Julie Hafner is a high-energy font of positivity for her devoted clients. She opened her own spin studio inside Mybody Complex in a suburb of Chicago almost exactly a year ago. Starting with only a student or two who followed from her old gym, her Studio Spin clientele has grown from 1 to 100. All word of mouth. What’s her secret? Hafner attributes it to love. “I love it so much. I think people see that.”
Tell me about Studio Spin.
There are just 15 spin bikes. It’s for people who genuinely want to spin, as opposed to being in a big box gym where you just decide to take a class that’s going on when you’re there. It means I can cater to and create a class depending on who’s there.
Why are your classes so popular?
My energy. There’s not a dull moment. The biggest compliment I get is “that was the fastest 45 min or that was the fastest hour, I didn’t realize it went by. “
I love that it’s for every age, every size, every ability, every fitness level. Everybody can get on the bike and once they’re on, they have the ability to adjust how much they want to work. I push my class to workout beyond their fitness level. I have Ironmen and first time people in my class and they don’t even know it, so being on the bike is for everybody.
How do you keep your energy up?
Passion. It’s purely my passion. I send the kids to school and take the baby with me. When I get to the gym, I can be there for hours. It’s like my happy place.
Do you workout everyday? How do you fit it in?
I think everyone searches for the time to fit it in. I have a house, a husband and kids. I run my own business. You just make the time. Because I love it, I’d rather be at the gym than at Target shopping for an hour. Some days I only get an hour. At the gym, I’m 100% at the gym, when I leave I’m 100% a mom.
I get myself on a foam roller and use that. Stretching. Or if I don’t have time, I ease myself into the workout.
Best cool down?
The best cool down is the same thing. I get myself on a roller or I stretch. A lot of times I like to get in a quick yoga class.
When you don’t feel like working out?
I always want to workout. Are there days I feel stronger than others? Absolutely, but on days when I don’t feel that high intensity, I tell myself I can tone it down a notch. Do I workout every day? Yes, for me and for my family, it has to happen. It’s my drug.
Do you workout with friends?
I am always with people. With my girlfriends – we’ll go on power walks, with the strollers. It’s our only way of seeing each other. In winter months, it’s hard to connect with people that way but I consider people at the gym my friends. I see them regularly. I know them personally.
Do you have a snack before working out?
Always. I always have coffee and a banana with peanut butter.
How about after a workout?
I always eat within an hour of my workout. Sometimes it’s a Power Bar but I always have something on hand. My real fuel after I workout is eggs w/veggies, avocado, wheat bread, and Greek yogurt.
How do you keep balance?
Just being focused. Without my calendar, I wouldn’t know where I was going. I’m always on time if not early. I don’t sweat the small stuff. My kids are fed, their clothes are on. If laundry piles up, it’ll get done. I don’t sweat it.
Do you workout with your kids?
My kids don’t know me outside of working out. I worked out when they were in my stomach, the minute they came out I was on the treadmill, and then I was walking with them in the stroller. They’re always with me when I’m working out.
Glasses and glasses of wine. Dessert, any baked good, anything homemade.
Is your life what you imagined?
Even more. I had no idea that I would open a studio. A year and a half ago, everything happened so quickly. I was loving working at gyms and then this opportunity came up. I wasn’t one that was a dreamer. I live my life one step at a time. I really just live in the moment.
Now that I run a business, I have to think further ahead. Because things have gotten so great, I have to think of the bigger picture. With my family, I just appreciate that my kids are kids and live in that moment.
Favorite lucy items?
I love – i’m wearing them now for the third day in a row -- I love the Perfect Booty pant although I don’t workout in them. I workout in the Perfect Booty Capri and the Endurance Capri. They hug your tush. Who doesn’t want that?
Bottom line is find something you love to do. You’ll actually look forward to doing it. I love spinning six days a week. I love it. If this doesn’t feel good to you, don’t force yourself. Find something that gives you happiness. That’s really what working out is about because at the end, you want to feel good.