Grand Avenue West of 580 – January 2015

GRAND AVENUE, WEST OF 580 – January 2015

Hello and a Happy New Year,  Neighbors! Watch this space for monthly news and notes about tasty gems, handy services, art, and changes on Grand Ave., west of 580. – LZ.

The Working Body

A year ago, I was trampled several times at Zumba classes at the 24hr Fitness Center on Webster where I was one of 50 or more attendees. The instructors only briefly explained moves to the crowd and I always felt like I was the only one who did not know what the required moves and steps were. When the music started, I could rarely see; was never guided to be sure that my techniques were right and was often jostled by others who were greedy to claim a piece of my floor space. Worst of all, the number of participants packed into the room meant there was not enough space for me to get any aerobic benefit from the endeavor.

Joerg Chabowski with client
Joerg Chabowski with client

Because the classes were neither fun nor effective, I soon became another New Years’ Resolution dropout. Have you ever been in that circumstance? Have you made a fitness resolution for 2015? If so, the Working Body is different from typical fitness clubs and might better meet your needs.

Current Location
Current Location

Fifteen years ago, Don Lawson and Joerg Chabowski each had clients who were eager to receive more 1-to-1, high quality training or physical rehabilitation support than they could provide at the fitness club where they then worked – or anywhere else in the Bay Area. And they knew other professional practitioners faced the same dilemma of needing a place to offer their professional fitness training services. So Don and Joerg launched The Working Body, a unique fitness and wellness studio concept, at 614 Grand Ave.

At The Working Body, clients have a 1-stop location where they can select from high quality fitness practitioners with different specialties and choose formats that range from individual sessions to participation in very small groups — offered in a sparkling professional setting. Clients can focus on strengthening and conditioning, physical therapy, acupuncture, massage, nutrition, or a whole body approach that integrates several of these. Trainer specialties include both familiar and less commonly known approaches like Pilates, Z-Health, TRX Suspension Training, Qigong, Gyrotonics, Gyrokinesis, and several types of yoga.

Soon, The Working Body will move across and down the street to 399 Grand Ave., on the corner at Staten Ave. The new location has beautiful Spanish style architecture, including a wood beam open ceiling, plenty of windows and skylights, and some onsite parking. The Working Body will continue to offer solo sessions, semi-private sessions capped at 4 people, TRX equipment classes limited to 8 participants, and other classes limited to 10 participants. Because the new location is triple the size of the current space, The Working Body will be able to add several slightly larger, more affordable classes to its repertoire. The added classes may include Pilates, yoga or mat classes for up to 20 participants. But Joerg assures us that class size will never grow to a size that prevents quality, individualized attention to each participant.

New Location
New Location

WorkingBodyPhoto5Following a competitive athletic career as a collegiate decathlete and member of a national-level handball team, Don worked with top trainers to become a strength and conditioning coach who has trained high school and college athletes, individuals, sports teams and future Olympians. Joerg, originally from Germany, studied and danced professionally with Giordano Dance Chicago (a jazz dance company featuring high energy, innovative artistic performances) before moving to the Bay Area. In addition, he holds certificates in sports medicine and Pilates instruction, a black belt in Shaolin Kempo Karate, and is a registered nurse.

From the beginning, part of Don’s and Joerg’s vision included providing other fitness trainers an entrepreneurial ecosystem where they could develop their individual enterprises via networking, mentoring and shared support services. At The Working Body, quality practitioners with a variety of specialties have a professional place to offer their clients 1-to-1 or very small group instruction using state-of-the art equipment while sharing front counter service where they schedule appointments and collect payments.

Trainer Alissa Gibbins
Trainer Alissa Gibbins

If you come to The Working Body this month, you may see me working on Pilates Reformer equipment with Alissa Gibbins to restore full range motion in a knee I injured in August. After that, who knows? Perhaps I will be training for the next Oakland Running Festival 5K, half marathon, or marathon.

Need an added incentive to keep a fitness resolution in 2015? The Working Body is offering a 20% discount on all class packages for 2015 purchased before the Grand Opening at the new location in February, and at least 1 yoga instructor is matching that discount for sessions purchased in January. Drop by to find out who!


The Working Body

Current location:  614 Grand Ave.
New location:       399 Grand Ave., at Staten Ave.
Oakland, CA 94610
(510) 286-8100

Hours: 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. and by appointment



2 responses to “Grand Avenue West of 580 – January 2015”

  1. […] their impending move to a historic building on the corner of Grand and Staten. Here’s that LINK.   LZ’s previous blogs are available in the West of 580 […]

  2. Ken Katz Avatar

    Thanks, LZ, for another stellar report. I’m really looking forward to seeing the interior of the new space. Years back, it was a AAA office and I vaguely remember a restaurant there. It’s really a gorgeous building and am pleased to see that it will be put to good use.