Today we’d like to introduce you to Gen Levy and Kelly Proctor.
The concept of Underground Fitness LA was born in July of 2017 while sitting in a park on a Saturday afternoon. We were brainstorming how we were going to give our clients what they needed without the space to do so, after having just left a different studio. The next morning at 8 am, we held a free class at the same park and more than 30 people showed up, with lots of high-fives and tear-filled hugs. The rest of the week we hosted free pop-up classes at dawn and dusk, and then we met with a local gym who wanted us to take our concept and open it within their walls. After deciding that wasn’t the direction we really wanted to go, we rented out space at local dance studios and watched week after week as our clients returned to us and our classes grew. 9 months later, here we are.
Our clients believed in us so strongly, they asked us to open our own place. One of our clients believed in us and our vision so passionately, she asked to be a part of what we were planning. The vision was simple and very clear – to build our clients their new home, built out of love for them – a space with equipment to support the safe and functional training of our proprietary strength program, an indoor cycling room where competition and front-row-only attitudes do not belong, plus inviting common areas that were designed with the intention of fostering friendships and creating real connections between our clients. We wanted a space with no ego and that welcomed everyone. We worked very, very hard to build that space. On April 2nd, 2018, we opened those doors and, four months later, the two of us still feel that same overwhelming excitement whenever we meet a new face and teach another class. It’s been a really beautiful journey.
Has it been a smooth road?
In some ways, things happened faster and easier than we thought they would. In other ways, things were much more difficult than we anticipated. The sheer number of hours that we work as instructors and business owners is definitely challenging and is usually what people assume is the hardest part. It is definitely difficult teaching 15 classes per week, running personal training sessions, meeting with individual clients, maintaining the studio, working the front desk, stepping in for childcare, programming all of our classes, and managing staff, but when you’re passionate about what you’re doing, that part comes easily. The hardest part has been carving out our place in an already saturated fitness market. There are so many beliefs about what fitness is, and so many people are incredibly opinionated on what works and what doesn’t, that coming in and challenging those things as a new business can be difficult. We’re really thankful that we were able to make our mark in only four months despite it all.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into Underground Fitness LA story. Tell us more about the business.
We have become this hub for people interested in workouts with a small group training feel, where classes are less about showing off your ability and more about really perfecting the quality of what you’re doing. Our strength classes are programmed out months in advance with a very specific progression and very specific goals in mind regardless of the varying ability levels of our clients. The indoor cycling room at our studio was intentionally built to be intimate, where every bike in the room has a bird’s eye view of the instructor and “front row” politics and adoration don’t exist. Our classes won’t appeal to everyone and we’re okay with that. Add onto that the fact that we’ve become a home for the lower back injured, pre and post-natal Mommies, and those with chronic illness, including our large client base who suffer from various auto-immune conditions. Our studio also happens to be home to a relatively large sober community, both AA and NA. The funny part is that we never set out to be these things – they just came to us, and we ended up serving the population we were meant to.
Do you have a lesson or advice you’d like to share with young women just starting out?
Be true to who you are, and do what speaks to your heart… not what speaks to everyone else. Your clients will not only benefit from it but appreciate it beyond what they can express to you. Do not underestimate how far passion and hard work can take you. Experience, education, and natural talent can help you out – but having passion and a willingness to bust your butt every single day is what elevates you to that next level. As a young woman, do not let people tell you no – there is always a way to get the yes, and don’t ever let anyone make you feel less than. They’re going to try, for whatever the reason. Hold your ground, be strong in who you are, and you’ll succeed.
- First class is $10!
- 10 classes for $140 (strength, cycle, and yoga)
- Unlimited Monthly Monthly for $169 (strength, cycle, yoga)
- Address: 12506 Magnolia Boulevard
Valley Village, CA 91423
- Website: www.undergroundfitnessLA.com
- Phone: 818-452-9490
- Email: info@undergroundfitnessLA.com
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/undergroundfitnessLA
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/undergroundfitnessLA
Underground Fitness LA