in New Jersey, and I became a member there. The day I walked in on my first class, I walked out after and said, ‘OK, we have to do this. This is what I want to do. This is perfect for us.’”
The two — along with their children — ended up moving in November 2019 to the Lake Nona area. They signed their F45 franchise documentations and began the processes of finding the perfect location.
Although they live in Lake Nona, Baldwin Park was among the communities they considered in the home-buying process. When she first began working with her commercial real-estate agent, a Baldwin Park site was among the first locations she visited.
“There was just something about Baldwin Park to me,” she says. “I like the urban, eclectic, community/neighborhood kind of feeling. It just resonates with me as a person. … We looked here, looked into some other places. … Every time I talked to somebody, they’d be like ‘Well, why not Baldwin Park?’ I said, ‘You’re right — there’s something there.’”
Founded by Rob Deutsch and Adam Gilchrist in Sydney, Australia, F45 Training is described as providing “the ultimate gym experience by combining cutting-edge techniques with high-grade equipment and friendly, supportive staff.”
As an international fitness community, F45 has more than 1,750 studios in 45 countries. It is functional group training that encourages participants through various exercises. The “F” in the name stands for “functional,” while the 45 represents the 45-minute classes.
F45’s program consists of a library of thousands of exercises, customized training systems, circuit-movement patterns, timing modules and workouts that change on a daily basis. Each studio has access to these training systems, and each studio completes the same workouts and exercises. Workouts combine high-intensity interval training, functional training and circuit training.
“F45 is the closest thing you can get to getting a personal experience within a group setting,” Gally says. “Everything is functional based, which just means that it mimics everyday life. It’s the fundamentals of fitness. There’s certain things that repeat themselves, like a squat or lunge — we do that all the time. Those movements are in every single workout … it’s pretty comprehensive.”
F45 also integrates technology in the form of monitors along the wall that play the same video workout demonstrations. Additionally, F45 deejay playlists are played across all studios.
“This workout is so awesome, because it’s functionally based and because of the variety of equipment we actually have,” Gally says. “You could be anyone — a first-timer, a person that wants to be fit and feel good … or you could be someone who wants to be super fit and is training for a marathon or obstacle-course race. … That’s something I absolutely love about this, and I think it very uniquely fits into this community, too.”
Gally says it’s important to her that F45 Training Baldwin Park fosters an inclusive environment where everyone who works out feels safe and supported. Walking into any gym for the first time can feel daunting, but her goal is to provide a place for everyone to grow and feel good about themselves.
"I just want to be able to provide a place that gives people the opportunity to feel better. I believe that we are only our best at anything and everything that we do … when we feel our best." — Tara Gally
“That, for me, is the most important thing,” she says. “(I hope) their experience when they come to the studio is that they felt supported, understood and … in an environment that supports them wherever they’re at right now. It needs to be … a place that everyone feels like they belong — and that should mean everyone, no matter who you are, what your athletic abilities are, what your goals are — because everybody is different. I want people to feel better when they leave than they did when they arrived. A person’s success in here is really an indication of the service we provide to them.”
Gally and Strauss opened F45 to Baldwin Park and surrounding communities in late January. There are various membership specials available until the studio’s grand opening.
“It’s just so exciting to be able to be in Baldwin, because we just love this community, the people and the culture that’s here,” Gally says. “I have so many experiences that have brought me to this place. I’m excited … that we’re able to apply that to something that belongs to us but that also belongs to a community that we’re able to build. I just want to be able to provide a place that gives people the opportunity to feel better. I believe that we are only our best at anything and everything that we do … when we feel our best.”