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Evolution Fitness

by Amanda Hamm Hengel

Thinking Outside the Box: Evolution Fitness offers a unique approach to getting in shape.

If Chris Rohr has any regret about joining Evolution Fitness in Cherry Hill, it’s that she didn’t do it sooner. After struggling with her weight following the birth of her fourth child—she was up to 225 pounds despite multiple trips to the gym each week, weighing more than she did when she was nine months pregnant—she was intimidated to join a gym that she thought was too hardcore for her. As it turns out, she had no reason to be intimidated at all.

“After about a month, I don’t know the poundage that came off, but I was moving better, I was feeling better, and I was happier. It just worked,” she says. “I didn’t feel beaten down, and I felt like I could do what they presented. Each routine was a challenge, and it took a while for me to feel comfortable, but it worked.”

What was different for Rohr at Evolution Fitness than the other gyms she had been a member of is its approach to fitness. Instead of being considered just a “gym,” co-owner David Duzenski says Evolution Fitness is more of a training facility. “With the big, standard box gyms, people go in and do cardio for 10-20 minutes and maybe lift some weights, but they’re really not quite sure what to do,” he says. “It’s like when I’m having a problem with the plumbing in my house. I would call a plumber to help me out, not try and do it on my own. We don’t think members are supposed to know what they’re doing when they come into the gym. We’re supposed to educate them in their training.”

As a training facility, instead of having its members work out alone, Evolution Fitness incorporates a model of keeping people together and working in groups. “People adhere to programs better in groups, and they get better results,” Duzenski says. “We actually call everyone here team members, even us coaches.”

While its model may sound similar to another fitness craze that has been making the news these days, what sets Evolution Fitness apart is its commitment to providing safe, individualized programs for each and every member. “There’s no treadmill here, there’s no machines, it’s all functional training; but what we don’t do is expect everyone to come in and do the same workout,” Duzenski says. “Everyone has their exercise plan. No one’s workouts are exactly the same.”

To develop the individualized programs, the first time a person comes into the facility he or she meets with the trainers, also known as coaches, and talks about his or her goals. Then there is a health history review and a first appointment is scheduled. During the first appointment, a Functional Movement Screening (FMS)/Body Blueprint assessment is performed. The FMS is a tool Evolution Fitness utilizes to screen for any imbalances or asymmetries in members’ bodies and movement patterns. It is a nationally recognized tool utilized by many fitness professionals and organizations including the NFL. Once a member is screened, the information is sent to the Evolution Fitness program design department, where the scientifically designed, individualized exercise program is developed. “Members meet in a semi-private setting, with one coach for anywhere from one to three people, all working their own program,” explains co-owner Brian Kane. “The programs are progressive in nature, and are broken up into 10, six-week phases.”

Evolution Fitness offers several different training packages for members to take advantage of, including a one-month trial membership. All memberships include access to their dynamic and functional group coaching classes, as well. “Members can come in and do their program on their own, too,” co-owner Danielle Kane adds.

“They don’t necessarily have to set up a time to train with a fitness coach. But coaches are always available, and members always have a plan. They don’t just come in here and do workouts; they follow a program that will get them results.”

For the past two years, Evolution Fitness has helped people find fitness success in Cherry Hill’s Tuscany Marketplace. It will soon be moving to a new location in the Marketplace, a spot that will offer them double the workout space they currently have, not to mention a bigger area for their shake bar, a perk that even the general public can take advantage of. “We’ll only be a couple doors down from where we are right now, and we’re hoping to be in there by the end of October,” says co-owner Helena Duzenski. Also available at their new facility will be the best-selling book, Get with the Program, in which the Duzenskis and Kanes co-authored a chapter. “Our chapter is called ‘The Evolution of the New You,’” Helena Duzenski adds, noting the book is also available on Amazon. “It discusses the seven elements that someone needs to make a lifestyle change and have long-term success. We actually profile Chris [Rohr] in the book.”

Speaking of Rohr, today, 17 months after she first joined, she has gone from wearing size 18/20 to 10/12, and couldn’t be happier with how Evolution Fitness has changed her life. “I’m still not where I’m hoping to be, but I am healthy,” Rohr says.

“To make lifestyle changes and to make real progress, it doesn’t happen quickly. It’s a gradual, everyday reshaping of yourself. That’s what they promote. It works, it really does.”

Evolution Fitness
1990 Route 70, Cherry Hill
(856) 751-1300

Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family Magazine, Volume 4, Issue 8 (October, 2013).
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