Bradenton’s newest boutique fitness studio, , is on a mission to provide a diverse selection of high caliber fitness programs rivaling those of Bradenton’s bigger gyms, but in what owner Grenita “Green” Bolan says is a more intimate and drama-free setting.
Bolan has an extensive history in personal training, having worked at big name gyms all over Bradenton such as Lifestyle Family Fitness, Shapes and City Fitness, whose size, she said, makes it difficult for instructors to focus on their clients.
“Once big gyms get your money, they often tend to lose sight of you,” Bolan said. “This studio caters to a different population. Some people prefer those bigger gyms where they can work out on all the machines, but this is a much more intimate setting.”
Although Green G Fitness Studio caters to men and women of all ages, Bolan said that her target audience is mature women. She shared an anecdote about one of her clients, an 81 year old woman who fell in her home and was unable to get up for hours because she lacked the strength.
“I get more out of this than I did working at the bigger gyms because I can see the changes in people and know when I’m helping," she said. "Just seeing her transformation and knowing that she gained the strength to take care of herself if she falls again – that’s a very rewarding feeling.”
Bolan opened the Saddle Creek Plaza fitness studio on April 2 after purchasing the space formerly known as . In just three weeks, Bolan gutted and remodeled the entire studio to include an area for strength training, a spacious room for dance and cardio classes, and a private area for PNF stretching.
Although she has worked locally as a certified personal trainer for the better part of a decade, Bolan’s background in fitness extends beyond the gym. Those who had their eyes glued to MTV before internet killed the video star may have caught a glimpse of Bolan in her former career – as a backup dancer for Top 40 chart toppers.
Bolan, who is trained in ballroom, African, tap, jazz and hip-hop dancing, said that she lived a “double life” of sorts while she worked her way through college as a backup dancer for some of the biggest names in popular music at the time – although she remains tight-lipped about which musicians, specifically, she worked alongside, explaining that once people find out, “it’s all they want to talk about.”
Bolan said she started her career at a county fair in her hometown in New York, toured the country as a backup dancer, and spent time living across the pond in places like England and Ireland, but declared Bradenton her home in 1992.
“I admit that sometimes I miss touring. There is nothing like it," she said. "It can be isolating, though, because you never get to be around your friends or family. I have two boys now and I couldn’t be away from them for that long. I also just get more out of what I’m doing now – helping other people.”
Bolan went on to teach at the Sarasota Ballet and currently brings her passion for dance into her own fitness studio. The class rotation at Green G Fitness Studio currently has a heavy helping of dance-oriented classes including Zumba and Dance Party, which her website describes as an “addictive fusion of the latest dance styles and hottest new sounds [that] puts the emphasis as much on having fun as on breaking a sweat.”
In addition to dance-themed workouts, other classes at Green G Fitness Studio include cardio kickboxing, core conditioning, power stretching, P.Y.T. (pilates, yoga and tai chi), TRX suspension training and a specialty Body Envy Boot Camp. A full schedule of classes is available on the Green G Fitness Studio website.
Noting a lack of children’s fitness programs, Bolan has also arranged to host classes for kids ages 6-14 at least twice a week during the summer. Although she has yet to finalize the schedule, Bolan plans to host at least one midweek evening class and one that takes place early in the morning on Saturdays.
“When I was in school, P.E. was mandatory. Now it’s basically optional and childhood obesity is becoming a problem. Unless you go to the Y, there really aren’t any fitness programs for kids,” Bolan said.
She explained that the children’s fitness program will focus on a mixture of cardio and strength training, utilizing rubber bands for resistance training rather than weights because young children should not use weights.
Those seeking the hustle and bustle and grunting and clanking of big-name corporate gyms may overlook Green G Fitness Studio. However, for those seeking a one-on-one or small group workout experience that breaks a sweat and packs a hearty punch, Green G may very well be just the place to be.