Emily Schromm has manifested her dream.
The personal trainer turned reality-TV star turned entrepreneur is sitting on the patio of Blue Sparrow Coffee thinking about the steps that she’s taken in her life to get her to this point. Schromm is opening a 24/7 strength and conditioning gym in the River North district on Monday, September 24, following a grand-opening celebration this Saturday.
“It didn’t start with me opening a gym,” Schromm says, adding that it was a “meant-to-be-online” moment. “This started as a seven- to eight-year journey creating a brand and the following that came with it. There were people who followed me on MTV, and then there were those who followed me as Women’s Health’s Next Fitness Star . I built this online community, and when you find things you love and the type of people you want to be around, it all makes sense. This is like a real-life vision board.”
Schromm’s dream was to create a space where everyone felt comfortable with the barbell. The result: Platform Strength, Denver’s first 24-hour hybrid gym, dedicated to teaching powerlifting but with the accessibility of an open-gym format and online programming. “We want this to be a non-competitive environment [in which] to learn or train like everyone else — pick your path, but not lose this sense of community.”
The reasoning behind Platform Strength focusing solely on strength and conditioning is twofold: Schromm believes wholly that strength training is vital for overall health and longevity, and she wants to combat the stigma behind the accessibility of strength training.
“I’ve seen clients who see the effects of not strength training when they recheck their bone-density scans,” she begins. “When you sit, that’s a squat. When you lift a box, that’s a press. When you carry groceries, that’s a farmer’s walk. We want to get people in day-to-day life living better day-to-day lives.”
Schromm says she's hoping that the design of her programming will make potential clients feel more comfortable with lifting. Her three-tier programming allows gym-goers to choose a level to begin training, and all students will start and end classes together, learning lifts together but branching out depending on fitness and comfort level. Platform Strength will focus on three main moves: squats, deadlifts and presses.
“We want powerlifting to be accessible and don’t want people feeling like they’re risking injury,” Schromm says. “There’s this stigma surrounding strength training that you have to know what you’re doing before you start or that you have to be in shape. We want people feeling like they can ultimately go into a gym and know exactly what they want to do and do it safely because they have the tools now.”
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In order to safely teach powerlifting, Schromm and her team of five additional coaches will teach a maximum of fifteen people. Classes will run six to seven times a day (twice on Saturday), and the gym will remain open and accessible the remainder of the week. Memberships for unlimited open gym begin at $119 per month, and $149 per month for unlimited classes. A combination of the two is available for $199 per month. “I feel like our price point is in alignment with the quality we’re outputting,” Schromm says. “My community of people aren’t just from RiNo, and we’ll additionally be offering access to workshops and working to ensure we’re not helping to push people out of this neighborhood.”
It’s taken Schromm nearly eight years of manifesting and navigating the fitness and business world to get to this point; followers of her Meathead Hippie podcast and various social-media groups are flying in to watch her take this step. She says it’s important that she help others build their community, too.
“I chose the name Platform Strength for the gym because while we use platforms for our lifts; it’s also a platform for my coaches to launch their own businesses,” Schromm says. An entrepreneur herself, Schromm has launched several successful endeavors, including the EmPack by Evolved Motion, Element Teas, and the Body Awareness Project. “Personal training can be such a saturated business, and it’s terrifying to start out and get your name out there, whether you’re doing it online or in a specific industry. My coaches will be providing personal trainings in the interim between classes, and I’m so grateful to be able to provide that opportunity for them.”
The grand-opening celebration of Platform Strength takes place this Saturday, September 22. The two strength workouts with Schromm are already full, but yoga is available on the roof beginning at 9:15 a.m., and live music, beer and giveaways from sponsors — including Schromm’s signature EmFit Packs — will be available beginning at 11 a.m. and continue throughout the day. Visit Platform Strength for more information.