Like many companies, the idea for Absolute Exercise was conceived many years before it opened for business, according to President Mike Hintz. “My passion is to work with people regarding their health and fitness concerns, but I knew if I wanted to continue to work within this industry, I had to develop and start my own business. I realized I couldn’t provide the variables and services I wanted in a typical commercial setting.”

After working at a similar facility in Chicago, Hintz moved back to the Peoria area to begin Absolute Exercise. “I consider myself to be an educator. I felt forced to create the business because it was the only way to thoroughly apply the information I believe people need to participate in the safest, most productive, and efficient health and fitness program possible.”

Hintz has a master’s degree in exercise science and numerous certifications. His experience includes personal research and experience directing strength and conditioning programs for collegiate athletes, patients in the physical rehabilitation field, and the general public in group and individual settings. “The accumulation of these experiences greatly influenced me to take a serious look into countless fitness/physical training philosophies and methods available. When I was in the process of analyzing the information from these previous experiences, an unexpected training manual crossed my path that basically summarized what I wanted to promote to the public. The majority of what Absolute Exercise promotes can be labeled as an exercise philosophy and training method known as ‘SuperSlow.’”

Absolute Exercise program components include one-on-one exercise instruction by appointment. “All exercise sessions are conducted by a degreed, certified, and professional instructor who provides constant interaction throughout every workout,” Hintz said. “The exercise room environment is quiet, non-crowded, and distraction-free, with no mirrors, music, or ringing phones. Our revolutionary training method is, to the best of our knowledge, the safest way of conditioning the human body. It’s very effective and time efficient; most clients reap maximum benefits working out 20 to 30 minutes only two times per week.”

He said the company also provides specialty programs for clients with specific concerns, such as spinal strengthening, weight management, executive fitness, and sports conditioning. “Since we offer a very safe and result-producing exercise protocol, we receive referrals from various doctors in the Peoria area.”

Hintz said the exercise and physical rehab program will always be the primary component of Absolute Exercise’s services, but there’s been an increasing awareness of their clients’ overall health status. “Since the majority of our clientele is middle aged and older, we’ve discovered many of these clients have a heightened concern with improving their overall health. A high percentage of our clientele has already experienced challenges such as spinal and other joint surgeries, heart disease, post-polio, arthritis, fibromyalgia, cancer, and obesity. Obviously, proper exercise alone can stimulate dramatic physical changes and enhance these conditions. However, we want to provide people with the additional education, services, and support these health matters require.”

In the future, Hintz said he wants to take the business in two directions he’s foreseen since he opened Absolute Exercise: opening multiple locations and surrounding his staff with other health professionals to offer more services at one location. “Since we offer a completely unique program, we’ve discovered many of our clients will drive great distances to utilize our services. This is just one variable that’s led us to work towards the second option of expanding our services by working with health and medical leaders in the Peoria area.”

This goal is possible because there’s been a gradual and steady increase in business since day one, he said. “Word of mouth has been the leading factor for the growth of our business. Obviously, the more clients we have, the more special needs we need to accommodate. We have a knowledgeable and caring staff with a wide range of experiences to work with our diverse clientele. Our backgrounds include exercise physiology, physical therapy, and nutrition.”

Hintz said what sets his company apart from others in the fitness industry is its exercise training philosophy and methods, some of which he admits flies in the face of the approach used by the mainstream fitness industry. “It’s surprising to most that if the quality of the exercise program is high, the amount of exercise the body actually requires is quite low. After clients have been with us for a few weeks, most begin to realize why we don’t permit them to come in more than twice a week. Working out at our facility for a maximum of two times per week is an actual requirement for the production of the best results. We could make more money if we trained clients three or more times per week, but the results would suffer. At Absolute Exercise we want the client to be paying for results—not time spent in the gym.”

The needs of clients have more influence on any changes the company makes than industry trends, but Hintz said there have been some recent trends within the health and fitness industry that have helped his business. “These include the rise in popularity of strength training; increased concerns with bone density and osteoporosis; growth of the senior market, who are choosing structured exercise programs; and the need for time-efficient workouts.”

Hintz said the public is bombarded with so much information that can be confusing, and many wonder about the best way to improve their health and fitness level. “One of our initial goals is to simplify this information highway and get back to the basics. We want clients to know the difference between the assumed objective and the real objective of exercise: more exercise doesn’t lead to better results; genetics play a major role in one’s overall results; exercise plays only a small—yet required—role in a fat loss program; performed properly, exercise can be the most demanding physical activity that one may ever experience; and there’s no such thing as quick fixes. We all want dramatic overnight changes, but exercise, along with other health enhancing behaviors such as eating properly and avoiding unhealthy habits, should be a lifelong commitment. People need to put forth a disciplined and consistent effort to achieve their healthy lifestyle goals.”

So far, Hintz said the company has been blessed with finding outstanding employees—three of whom are previous clients. “This enabled them to develop a strong grasp of our training philosophy and techniques. Even though we haven’t advertised any open positions, we’ve received many resumes through the mail. A potential instructor may have great credentials and experience within our industry and still require many months of training by our staff to become acclimated to our system of instructing.”

He said once great employees are found, taking care of them is especially important. “The business pays for all certifications and continuing education workshops and materials that pertain to enhancing our programs. We’ve recently designated our employees with specific roles and job responsibilities to enhance each employee’s skills and abilities.”

Hintz said the most challenging aspect of his work is creating realistic expectations for clients and helping them prioritize variables that make up a productive and healthy lifestyle. “We realize improving one’s health and fitness status requires hard work and discipline and needs to be a lifetime commitment. Good health is made up of choices. You choose to have a healthy lifestyle, or you choose not to. Part of this challenge is dispelling many of the myths that surround the fitness industry.”

The most rewarding aspect has always been the positive and sometimes life-changing testimonies he and his staff receive from clients, he said. “This is especially true when a client shares how their daily activities or family life has been enhanced by our program.” 

Since Absolute Exercise is a relatively new business, Hintz said part of his current goal is to simply let the community know the company exists, while at the same time promoting the benefits of the Absolute Exercise program. “We provide a remarkably safe, effective, and efficient way of re-shaping the human body and methods of preventing and rehabbing those nagging injuries. Since we’re very distinct from the mainstream health and fitness industry, we offer a complimentary consultation and exercise session to allow potential clients to decide for themselves if our program is for them.” IBI