By Kayla Anderson
On the morning of December 21, the new D1 Training facility on 3005 N. McCarran Boulevard had hosted two boot camp classes and a strength training class all before 9 a.m.. The 5 a.m. boot camp was packed with men, the 7 a.m. class full of women, and the strength training class had a few people in between. It shows that on the inaugural day of its opening that the drive for Sparks residents to become “fitter, faster, stronger” going into the new year is already starting to gain momentum.
The new Sparks D1 Training facility is owned by Reno resident and former elementary school teacher Jason King and fitness magnate Shaun Wardle. D1 Training was originally founded in 2001 by former NFL football player Will Bartholomew and has 50 locations open in 26 states but this one in Sparks is the first D1 Training in Nevada.
“We’re up to 51 members already. We’ve done some social media advertising since October and have been giving prospective members one-on-one tours of the facility,” King said about D1 Training’s opening day.
As far as the demographic of their members so far, the Sparks D1 Training has about 40 percent youth athletes ages 7-17 and 60 percent males and females.
“We typically see a lot of females with group-based classes. They love it and are excited about something different,” Wardle says. “But men love the boot camp classes, too. I was doing this sprinting movement exercise in Nashville and all the sudden this guy passed me, and my natural reaction was to kick it into high gear,” he adds about how people tend to push each other in the group classes.
“I think [J1 Training’s] biggest strength is the accountability piece. All of our coaches are super energetic and motivational,” King says.
As far as how the pair decided to open a D1 Training facility in Sparks, King says, “I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur and so I started doing some research and I think I came across this in Forbes magazine as one of the top gyms and fastest growing companies in America. As a longtime teacher and coach involved in youth sports, that spoke to me.
“What also drew me in was the emphasis on community and character building. Every class is run by a coach, no one is ever alone,” says King. With a volleyball-playing daughter in high school, King felt like there was no other training facility or program around that could accommodate youth athletes’ needs.
Therefore, King and Wardle decided to join fellow franchisees and owners such as Peyton Manning, Tim Tebow, Von Miller, and Michael Oher to design fitness programs for kids and adults that promotes a team atmosphere to improve both mental and physical wellbeing. Each of the 8-week fitness programs designed for ages 7 and up incorporates a special training philosophy where members reach specific goals week-by-week goals to achieve optimal health.
“D1 Training provides a lifestyle change, both mentally and physically, where the team atmosphere helps keep members motivated and challenged,” said King. “While the treadmill might not care if you’re there, our team at D1 does. We’re pleased to provide a community that will support and motivate members, as well as give youth athletes a place to learn how to train properly to develop their skills,” he adds.
The 6,000 square foot facility features a turf area and NFL-style weight room to use in conjunction with its strength training classes and boot camps. The new Sparks owners believe that what sets D1 Training apart from other gyms is the focus on getting people to move their bodies correctly and build character along with their strength.
“We have twelve words about character up on our wall and our coaches are always referring to that,” King says. For instance, December’s Word-of-the-Month is “selfless”, and the Athlete of the Month acknowledgement is given to whoever best exemplifies the meaning of that month’s word.
“It’s not just about the workout, it’s what it means to them,” King says. He adds that his goals are to open a second location in South Reno and “build the brand and change as many lives as we can in the meantime.”
For more information about D1 Training, visit www.d1sportstraining.com.