Sat. Jul 20th, 2024

Kim Chalekian, back, personal trainer and co-owner of Brick House Personal Training in Niu Valley Center, helped Nicole Kerr with her workout last week. The company also assists with the spiritual, emotional and social well-being of their clients.

star bulletin honolulu, may 30, 2008

Chalekian — a lifelong athlete — got into fitness training after suffering from back pain and migraines. After several sessions with a personal trainer, which introduced her to weight training, they went away.

She was amazed at the transformation, and it prompted her to get certified as an American Council on Exercise personal trainer so she could share what she learned with others.

Brick House moved into a space formerly occupied by Curves, in a suite of shops and offices on E. Halemaumau Street.

The interior is a cool, air-conditioned room, with a brick-faced entry wall, wood floors, and papaya and lime-hued walls that remind one more of a chic day spa than a fitness gym.

Brick House’s approach is similar to that of the Hawaii Fitness Together franchise, launched in the spring of 2005 at the Manoa Marketplace by trainer Keoni Subiono.

Subiono and Chalekian — who was a client of Subiono at the Oahu Club a few years ago — occasionally refer business to each other.

As a trainer now herself, Chalekian said the most rewarding part is seeing improvement in her clients.

“It’s the renewed self-confidence and soaring energy levels that really make the difference,” she said. “Instead of feeling like you’re dragging yourself through each day you feel vibrant and completely alive.”

Brick House client Nicole Kerr, a health care worker, said she prefers the one-on-one training to a larger gym like 24-Hour Fitness.

Some of the advantages, she said, is a trainer that offers customized training, as well as someone who motivates you to get through the last set. Also, there’s no waiting for machines or equipment, so that you get in and out on time.

For years, Kerr said she worked out on her own, and was training the wrong way, with an emphasis on cardiovascular workouts. At Brick House, she’s learning to take on more weight training, which takes on more importance in the early 40s.

“It costs more,” she said, “but I finally decided that I’m worth it.”