POCATELLO — Darren Hansen, the owner of HansenAthletics, is offering something a little different to the Pocatello fitness scene — a personalized approach to getting in shape.
The gym offers one-on-one training, but it also offers online training at a lower cost. Regardless of what clients decide to do, each person gets an individualized workout program and access to a library of online video demonstrations.
“Everybody can come in and get an individualized experience, which I think is unique to this area and I think where it needs to be headed in the future,” Hansen said. “Groups are great, but you can’t really narrow it in. So that’s what we do here: We create individualized programs that are performance based for anybody who walks through our doors.”
HansenAthletics has a new 2,000-square-foot space of its own at 525 E. Center St. in Pocatello. The new location has been open for less than two months and is already seeing a lot of success. Hansen has about 45 clients doing one-on-one training and about 300 clients training remotely via a website and app, and the clients range in age from 9 to 68.
“We thought this was going to be a long game in terms of getting to 20 clients because the price points are higher, but we’re already at 45 and this is the first time we’re at over 500 square feet,” Hansen said.
Hansen started the business in his garage when he moved back to Pocatello — his hometown — two years ago. He already had a solid online following of people he was training, and it wasn’t long before he ran out of space for his in-person clients. Thankfully, an opportunity arose.
“We had an opportunity to move in with Streamline Sports Physical Therapy in their new facility,” he said. “And it was unique because we do that individualized programming, and they’re working with people who are injured, so we were able to have some crossover, working with people who had been injured who needed a little more before getting back to sport.”
But eventually the gym outgrew the space in Streamline as well and moved into its new home on Center Street. There are currently three trainers — Hansen, Shelton Robinson and Camille Marchand Long — and Hansen said he is looking to hire a couple more when he finds the right people.
“Before, we had like 400 square feet, so this is a huge expansion,” Hansen said.
Regardless of whether you use HansenAthletics in person or online, everyone gets an individualized program to work off of to meet their goals. And that program isn’t just about getting in shape and moving heavy weights; it also goes over lifestyle changes.
“What’s different is when somebody comes in here, our first session is always an hour consultation,” Hansen said. “So we sit down, talk, learn about you, take you through a movement assessment of just body-weight movement. And then we say, ‘Here’s where we can improve; here’s probably why you’re having pain here,’ break that down. And then that way we can sit down after and create an individualized program for them."
Hansen is concerned about people’s lives outside of the gym as well, so everything clients learn inside the gym can translate to better movement outside the gym.
“When somebody comes in here concerned with losing 20 pounds, we kind of flip the script and first get everything in order,” Hansen said. “We talk about lifestyle. We help them with nutrition and just consistency in the gym and teaching them how to move so that one day if they did step away from here, they’d be able to go take care of themselves in the gym. It’s really educational-based as well. You don’t just come in and sweat. There’s a lot of conversation about how to improve in daily habits outside of here.”
If you decide to do one-on-one training, the gym is open from 5:30 to 7:30 a.m., 9 to 10 a.m., 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3:30 to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. However, if none of those times work, Hansen said he can be flexible.
“The goal is to be available to people all day,” he said.
The gym also runs free community workouts and seminars on Saturdays. Those are announced on the HansenAthletics Facebook page.
Clients can book their times via an online scheduler, and there are no more than five people in the gym at a time.
One-on-one sessions are $50 to $60 each time depending on who your trainer is. You can book semi-private sessions with two to four people for $25 to $40 per session.
Hansen acknowledges that the one-on-one sessions are a big investment; however, he says, if you have the funds, the payoff is worth it.
He said some of the transformations he’s seen have been remarkable.
“What we’ve seen so far even with our high school athletes is the parents, they’re like, ‘They’re getting better, which is awesome, but just their confidence in what they’re doing, it filters and bleeds out into everything,’” Hansen said.
He added, “We’re not screaming at them, we’re not yelling at them. We’re educating them and explaining to them why it’s this way and it kind of safeguards them, too, for movement that they’re doing at their high school workouts or if they end up going to college. As an athlete or not, they’re able to step into whatever setting they’re put into and still stay healthy, still stay fit and, especially the females, stay strong."
Hansen said some of the biggest changes have been with high school-aged girls.
“A lot of females who come in here, especially the high school girls, as soon as they start getting stronger and they realize they’re capable of lifting heavy weights, or they’re getting better and consistently they can see it, that confidence ensues into everything else that they do,” he said.
Once clients complete 10 one-on-one sessions or pass an advanced movement assessment, they can switch to an open gym format for $150 per month.
“Then they can come in while we’re in here and be more autonomous and train on their own, but they’ve been onboarded so that they move the way that we want them to move,” Hansen said. “That gives people an option at a lower price point to also take their training into their own hands but still have that guidance. Again, there’s no more than four of five people in here, so even if I’m working with someone and I see one of my open gym members, like, ‘Hey, maybe you shouldn’t do that.’ So there’s still probably more coaching than what you would think.”
Even with the larger new physical location, most of HansenAthletics’ clientele is online. Hansen wants to meet people where they’re at — both financially and physically.
With the online option, people can take their personalized program from HansenAthletics and go to a gym of their choosing to work out. The app has videos of every movement (and most of those are made by the crew at HansenAthletics) so clients know what to do.
“I write their training, so they know they feel can empowered when they go to the gym. They know exactly what they need to do,” Hansen said. “They know it’s structured and has video demonstrations and they can ask me questions at any time. We’ve combined our ability to do online with our physical location. So if somebody comes in here and can’t invest in one-on-ones at that time … this gives us an option to work with people that maybe the price point needs to be around 50 bucks a month rather than paying for one-on-ones every week.”
Remote programs start at $47 per month for team training and $199 per month for individual training. The individual training includes video check-ins with your coach, a comprehensive remote assessment, a custom-built program, weekly program modifications based on performance, and lifestyle and nutrition guidance. HansenAthletics also has a remote option for Idaho State University students that is $27 per month.
“It’s not as great as in person,” Hansen said of the remote training, “but there’s video demonstrations of every movement. They can message me at any time and I’ll answer."
A PERFORMANCE-BASED APPROACH
Hansen described his workout approach as being “performance based.”
“We don’t use a lot of machines, so everything is very functional movement,” he said. “We are doing primal movements that you would see outside of the gym. So our goal here is not necessarily to make you the best at lifting weights or in the gym. What I want to see is a carryover from what you’re doing in here to either sport, your life, whether that’s just picking up kids, going on hikes. … So we really emphasize good movement because I want them to take what they’re learning here and have it naturally be displayed outside of the gym where it matters the most.”
The workout technique is based on the seven fundamental human movements: pushing, pulling, squatting, lunging, hinging, rotating and walking.
“We want to create efficiency in these movements because ... basically every movement that you make outside of the gym is a combination of these patterns, including rotation,” Hansen said. “So if we can get you really efficient in those seven movement patterns, then when you go move outside of the gym and you go to combine all these different movements into what we call athleticism or good movement, it’s very natural and you’re doing it in a way that’s going to carry over to not only great movement, but a pain-free life, the ability to keep moving for as long as you can.”
Hansen said the gym looks kind of like a CrossFit gym, but unlike CrossFit, each person has a different set of reps based on their goals, and more complex movements like squats and deadlifts are never timed.
“If you’re doing something complex with a barbell or strength work or something like that, there’s no urgency about doing it quickly; it’s about doing it correctly,” he said.
Because of the way the workouts are structured, Hansen said he’s never had anyone leave with an injury.
“We haven’t had any injuries, never had anyone leave from pain, and we’ve been able to fix a lot of people who come in with injuries or pain,” he said. “I’m very proud of how well we do with that.”
INVOLVED IN COMMUNITY
Hansen said he wants to help as many people as possible. That’s why he does the remote training and keeps the gym’s social media pages active. He also writes a weekly column for the Idaho State Journal.
In addition to that, he works with local high school teams and teams across the United States to create structured strength and conditioning programs for their athletes during the summer months.
“A lot of the coaches are just sport coaches and they understand they don’t have a background in strength and conditioning because it’s a whole different kind of beast,” Hansen said. “... It allows the coaches to still be autonomous and in charge of their team rather than having to bring us in and pay us a bunch of money, but they have the tools and the resources and the workouts and the ability to ask us at any time. They’ll come in and we’ll teach them in here and then say, ‘Go teach this to your athletes.’ We’re trying to empower the coaches of high schools who don’t have a background in strength and conditioning with as much as we can so they can implement that.”
Hansen has also teamed up with local police and fire departments and is working to create plans to improve the health and wellness of those departments’ employees, and he helped Idaho Central Credit Union with 12-week challenges for their employees.
“We have the ability for anybody to work with us: team, organization, individual,” Hansen said. “I want to be accessible to anyone.”
For more information about HansenAthletics and to sign up for training, visit hansenathletics.com.