Where All Training is Personal
By Jessica Johnson
To Sunita Bancroft, the owner of The Body Shop, all good training is personal. Together with her “right-hand” Debbie, who runs the administrative side of the business, Sunita Bancroft has been offering one-on-one personal training as well as small group fitness classes at the Body Shop in Soquel since 2010. Bancroft began working as a certified personal trainer in 2005 when she opened her first studio – Body by Sunita – out of her home. Eventually the business grew too big for that space and she moved to her current location in Soquel Village.
Bancroft is a big believer in the power of regular exercise, “the clients who come consistently are the one who are the healthiest,” she said. Many of her clients have been with her for years. In fact, she has one who has been with her for 12 years.
“What I try to do here is make it feel very normal,” she explained. “When you come out of here you just got a good workout and you might even want a tiny bit more. To me that’s a good thing, not a bad thing. I think it’s bad when every time you work out you’re sore and completely wasted. If you are feeling that every time, then you are working out in an environment where you can get hurt.”
Bancroft takes a holistic approach to addressing the aches and pains associated with the aging body. “A lot of the things we have done over and over – like commuting over the hill every day for 20 years – have hurt us,” she said. She explained that the daily commute could lead to tight calves and hamstrings, sore shoulders, and back problems.
The Body Shop offers a cozy welcoming environment, the antithesis of a “big gym” atmosphere, and the fit and energetic Bancroft puts the personal in every one of her classes. Bancroft is driven to provide a safe environment for her students believing that if they feel safe and motivated they will be consistent in their workouts. “I really try to honor my clients and keep the class size controlled,” she said.
Her carefully curated small group classes offer a circuit style approach to training which has her clients constantly on the move. As each student begins a new exercise, Bancroft makes sure individual needs are addressed. She checks in with one student, making sure she is lifting properly then moves on to talk to another about their back, or shoulder, or knees.
Bancroft also offers popular one-on-one 30 minute sessions, “I find they are a more efficient use of training time and an economical way to get a private session in,” she explained. One-on- one sessions allow her to customize the workout to specifically address the client’s needs. And, when Bancroft says private she means it, “Nobody else is here [during a private session]. It’s not like at other facilities where there will be people working out in the same room. That sets me apart.”
Another thing that sets Bancroft apart from other trainers is her attitude. Over the years, Bancroft has refined her philosophy toward exercise and consequently the attitudes of her clients. “Maybe we need to be a little more realistic about how we want to look,” she said. “I think we have lost touch with what a healthy body is.”
Bancroft is a big believer in being realistic about our human nature as well, encouraging her clients to be honest about their lifestyles and expectations. “You know, you may “fail” today, but get right back up tomorrow,” she said. “Learning to honor the body that you have and have it be its healthiest is a beautiful thing!”
The Body Shop Fitness Studio is located at 4641 Soquel Drive on the corner of Porter and Soquel Drive. Call 831-475-2800 or go to www.thebodyshopfitnessstudio.com for class information and schedules.