Suburban Fitness Studio Combines Three Workouts in One


Whether you take group fitness classes at a boutique studio or at a gym, you can generally count on one thing: your class will focus on one workout. While some classes combine cardiovascular work with strength training, classes often specialize in one form of exercise. SPENGA, a studio located in south suburban Mokena, seeks to buck this trend, making sure its clients cover three aspects of fitness in one 60-minute class.

“We’ve been in the fitness industry for a really long time and done just about every workout under the sun,” SPENGA co-founder and vice president of operations Heather Ruff says of her and co-founder and vice president of fitness Amy King’s experience. “We knew there was a void, because we weren’t getting everything we wanted in one place.”

To address that, Ruff and King created SPENGA, which combines spinning (SP), strength training (EN) and yoga (GA) in each class to provide participants with cardio, strength and flexibility training all in one workout.

“You don’t have to go to yoga for an hour, meet with a trainer and then go to a gym,” Ruff says. “It’s all under one roof.”

SPENGA, which opened its doors in 2015, divides classes into 20-minute segments and uses multidisciplinary instructors who can teach all three sections of the class.

“Our trainers are just so passionate about those three components of fitness and know how important they are, and it really shows when they teach a session,” King says. “Our trainers have the same belief: no one thing is going to get somebody fit. It’s complicated. You need cardio, strength and flexibility.”

King describes SPENGA classes as “you vs. you,” where participants focus on their abilities rather than competing against others.

“Once [someone] joins, we take them through a test called the ‘sweet spot test,’ where we put them through a test to find their sweet spot [power threshold] on the bike,” Ruff says. “Everyone’s number is different based on their abilities, but they have a baseline and a limit, and we coach them off that. On power intervals we go over the sweet spot, or for endurance we stay below the sweet spot, so everybody’s got a real number and something to improve upon.”

SPENGA also prides itself on creating a community among its clients. It has hosted multiple events over the past months, including a trunk show with Lululemon and a date night session where members could bring their significant other to experience a workout.

“We like to create that culture, that community of fitness,” King says. “It’s not just a place where you go in and workout for an hour. We want people to be engaged in fitness and create a lifestyle.”

Though the studio currently has one location in Mokena, it plans to expand throughout the area and country this year, with a Downers Grove location currently under construction and hopes to add a Naperville location this summer.

“We signed two five-store deals, one in Chicago and one in North Carolina,” Scott Nichols, senior vice president of franchise development, says. “…The response has been amazing. With very little advertising and very little awareness of who we are, the response has been tremendous.”

You can learn more about SPENGA, see its class schedule and inquire about franchising opportunities online.