Owner Kim Shaffer says Kim’s Gym offers Salida residents a space where they can actually commit to their New Year’s resolutions.
The gym at 144 CR 105, Suite C, is officially open from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. However, registered members have 24/7 access.
Shaffer has been a personal trainer and group fitness instructor since 1979. She is originally from Woodland Park and Penrose. Her educational background includes a bachelor’s degree in sports medicine from Colorado State University-Pueblo in 2011 as well as a master’s degree in rehabilitation science from California University of Pennsylvania in 2013.
She also was a professor of human anatomy and physiology at CSU-Pueblo until 2014.
A certified athletic trainer, Shaffer has also been certified to work in several fitness positions by national organizations, including the National Academy of Sports Medicine to work as a corrective exercise specialist and personal trainer; the American Council on Exercise to work as a personal trainer, group fitness instructor and medical exercise specialist; and the American Association of Health and Fitness Professionals to work as a post-rehab conditioning specialist.
In addition, she has received certifications from the Arthritis Foundation and the U.S. Weightlifting Federation.
The business setup process began in June, and Kim’s Gym officially opened Dec. 9. Much of the gym equipment was bought in Denver, and much of the strength equipment came from an Illinois company that offered her free shipping.
Shaffer was already familiar with Salida before she and her husband, Mike Shaffer, opened Mountain Pawn & Gun in 2010. That was because she attended high school in Florence, which was in the same sports league as Salida.
She said her passion for fitness began early in her life. She began running at 8 years old and has been active in sports since then. She ran for the U.S. Olympic marathon team for eight years and qualified for the Olympic trials. She called it “some of the best time of my life really.”
Over the years, Shaffer has owned and operated 14 different businesses, including two health clubs, three personal training studios and a natural foods café. For 20 years she lived in South Lake Tahoe, California, where she owned two other health clubs.
Before that, she and her husband traveled to several states while working in construction. During that time they lived in Utah, New Mexico, Idaho and Illinois.
Her previous gyms were comparatively much larger than her newest endeavor, with one of them having more than 3,000 members. She said she wanted to start the gym in a smaller facility because she wanted it to have a more intimate feeling. However, the membership has grown larger than she initially expected, so she hopes to double the size of her facility sometime in the future.
An adult membership at the gym costs $69 for one month, $61 a month for three months, $57 a month for six months or $54 a month for a year. A senior membership, ages 60 and older, costs $67 for one month, $55 a month for three months, $54 a month for six months or $50 a month for a year. A one-time initiation fee of $59 is required for all memberships.
Punch pass cards are also available at 10 punches for $90, 20 punches for $145 and 20 senior punches for $135. The gym also accepts the Silver Sneakers program.
Shaffer said she thinks fitness is necessary for older demographics because it is important to consistently keep one’s body in motion.
“When people get older they tend to stop moving as much,” she said. “Some of it’s orthopedic matters, some of it’s health matters. But no matter what the reason is, movement is always going to help because the body is meant to move.”
Throughout her career, physical rehabilitation has played a major role in her work. She said her lengthy background is useful when it comes to treating injured athletes or seniors, especially in a collective or class setting.
She is also a certified practitioner of the Graston Soft Tissue Mobilization Technique, which means she uses stainless steel instruments to access muscle tissue and trigger points better than just hands.
From 8:30 to 9:45 a.m. the first Saturday of every month, the gym hosts a cardio kickboxing class. The class is free for members and $10 for nonmembers. The gym will also host a women’s self-defense workshop Jan. 25 when part of the proceeds will go to The Alliance. Specialty class information will be posted on Kim’s Gym’s Facebook page.