Balanced Fitness & Health is celebrating its one-year anniversary in La Jolla on May 7.
Owner Rodrigo Iglesias, formerly in the restaurant business, came to a realization several years ago that set him on a new career course.
“In my former life I used to own nightclubs, bars, and restaurants,” said Iglesias noting that, six years ago, he did the 12-mile swim across Lake Tahoe. “I had a life epiphany, deciding I wanted to get back into fitness,” he said. “Doing that swim you come to such fitness fatigue: It’s almost a clarifying moment. I just wasn’t as happy anymore. So I had to leave.”
There was a place Iglesias had been working out in Downtown San Diego. “The owner was actually selling it, so I went ahead and bought it,” Iglesias said. “This is our second location.”
Annalena Dickman, marketing and events coordinator for Balance came to San Diego from Oklahoma in 2020 and pounded the pavement for months looking for a job. “I started calling places and I called Balance and they were like, ‘Great, we’ll give you a try,’” she said. “I just love California and I’m here to stay.”
Dickman likes the ambiance of Balance. “It’s got a different type of feel, not corporate, it’s a family atmosphere,” she said. “Everyone’s a name, not a number here, and I really love that.”
Located at 7680 Girard Ave., in a two-level space most recently inhabited by 24 Hour Fitness, Balanced Fitness & Health La Jolla offers a plethora of services including personal training, athletic performance, fitness classes, physical therapy, muscle building, injury rehabilitation, weight loss, and nutrition.
“We are your go-to gym in La Jolla that helps you achieve real results for your real goals with a wide array of gym offerings,” says the company’s website at balancedfitnesshealthljca.com. “Whether you want to rehabilitate from an injury, receive professional personal training, or get into shape through classes in yoga, spin, Pilates, body sculpting, and more, you’ve come to the right place. We’re proud to offer small-group training that increases attention to the individual in a small-group setting.”
Iglesias spoke about Balance’s business philosophy.
“I felt like gyms had lacked customer services and had become more about sales,” he said. “You sign up, and they forget about you. Everything’s about a sales platform. So we created something where it was very intimate, where we don’t forget about people. We continue to work on their goals. We developed a boutique-style where all the resources are there. We wanted to make it easy for people.”
Iglesias credits his past experience in the restaurant industry for allowing him to successfully reshape his fitness business model. “We don’t look at ourselves as owners-operators. We all do the work,” he said. “I always call it the ‘Cheers’ of fitness, where everybody knows your name. The whole concept of Balance is that it’s right in front of you. We wanted to teach a lifestyle where less is more. Let’s work on the long life goals, as opposed to the three-month standards that are sold nowadays.”
How are Iglesias and Dickman going to be celebrating Balance’s one-year anniversary?
“It’s going to be a lot of in-your-face, dressed up in a gorilla suit,” he said about promotions, adding most of his clientele come from La Jolla Village, which has a somewhat older demographic.
“Walking around La Jolla,” she answered. “In May we’re going to be doing things. We’re spreading the word. We want to invite everyone in.”