'It's about helping people': Longtime community member opens fitness studio in Albert Lea – Albert Lea Tribune

Title: ‘Empowering the Community’: Long-time Resident Opens Fitness Studio in Albert Lea

Published: July 1, 2024

Bill Villarreal, a long-time community member of Albert Lea, has recently opened his own fitness center, Bill’s Gym. The new studio specializes in one-on-one and small group exercise instruction, aiming to help people of all ages learn proper exercise techniques.

Villarreal, 69, was born and raised in Albert Lea. He served in the military for six years and then worked as a sheriff’s deputy and city police officer for nearly 30 years. He also spent time working as a school resources officer at the high school.

Since 1985, Villarreal has been a fitness instructor. He started his career at the Albert Lea Family YMCA, where he worked as an instructor and director. He also has experience running a fitness club in Rochester.

Villarreal believes that exercise training is not rocket science, and he has trained numerous people over the years. Despite being at an age when he could retire, Villarreal decided to open his own exercise studio, Bill’s Gym. He offers one-on-one training as well as small group sessions for four people or fewer. This allows him to give each client personalized attention while helping them improve their workouts.

According to Villarreal, there are two main advantages to small group workouts. First, it keeps the cost of training sessions affordable. Second, people are more motivated when others are around, creating a competitive edge.

Villarreal trains people of all ages and abilities, including student athletes and adults recovering from injuries or illnesses. He is also certified as a corrective exercise specialist.

Opening his own business has presented challenges for Villarreal, such as finding a work-life balance and learning the ins and outs of running a business. However, he remains enthusiastic about his work, stating, “Life is good. It’s about helping people.”

Currently located at 2351 Crossroads Boulevard, Bill’s Gym will soon move to a new studio on the second floor of The Broadway once construction is complete. This move will provide easier access for people to the facility.

Villarreal expressed his respect for other gyms in the area, such as the YMCA, and emphasized that opening his own space is his way of offering additional help to people on their health journeys, whether they prefer smaller settings or need extra assistance.

Interested individuals are encouraged to visit Bill’s Gym’s Facebook page, stop by the studio, or call Villarreal at 507-391-2394 for more information.

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