Staying In Motion

Carl Sommer

Photo by Josh Cozine

Carl Sommer, owner of In Motion Fitness, has always maintained an active lifestyle. Growing up in upstate New York, Sommer played football and was a member of the wrestling team in high school. He also participated in track and tennis. By the age of 19, he had a business management degree from the State University of New York at Cobleskill—where he continued to stay active in wrestling. Even at such a young age, Sommer already had big visions of opening his own health club. Soon after, he moved to the West Coast and studied exercise physiology at Cal State Long Beach for two years before transferring to Chico State to finish his degree in 1982. Sommer worked as a personal trainer and owned another fitness club in Chico—The Body Shop—before opening In Motion Fitness in 1992. Since then, the facility has expanded, from 19,000 square feet to nearly 125,000 square feet, with plans for even more soon. Check out In Motion Fitness at 1293 E. First Ave., or call 343-5678 for more information.

What changes has the gym seen recently?

Within the last year we opened up the new Sky Room, which is a second-story functional fitness space with state-of-the-art cardio equipment that overlooks the pools. All of he art has murals of tropical ocean scenes, palm trees and kind of a Hollywood vibe. The [outdoor] track opened in late November. It’s an 880-foot loop—one-sixth of a mile—with a Mediterranean art motif, and murals on either side by local artists. We’ve also opened the new 2,500-square-foot Kids in Motion play structure—it’s two-stories, with tire climbs and slides, a zip-line, a cargo net, rock climbing—and the kids are loving it!

What’s your favorite part of your job?

The creative side of it, where you get to dream up the next new project and then go build it. I [also] love just working with the incredible team that I have.

Any plans for the future?

We plan to add 18 different outside exercise stations placed on either side of the track, with weight equipment, cardio equipment, parkour equipment—like warp walls and traverse walls and quad steps, vault walls—and then regular stations for push-ups and sit-ups and monkey bars. They should be rolling out in the next few months and will actually continue past the track and go around the pools and eventually to the new Sky Room. So, as you’re working out in the club, you can go full circle indoor, outdoor; upstairs, downstairs. Do your abs in the southside building; do your back out on the track. Do your shoulders over by the pool, and hit the Sky Room for your cooldown. And then our next big project is we’re looking at having a solar system put in, with carports and on the roof … it will be enough to cover 100 percent of the electricity. It should hopefully start in the next couple months.

Tips for New Year’s resolutioners?

Prioritize frequency and make it a habit. Start with even just 15-minute workouts and choose a club you will like going to.