0 comments 20.07.2016
Every Wednesday, I will share a resident of the South Bay contributing to making our community a better place.
Today’s WCW title belongs to Stephanie Sola, who alongside her husband own South Bay Trainer.
Sola, 26, grew up in Seal Beach and is currently residing in Lawndale. Five years ago, Sola’s husband, Josh, opened a private gym called, “South Bay Trainer.” The gym offers affordable personal training by some of the most experienced trainers in the South Bay.
“What we discovered is that it isn't necessary to charge people $75-$150 an hour for personal training. We charge instead $15-$25 an hour and offer a friendly community atmosphere, at any given hour you will see all shapes, sizes, goals and walks of life training with us,” she says. The entire team focuses to keep the client's needs at heart, by not canceling on people or bullying them, instead, there help anyone get healthy!
Sola’s role at the gym is basically, “Everything but train.” Prior to joining her husband at the gym full time, she was a private bookkeeper. Today, she does a lot of different things at the gym, including everything finance and employee related. “My favorite job though is that I do almost all of our initial consultations, so in a lot of ways I become the first friendly face any new client sees, I love to learn more about different people, goals, backgrounds careers and family life,” she says. She feels that it also brings most clients comfort to see that there is someone there who isn't a 'Trainer' who they can ask questions too as well.
Thus far, the most rewarding part of her job has been seeing her husband Josh more! She says they went from seeing each other for 4 hours a day (when working separately) to over 12 hours a day. She realizes that most couples cannot say the same, so she feels very grateful. She also appreciates that she has over 250+ clients she socializes with.
Like many family owned businesses, Sola has two jobs. She is the one who cooks, shops and keeps the house clean, in addition to working. She says her day is usually centered around any new client consultations she may have, if it is a light day where she only has one or two, she might take that morning or evening to leave the gym early to cook, go to Costco or the grocery store, spend some time with their dog, etc.
If it is a day where she has 7-8 consultations, she is usually in from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. doing her regular tasks in-between. “The one constant is that during our lunch break my Husband and I go work out, and we actually workout at a different gym than our own. It’s nice to have a break, but even we need to get our workout on,” she says.
It’s no surprise the Sola’s have invested much time and passion in their business, and it shows! They have been awarded “South Bay's Best” seven different times in different fitness and health categories over the years. IN addition, they have expanded twice as well.
Despite the praise and accomplishments, Sola says she tends to prefer the smaller things. “We work hard so our clients have a good, comfortable place to go and whenever someone meets their health goals or tells me how happy they are that they found us it makes me feel great, like all of our hard work has paid off,” she says. She also admires all four of their employees.
One of their trainers is currently working on buying his first house for his family of four, another one who moved out on her own for the first time, and all of them have been able to open their first retirement accounts. “Being able to give people the ability to accomplish their dreams and enjoy their job is probably my favorite of all,” she says.
South Bay Trainer just hit their five-year anniversary of business on Monday, so it’s difficult to imagine where they see themselves in the next five years. She says. “I don't think we will expand again, but maybe we will open another location sometime, I think we will do really well in south Orange County.”
Outside of the gym, Josh and Sola are looking to adopt their first child in the coming years, and when that happens, they may finally move down to just working 8 hours a day, but for now they continue with 12 so they can keep learning and improving.
When Sola is not working, her husband and her make a point to be very active in the South Bay public schools. They have sponsored a lot of teams from PV High, South High and Redondo Union. “We think that all young people should learn to be comfortable in a fitness environment whether they play sports or not,” she says. In addition, they run several free events a year so that clients have the opportunity to get their clients and friends into fitness as well.
For anyone intimidated by a gym, Sola says, “No one wants to feel like they aren't good enough, and it’s important to remember that all of us have different strengths and weaknesses.” She has found that the most difficult step is just walking through the doors and getting through the first few workouts and incorporating nutrition. With all the information that is floating around everywhere, she says that one thing is true, working out has never made anyone worse than they were before, only better.
Initially, Sola missed living in Orange County for a while, but now that she has been here for 6 years, she realizes that it is really nice to have so much within a 20 minute distance- the beach, amazing food, hikes, and endless activities. “But honestly, the food is the best, I love that I can try a different restaurant every week and still have so many options,” she says.
Thank you, Sola, for remaining so humble and welcoming to locals at South Bay Trainer and making time to give back to the members of the community despite your long hours.
To learn more about South Bay Trainer, please visit their location in South Torrance, at 3865 PCH (NE corner of Ocean and PCH)
and their website: