NORWALK, Conn. – Susan Friedman was nervous when she opened CrossFit Norwalk , her first business venture. But three years later, the successful business is moving to a space nearly four times the size of its current location and counts nearly 300 members.
Friedman’s business will relocate from 2 Broad St. to 1 Muller Ave. on Dec.1. In her new home, Friedman will have 9,000 square feet for her clients to pull, push, lift, run, stretch and train. The new facility is right around the corner from the old location.
Friedman, a former preschool teacher and stay-at-home mom, said the personal touch of her trainers has been the cornerstone behind the growth of the business.
“I think our personalized touch and individualized attention is what separates us,’’ she said. “For instance, we might have some people that can’t do the workout as prescribed. We’ll modify it so that everyone can do the workout at their own level. Our trainers are very knowledgeable and we do a lot of mobility and flexibility training. That helps people stay healthy when they’re working out.”
While CrossFit has gained popularity the past few years among fitness buffs in their 20s and 30s, Friedman has delved even deeper. She offers CrossFit classes for kids, and it has struck a chord with parents and youngsters.
“It creates a lifelong love of fitness if they start out having fun doing it,’’ Friedman said. “It’s fun for the whole family. It’s something that we always wanted to do, and when we had enough parents who were requesting it we got certified in training for kids.”
Friedman has offered CrossFit for kids for a year, and it is a good alternative for children to maintain fitness in their off-seasons. “I’ve gotten a lot of feedback that it has helped them in other sports,’’ she said.
Friedman was a high school athlete and maintained her fitness over the years via more traditional methods. She learned CrossFit six years ago, and friends helped her discover a passion not only for training but also for teaching.
“I ended up helping people who were working out with me,’’ Friedman said. “I’d tell them, ‘Why don’t you try it this way?’ People said I’d make a great trainer, so I pursued becoming certified as a trainer. Then I thought about where I would want to work, and thought I’d really love to have my own place. I think part of the success we’ve had is the ‘Mom’ personality. I really care about everyone.”
Friedman, the mother of two teenagers, provides classes for a broad spectrum of ages and genders at her club. Teenagers to athletes in their 40s and 50s have benefited from the expertise of Friedman and her staff. In a few weeks, they’ll have even more space to pursue their passion for fitness.
“It’s gratifying that what we’re trying to do is so well-received,” Friedman said. I just wanted to have a place for people to come and have fun working out. When I started to notice it was getting a little full, I thought we should look for a new place. Fortunately I found a place in the same neighborhood that’s going to make people feel comfortable now that we have a larger space.”
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.