As a former University of Washington sprinter, Amber French has always had a passion for health and fitness.
Now, French is bringing her passions to Puyallup’s latest gym, Vie Athletics.
As founder of Vie, French says her goal of her women-only gym is for members to improve the way they view themselves and other women.
“It allows them to see themselves as strong and capable,” she said. “With a strong and dependable community behind them.”
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Since opening the doors to women of all ages and abilities on Dec. 31, the fitness center has upward of 70 members as of last week.
We have all ages, from 14 (years old) to women in their 60s, and all sizes. We cater to all different levels of fitness.
Amber French, owner
“We have all ages, from 14 (years old) to women in their 60s, and all sizes,” French said. “We cater to all different levels of fitness.”
Walking into Vie Athletics, you won’t find treadmills and weight machines like most gyms, as Vie is solely class-based, using a mix of cardio, free weights and body weights, focusing on increasing strength and mobility.
French also stressed her and her team of strength coaches prepare their classes with pre-modifications for any members with injury or mobility issues.
You also won’t find measuring tapes or scales inside Vie’s four walls: The gym’s motto is all about progressing naturally to live a fuller life.
“We have four different levels for each workout. Newbie, rookie, seasoned and pro,” French said. “We do hard things here at Vie, so we can go out and live full and rich lives outside of here.”
French’s staff is a combination of strength coaches and a yoga instructor, each with diverse but athletic backgrounds.
“I played soccer in high school, and have always been really active,” said strength coach Jensen Finley, a Puyallup native. “I’m a certified personal trainer, but I’m really outdoorsy.”
For French’s other strength coach, Kathryn Burke, Vie is following her longtime passion.
“I studied vocal performance at Pacific Lutheran University, but fitness and health have always been something I’m passionate about,” she said.
Heidi Stockbauer is the facility’s yoga instructor, who provides additional yoga classes at no additional charge to members.
Since opening up her small business in her hometown of Puyallup, French says her hard work is well worth it.
“It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but it brings the best rewards,” she said. “In both the good and the bad, you learn from the experiences. I love promoting health and positivity. I wouldn’t change anything.”
Both Burke and Finley agreed that seeing the relationships built between their members is the best part of their new roles as Vie Athletics strength coaches.
“It’s such a great thing to see the girls coming in and making new friends,” Finley said.
“The relationship-building really is my favorite part,” Burke added. “After class you’ll see the girls walking over to Anthem together to grab coffee. It’s really cool to see friendships built in our classes.”
While her business promotes community amongst women from all walks of life, French says she has felt supported beyond the four walls of her business located at 113 W Meeker in Puyallup.
“The community is so supportive, it just felt right,” she said. “We’ve received so much love and support from the community.”
A membership at Vie Athletics is $99, and is month to month and includes childcare. Members can attend an unlimited number of classes and yoga. Vie members will also be able to attend events outside of the gym.
Where: 113 W Meeker in downtown Puyallup
For more info: Call 253-961-9539