The staff at Bay Village’s Fitness Together can develop a customized training program that gets you back in shape

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Amy W.’s (right) goal at Fitness Together is to master the pull-up. She’s well on her way, thanks to the one-on-one approach offered by this premier facility. Also pictured is PT Rachel Pekarski. (Photography: Benjamin Margalit)

By Patricia Nugent

The psoas is one of those muscles you don’t pay much attention to…until something goes wrong. This 16-inch band of muscle stretches from the lower lumbar region of the spine through the pelvis. Its function is to flex the hip joint and move the leg. You cannot walk without one.

When you strain the psoas, it sucker punches your functionality and triggers excruciating pain.

Just ask Amy W. of Bay Village.

In 2017, she fell off a treadmill at a local franchise gym, injuring her psoas and glute muscles.

“I was in a lot of pain and had a tennis ball-sized knot of strained muscle that felt like a rock,” says the 50-something, who before the accident was an active competitive speed walker and exerciser. “It was too painful to work out. My lack of mobility and noticeable loss of strength and energy after the accident were really frustrating.”

In March of this year, she decided to check out Fitness Together in Bay Village to see if they could help.

“Luckily, the trainers here were not afraid of the injury,” says Amy. “They came up with a plan to strengthen all of my supporting muscles, while allowing for the injured ones to heal. We started with resistance bands and the workouts progressed as I did. I came to the studio not able to do a lunge, and by June, I was doing them easily. I went from not being able to hold a plank to ripping off 1-minute, 45-second ones.”

She says that Fitness Together is her first experience with one-on-one training—and that has made all the difference.

In March of this year, Amy W. decided to check out Fitness Together in Bay Village to see if they could help with her loss of upper body strength. Today, she’s not only stronger, but also back in her “skinny” clothes.

“When you walk through the door,” she says, “there’s a completely different atmosphere than you’d find anywhere else. The private training suites are full of state-of-the-art training equipment, such as cardio machines, suspension bands, medicine and stability balls, battle ropes and weights. Everything is focused on me, my capabilities, my goals.”

Today Amy is pain-free and feels stronger by the day.

“I travel a lot for work, and Studio Manager Rachel Pekarski came up with strategies for me to eat better and sneak in more activity on the road, as well as ways for me to check in with her to go over my activity,” she says. “Her virtual support means the world to me.”

Paying Attention to the Right Numbers
“If my experience at Fitness Together has taught me anything, it’s to ignore the number on the scale and pay attention to numbers like inches—I’ve lost many—and metabolic age, mine has gone down by several years,” says Amy. “Yes, I’ve lost weight, but most importantly, I’ve converted my amount of fat to muscle. I’ve reshaped my body and my mindset.”

Another major benefit? She’s back in her “skinny” clothes from a few years ago, before the treadmill incident.

Why the Customized Approach Works
Fitness Together owner Sean Sullivan says that his team of trainers has earned a reputation for not saying no to folks who might have impediments to being fit.

“Our customized approach to training is where we shine,” he says. “We work with different clients of various ages and come up with individualized plans to help them meet their goals.”

For Amy, the current goal is pull-ups.

“Remember that kid who hated climbing the rope in gym class?” she asks. “That was me. But my upper body is strong enough now.”

Bring it on.

Fitness Together is located within the Dover Commons Shopping Center, at 650 Dover Center Road, Bay Village. Call 440-671-3200 or visit for more information.