A Gym for the Generations

Kids and parents exercise together at Tiger Training and Family Fitness.
Zach and Sarah Belisle, and personal trainer, Ryan Malmer, make Tiger Training and Family Fitness a great place for the whole family.

It is often said that exercising with a friend or family member can increase the chances of success, not to mention make it a much more enjoyable experience. And Zach and Sarah Belisle definitely put this notion into good use. Working in the fitness industry for almost a decade—Zach as a personal trainer, Sarah as a trainer and kids’ volleyball coach—the Belisles spent many hours training and working out together. They decided they wanted to open a fitness center that was inclusive of all ages—including children.

So the pair started Tiger Training and Family Fitness (TTFF) last April, making their goal of a kid-friendly, family-focused fitness center become a reality. Today, they have 130 members from 4 to 84 years old.  The center, which has three different sections for exercise—an open section for functional and group training, a machine and cardio room, and a weight room—is the go-to spot for families and others who want to get in shape and stay that way.

All About Inclusion

Children are welcome in the open room to use the yoga balls and get their own exercise routine down; they are separated from the weight and machine room for safety reasons, but Tiger Training offers group training for kids if they’re interested in lifting weights.

Getting children to start exercising at a young age is crucial to maintaining the habit later in life—plus, Zach and Sarah don’t want parents to have to find a babysitter so they can go work out. “We welcome children and we want them to exercise,” Sarah says. “We want them all working together.” Zach adds: “Exercise doesn’t have to be hard, or a chore. It can be fun.”

Tiger Training and Family Fitness’ inclusion and community aspect isn’t only for kids, though. The center’s greatest strength as a business is reaching out to every age, body type and fitness level—there is no one too old, too young, or too out-of-shape to be welcomed at TTFF. “Bigger people don’t have to feel out of place,” Zach says. “We create a sense of community with other people who want to lose weight.”

A Commitment to Health

Lisa Anderson joined Tiger Training and Family Fitness on opening day, and the close-knit community aspect and the knowledgeable staff are what drew her to the center. She was a member of a different gym beforehand, but was so impressed with the cleanliness and opportunities for group training that she switched over to TTFF. Anderson does stretch training, cardio, total-body fitness, and legs, thigh and arm workouts with the center, in both group and individual training. “My brother has blood clots and diabetes, so I don’t want to go down that road,” she explains. TTFF has also helped work out her overused shoulder muscle better.

Sharing the Passion of Fitness

Zach and Sarah’s dream is to help the people of White Bear Lake and beyond reach their potential in a community that shares their passion. The members of TTFF are family to them. Zach and Sarah both do group and individual training, and Ryan Malmer is another personal trainer who does individual training. “Our goal is to help everyone else reach their goal,” Zach says. What better way to motivate the people of their community than to stand right there with them? This community fitness is what gets the people of White Bear Lake engaged, inspired, and excited to work out and strive for a healthy body.

Fitness Tips

• Work on training the body from the inside out to improve strength and posture.

• Flexibility is important to lengthen muscles.

• Working on back and shoulder pain helps strengthen the rest of the body.

• A little stretching every day goes a long way.

• You’re never too old to start.