Magnolia resident Beverly Bird (with dumbbells) receives instruction from Next Level Personal Training owner Mary Wilson. Photo by Gwen Davis
Magnolia resident Beverly Bird (with dumbbells) receives instruction from Next Level Personal Training owner Mary Wilson. Photo by Gwen Davis

The Next Level Personal Training studio moved to the next level at the end of January when the business relocated to a new facility with a new owner.

The former facility, at 2560 32nd Ave. W. in the Magnolia Village business district, is now a five-minute drive to a new home along West Government Way.

The former owner was longtime personal trainer Bobby Oliver. Mary Wilson, a trainer with Oliver at the old studio, took over the business after Oliver closed his doors.

Oliver and Wilson worked together at the studio for about eight years, according to Keith Askenasi, a former personal trainer with the studio.

“When [Oliver] decided to close, it was a quick decision, and I had to move quickly,” Wilson said. 

The transition period lasted three weeks, which is “quite a while in the scope of people coming regularly and being willing to exercise,” she said.

Wilson kept the business name. It does not have affiliations with other businesses.

Wilson renovated the new space, which she indicated was not difficult to find. She moved the bathroom, raised the ceilings, installed new floors, put in new paint and took out walls. 

“I needed more space for the tall equipment,” she said.

She paid for the remolding herself.

“I wanted to stay in Magnolia, but the rents are quite high in the village so I knew I had to move away,” she explained.

Her new location is approximately a couple miles from the first one. The rent is about the same, she said.


A community

Wilson, who has been in the personal-training field for 15 years, offers around 40 hours of personal training per week. Most clients come two to three times a week. 

Wilson’s clients at the former location all switched over to the new one, she said.

“I liked where she was before, but here, there’s such a sense of community: You know people here, and there’s great energy,” said Magnolia’s Jami Lauvrak Lee, who has been training with Wilson since August.

Lauvrak Lee also said she enjoys Wilson’s personal-training style.

“What I like most is, in other places, there are fads going on — the circuit and CrossFit — and that’s great, but there are also a lot of injuries with it, where[as] Mary’s good is working with each individual body, their personality and their styles and strengths.”

Wilson said her main focus is on flexibility, strength training and balance.

Other clients like how the business caters mostly to middle-aged and older adults.

“There’s not a lot of really young heavy-lifters around here, so it’s comfortable and I don’t feel intimated,” said Magnolia resident Beverly Bird, who has been going to the studio on and off for about eight years. 

Wison’s oldest client is 84 years old.