Finding a total balance

Barb Kloeckner, left, and her mother-in-law Cindy Kloeckner

A sign outside Total Balance Fitness & Nutrition Center on the corner of 15th Avenue North and Broadway in Fargo reads, "Don't let your resolution go in one year and out the other."

This is a busy time of year for the business, not only with new members, but also with current members stepping up their exercise routines.

But the business doesn't just focus on fitness. Barb Kloeckner and her mother-in-law, Cindy Kloeckner, who own Total Balance, wanted to create an environment that serves a variety of members' needs, including weight loss, wellness programs, nutritional support, guidance, and spiritual and emotional health.

The pair took over Success Health fitness center a little more than three years ago after both worked at Lady Wellness in south Fargo for about five years.

Cindy teaches wellness and weight-loss consulting; Barb is an instructor in some of the classes.


The fitness center has grown from just less than 100 members to about 700 members.

"We're lucky enough to have this hometown environment where we do get to know our members," Barb said. "We're kind of the Cheers bar of fitness centers."

Q: What makes your fitness center unique?

A: We are so different.

There are a lot of clubs that are popping up these days that are 24-hour access.

You could go there and basically get the same product that you could get anywhere, but what sets us apart is just that human experience.

We are so connected to our members, and that is absolutely our priority.

What we've really tried to do is from the first time a member walks in, we understand that it could have been months that they have pondered over joining a fitness center, and so the courage that it took to actually walk in the door, we realize that that is a big step for many people.


Q: Who do your members tend to be?

A: Many of the people coming into our club are probably more of the unconditioned, first-time exercisers, not looking to be at the gyms that are intimidating or very busy or big.

We kind of do attract more of that population. Age 30 to 55 is probably our largest demographic.

Q: What do your members do to get started?

A: When they come in, we just connect with them right away. We really listen and find out where they feel like they need more direction and help.

Some people are very motivated and do great in their workouts. It's really their nutrition and weight loss they need support with, and that's where Cindy comes into play.

Some people, their diet is not a problem, it's more of staying committed to their workouts.

We actually try to get members involved in classes more.


You're more motivated. You work harder. You kind of get to show up and not think about what you're going to do.

The instructor's going to lead you through the workout.

All of our classes are included with our membership (which ranges from $38 to $46 a month), and we have over 50 classes a week.

We take an inventory of what their needs are, and we call it the total balance toolbox.

Q: What types of classes do you have?

A: We have everything from very beginner classes, a forever fit class that our seniors go to, yoga classes, faster-paced step classes.

Those muscle-conditioning classes called power definition are hugely popular because so many people are unmotivated to work out in the weight room on their own.

Q: Why is total balance so important?


A: It's just not about fitness and nutrition at all anymore.

Many of us know the components that it takes to be healthy, but we're not doing it.

It's the stress relief, it's connecting emotionally. What are those emotional sabotagers that keep us from achieving and maintaining our goals?

It's about finding that balance so you know that you can handle the stressors of everyday life and not feel like you're in a tailspin out of control.

Q: How important is that mind-body connection?

A: It's huge. We're hearing and seeing more and more of that, now.

If we have a negative thought process all the time, that is connected to our health, our stress level. All of those can affect our body, physically.

If somebody is trying to get on a good fitness and nutrition program but they do not have good, positive self-talk or they take on other people's problems or they can't compartmentalize and leave their problems at work, it just absolutely affects their health in every way, which is going to hold them up from their fitness and nutrition goals.


We have almost shifted focus that that is as, if not more important than educating them on their fitness and nutrition needs.

We've started doing more activities like incorporating quiet time, reflection and meditation into our classes.

We've added more yoga onto our schedule, stretching classes. All of these activities get away from coming in and just beating yourself up in a high-intensity workout.

We'd like to go into businesses and teach some of these practices, school systems, wherever. That's kind of our goal this year is to become more community-involved.

Q: What made you decide to open a place of your own?

A: Just knowing there were philosophies that we wanted to instill into our own business that we wouldn't have been able to.

We had the visualization for this.

We absolutely loved our time at Lady Wellness. This has just allowed us to spread our wings and grow even more.


We actually entertain the idea of opening other locations.

Q: What is it like owning a business with your mother-in-law?

A: We were friends way before we were mother- and daughter-in-law.

We formed such a close bond in our friendship.

We're just so lucky for that.

- Location: 1461 N. Broadway, Fargo; behind Hair Success

- Contact info: (701) 293-6037

- Hours: 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 5:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday; 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.

Readers can reach Forum reporterTracy Frank at (701) 241-5526

Finding a total balance Tracy Frank 20080114

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