For today’s Q&A with a local business owner, we hear from Suzanne Vining of Moda Training. The East Avenue studio reopened last week. Here’s our exchange.
New Canaanite: What was the inspiration behind Moda Training and when did you open?
Suzanne Vining: I have worked within the fitness industry for close to 20 years and had enough of the “one size fits all” mentality and dirty shared equipment. I wanted a cleaner, brighter, better way of training clients. Moda Training is not a gym, but a boutique studio that focuses on a more modern approach to clients. One client and one trainer, by appointment only, makes Moda the safest and cleanest option out there. Moda regularly encourages open air training at local parks, clients homes or in their backyards. I train people from New Canaan to Bedford, along with several TV personalities that prefer a cleaner, more private environment with options.
I assume you were allowed to reopen your physical location as part of the June 17 “phase 2” that includes fitness centers, is that right? What has it been like for you to launch a new business only to have the COVID-19 virus pandemic hit?
Moda re-opened June 17th, and has had a storefront at 51 East Avenue for one year. When COVID-19 hit, I had to become very creative. I offered Zoom training and outdoor training exclusively, which people actually love. Many studies have shown that being outside improves mental health, boosts immunity and enhances productivity and focus. We all spend way too much time in front of the screen or sitting too much, training outside will boost your energy and increase happiness.
Tell me about “touchless training” and your clients’ response to it.
“Touchless training” is instructing or social distancing to further protect my clients. Even at my studio, it is easy for me to social distance and give clients the encouragement and guidance they need. Cueing, motivating, correcting is easy for me to do from a distance and helps my clients feel more comfortable. Also, I disinfect all equipment in front of the client and don’t touch anything during our session.
New Canaanites have many local fitness options. What are you offering that makes you stand out?
There are many fitness options for New Canaanites to choose from, which is great. I have over 8 National certifications which gives my clients endless variety to choose from and countless ways to challenge them in a private, safer environment—from TRX, to kickboxing to meditation and being a Pink Ribbon Trainer. I know not everyone wants Bootcamp style training, especially beginners or people with chronic injuries. My experience makes me the best candidate to help motivate and encourage my clients, that vary in ages from 19 to 94. It is never too late to change your life through fitness.
We see a lot on social media bout people lazing about the house during the public health emergency. What is your message to locals who may be neglecting their health? What’s your message for New Canaanites who may not know about Moda?
Your health is the most important thing you can invest in. Our lives have been interrupted the past few months, and the changes in our world are stressful for everyone. It is important to be kind to ourselves and to get back to moving again—safely.