‘Train together, stay together” seems to be the motto at ProSwim Fitness. The wet/dry personal training studio in Mount Laurel, N.J., is family-run, and “it’s definitely a strength,” according to Bernie Finch (pictured, right). “We treat each client as a family member. We have similar goals.”
Indeed, they do. The family matriarch, Patti Ann (center), is a ProSwim personal trainer who has completed five marathons and several triathlons. Their son, Marty (left), also a trainer, competes in survival runs and obstacle courses. Bernie himself has a long coaching and competition background.
A Twofer of a Business Plan
“We wanted to open a personal training studio,” Bernie recalls, but their wet/dry training niche wasn’t the original plan. “When we saw the Endless Pools [at a triathlon expo], I thought, ‘we should add something unique.’ We saw how they worked and the video analysis. We saw such a great advantage.”
The clincher may have been the Endless Pools Underwater Treadmill. “That’s awesome for training and for people who want to take the pounding off their body,” he thought then. That helps give ProSwim Fitness a competitive versatility in their pool training options.
On the dry land side, ProSwim offers programs for a broad range of clients and goals: traditional Strength Training; Functional Movement Training, which uses body weight exercises to develop strength and flexibility; the increasingly popular High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT); and their own CrossFit-style Circuit of the Day (COD) and group classes.
Since opening their 6,000-square-foot facility last summer, the Finches have seen many triathletes and competitive swimmers come through their doors. They’ve also served clients for weight loss, physical therapy, and learn-to-swim classes for all ages.
For the swimmers and triathletes, the underwater video analysis, made possible by in-place swimming, has clearly been making an impact. “Having that visual cue gets them to see the difference” between their current stroke and a faster, more efficient stroke.
Bernie’s favorite moment with any client: “Seeing the satisfaction on their faces as they have that ‘Aha!’ moment.” He cites many success stories since their 2015 opening.
- Several high school swimmers enrolled in ProSwim’s introductory wet/dry training package. The trainers quickly identified several areas for improvement, from ankles to clavicle. “The difference was staggering,” Bernie attests. “You could see marked improvement in body position and stroke mechanics.”
- A man who “couldn’t swim at all” promised his sister that he’d compete in a triathlon with her just three months later. The ProSwim team helped him develop his skills, from zero to hero; he successfully completed that triathlon in December!
- The girls swim team from nearby Lenape High School suffered a serious bus accident en route to their first meet of the season. With neck injuries and concussions among the setbacks, several of them used ProSwim’s Endless Pools for rehab, their first time back in the water. “To see smiles, knowing they could get back in the water” gave Bernie the most satisfaction.
“The feedback has been awesome,” he reports happily.
The Right Pool for the Job
The Finches explored other pool vendors before settling on Endless Pools. Two factors determined their decision.
“Endless Pools’ water flow is so similar to the way it feels when you’re swimming,” Bernie observes. “HydroWorx [another manufacturer of jetted pool systems] doesn’t duplicate the way a swimmer feels. And the cost! They’re much more expensive” than Endless Pools.
With the lower per-model cost, they could invest in multiple pools: a Performance Endless Pool, a Dual Propulsion model, and a 10’ exercise spa, with a total of three Underwater Treadmills. “We wanted to target swimming in a comfortable, private environment.”
With no more than two people to a pool at any given time, that’s a key differentiator. It helps create the welcoming, family atmosphere that the Finches had to have in ProSwim Fitness.