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Gym studio marks 10 years of keeping Ahwatukee fit AFN News Staff


or 10 years, Doug and Tori Thompson have been helping bodies stay in shape for any number of reasons. The personal trainers, owners of the Body Firm Personal Training Studio at 3636 E. Ray Road, Ahwatukee, see clients lose weight and then maintain their new look, learn proper exercise techniques, maintain fitness, prevent injury or recover from one, prepare for marathons and other competitions and even improve their golf game. Having withstood the challenges that can sink – and have sunk – any number of small businesses, they feel fortunate “We’ve been fairly fortunate compared with some other businesses. We weathered the market crash. We’ve seen large and small fitness facilities open and close, including indoor boot camps, big box gyms and those created for fitness fads,” Doug said. “We just continue to provide an excellent product,” he added. “Our business and personal training systems are consistent. You will see us – the owners – working side-by-side with staff.” Tori said their business aims to “deliver what we promised to our clients. Followthrough is very important to us and our staff.” The Ahwatukee couple has lived in the Valley most of their lives. He received his degree in exercise physiology from Arizona State University. They are so committed to fitness that even their daughter has inherited a passion for it. “We’re just like many other parents who juggle work and after-school activities and

(Special to AFN)

Doug and Tori Thompson are marking a decade of keeping Ahwatukee residents in shape at their Body Firm Personal Training Studio on East Ray Road.

sports schedules for their children,” said Tori. Collectively, the duo shares more than 40 years of working in the fitness industry and met while working at the now-defunct Foothills Athletic Club. Doug, who was an independent contractor for that club, said he and his wife created The Body Firm partly because he had developed a base of personal training clients. “It just seemed to be the right next step in my life to open The Body Firm,” he said, noting the center closed six months later after his departure. “I have the privilege of still training clients who have trusted me with their fitness for more than 20 years. I think that is a pretty incredible compliment,” he boasted. The Thompsons saw their business grow

and, as a result, move into a larger space nearly four years ago. In addition to a larger studio, they added equipment and staff. “Our staff is amazing,” said Doug. “Each of our trainers are certified through one of the nation’s top personal training programs. We meet frequently to discuss many topics relevant to our business, including technique and proper form, equipment, modifications, nutrition and customer service. “Although we have fun, we take what we do very seriously,” he said, attributing their retention of 30 percent of their client base from five years ago or longer to their focus on results. Though they both train clients, they also split some of duties of the business. “We know that not all couples could work together, and we feel very blessed

that we can and feel we make a great team. We know our strengths and weaknesses,” said Tori. While Doug creates personalized programs for each client, Tori handles marketing and sales. “We’re supportive of each other’s ideas, and our input is just that – not criticism. Doug is also a certified Titleist fitness instructor, which allows him to help people who are looking to be more fit to play golf while reducing injury,” said Tori. Their small boutique studio also tries to support the community in a variety of ways, such as sponsoring toy and blood drives and adopting a stretch of Chandler Boulevard to keep clean. “We believe in more than treating our clients well. We also want to treat our entire community well and help it be a better place to live, raise families and conduct business,” Doug said, adding: “Ahwatukee is our home, too. It’s important that we give back to the community that continues to support us.” The Body Firm also sponsors local high school sports teams, donating proceeds of sales of the studio’s T-shirts to various nonprofit organizations. And while they avoid fads and one-sizefits-all fitness programs, they stay atop the big changes in their industry. “We’ll concentrate on suitable exercise for each individual based on their level of fitness, injuries and limitations,” Doug said, adding: “It all goes back to our mission, which is to provide each of our clients with the most proven methods to burn body fat, gain lean muscle and a better quality of life at any age size or ability level.” Information: thebodyfirmaz.com

Price Corridor keeping Chandler on high-tech highway BY WAYNE SCHUTSKY AFN Staff Writer


etween 1976 and 1987, the focus of Chandler’s economy evolved from cotton to the electronics manufacturing industry that employed 70 percent

of the city’s workforce. That shift toward tech has only intensified in the ensuing 30 years as Chandler’s economy has become increasingly reliant on microchips. And no area better exemplifies the city’s economic evolution than the Price Cor-

ridor, the stretch of land that is home to technology companies like Intel, Orbital ATK and PayPal. Despite the presence of those heavy hitters, much of the land in the corridor still betrays the city’s agricultural past. Acres upon acres of fading former cotton fields

run up against new corporate campuses. That landscape is rapidly changing, though. And if market projections play out, those open fields will become much less See

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