Rachel and Alwyn Cosgrove are not your average couple. Both have a shared passion for health and fitness that has informed their careers and their lives.
Rachel and Alwyn discovered their love of fitness at a young age. Rachel started as a dancer. Her pursuit for the perfect dancer’s body led her to the gym, which ignited her enthusiasm for exercise and fitness. “I have always had a fascination with the human body and have been amazed with what the human body can do,” said Rachel. “As I started learning even more, I realized this was the path I was meant to be on – helping people, connecting, coaching and helping others bring out their potential was what I was meant to do.”
Tae Kwon Do fostered Alwyn’s passion for health and fitness. He competed in the sport and went on to become a world champion multiple times. However, Alwyn wanted to take his career to the next level. “He realized he could practice and get really good, but if he started to learn strength training and got stronger, he could beat his opponents,” explained Rachel.
Upon completing their studies — Rachel received a degree in Physiology and Alwyn in Sports Performance — both moved to New York City to pursue their careers as personal trainers. While working at several gyms and independently developing their clientele, Rachel and Alwyn became frustrated with the low standards in the industry. It was this realization that inspired them to open their own club in Rachel’s home state – Results Fitness in Santa Clarita, California, which has been named one of the top 10 gyms in the U.S. by Men’s Health Magazine three years in a row.
“Our mission is to change the way fitness is done,” said Rachel. “We wanted to create a place where people who had a bad experience at another gym or were intimidated to go to a gym, could come and realize they can follow an exercise program, stay consistent and see results.”
Rachel and Alwyn wanted to enhance the customer experience as well as the trainer experience. “While working as a personal trainer, we felt that that standard was really low,” said Rachel. “The trainers did their own thing and didn’t work together as a team. Our vision was to create some place where our trainers could have a career and have benefits. We wanted people on our team who take fitness seriously and who wanted to set a standard in the industry.”
Since the Results Fitness team — trainers, front desk staff, managers, etc. — are dedicated to delivering high standards, the gym has become known for its legendary customer service. “It is more of a team environment,” said Rachel. “When you join our gym, rather than having just one trainer that you have a relationship with, you actually have a relationship with the gym. A lot of our clients say they feel like they are part of a family or they feel like the gym is home.”
At Results Fitness, Rachel and Alwyn offer a unique approach to working out. According to Rachel, newcomers to fitness, especially women, tend to think cardiovascular exercise is the best way to lose weight and get in shape. Women tend to steer clear of the weights for fear of getting bulky. Rachel and Alwyn challenge these notions.
“When people first start exercising, they usually prioritize cardio, but it is really important to flip those and instead make strength training the priority,” explained Rachel. “Doing a full body strength training program, you are still going to get the cardiovascular benefits, but you are also going to get an increase in muscle mass, metabolism and long-term health benefits of increased strength.”
To help members witness the benefits of full-body strength training, Rachel and Alwyn developed the “Drop Two Sizes Challenge.” Clients bring in the jeans they want to fit into, which can be two sizes too small. For eight weeks the member will follow the programming and nutrition recommendations set by their trainer. According to Rachel, the challenge has been a huge success because it takes the emphasis off of the scale.
“What we have found is, especially for women, they just look at the scale,” said Rachel. “But when you do strength training, you are building muscle and you are not going to know you are making any progress by looking at the scale. With this challenge we encourage them not to look at the scale and instead use jeans to track progress.”
Working with your spouse might not be for everyone, but according to Rachel, she and Alwyn can’t imagine it any other way. “Alwyn and I met working at a gym together so we don’t know any different than working together and we love it,” said Rachel. “It is a lot of fun. We are also very good about separating work talk and our personal talk. For us it works great. We enjoy being business partners.”
By Emily Harbourne