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Meet Rana Kennedy of Agility Studio in Carlsbad

Today we’d like to introduce you to Rana Kennedy.

Rana, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
20 plus years ago, I was an avid Yogi, a yoga practitioner who was learning to surf with a passion. I loved doing both, a lot, but one day pulled my arm from the shoulder while aggressively paddling for a wave. I soon came to find that I had torn my shoulder labrum, which many surfers and baseball players do as well. I did what I knew at that point, more yoga, which had made it much worse. The surgeon I met with told me I had severe tears all around most likely from an overuse injury. I told him that I was doing yoga 5-6 days per week and he replied that I am overly loose in my joints and need more stability….go to physical therapy and maybe we can avoid surgery. In hind site, it was the best thing that ever happened to me because I began training my body in a whole new way and avoided getting the surgery after all! Fast forward after healing my shoulder with pilates and soon after becoming a Pilates instructor, I used pilates to help me not only build more muscle, increase my metabolism, and become a competitive triathlete and cyclist, I started a pilates studio of my own in 2003 and have been going strong ever since.

I have done very little advertising except for the first few years in a local magazine. Mostly word of mouth and good client retention. I started with having a very solid foundation in health and nutrition, corrective exercise, and multiple certifications in Pilates, massage, and personal training which I believe sets most trainers apart when it comes to helping people from a variety of backgrounds reach their goals. I started with one reformer, then had 3, and currently have 6 which I feel works best for quality control and making the group class sessions very client-centered paying close attention to details and quality of the movements. These days a new business model of packing in as many into a room is becoming more popular because classes can be sold more cheaply but in pilates often you get what you pay for. My style of pilates is very progressive but rooted in corrective exercise and fitness.

Has it been a smooth road?
The city of Carlsbad was one of the biggest hurdles to my business in the beginning. They prefer restaurants and hair salons that they can get tax $ from and made it very difficult for me to first get my business license and then to expand. It didn’t matter if I had 6 clients or less. They really didn’t care that my numbers were so low, they wanted to classify me as a gym which required a higher parking ratio. It was very difficult finding a space that the city would approve.

I had a pretty bad landlord-tenant issue in my second location that was tough to deal with. The building was leaking rain water in the winter and the landlord would not repair the roof correctly but instead put a giant tarp over the building as a fix. Renting from dishonorable landlords was a big mistake but the court was on my side and I quickly moved to my third location where I will be celebrating 3 great years this October!

We’d love to hear more about your business.
“Keep it right, and Keep it tight” is our motto. which means that first comes the form. With correct form, we can then strengthen the body correctly in all planes of movement. The vibrant and innovative Pilates style I termed “pilates Fitness” has its foundation in corrective pilates but mixes in cardiovascular exercises, free weights, HIIT exercises, and additional core strengthening exercises. My work is well known to be serious but fun, for athletes but also prenatal woman and seniors, it’s intelligent but playful, strengthening yet lengthening. A little something for every…body!

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Near the ocean and Palomar Airport road. Easy to access from the 5 freeway. We most beautiful sunsets from our west facing 14-foot glass door. The studio is clean and airy with the latest balanced body reformer half trap equipment.

Contact Info:


Image Credit:

Jay Reilly

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