Uptown gym stepping into a new ring on Larimer

Jennifer and Courtney Samuel

Jennifer and Courtney Samuel

An Uptown gym is consolidating its two studios into one new location downtown.

Courtney Samuel, a former college cornerback and founder of the Bodies by Perseverance gyms at 450 and 320 E. 17th St., said he’ll relocate his gym to Larimer Street in January.

“We’d been in Uptown for 12 years and thought it was time for a change,” Samuel said. “The new place is closer to RiNo and closer to the heart of the city, which will put us closer to businesses and new apartments to help us draw new members.”

Samuel signed a six-year lease on a 4,000-square-foot facility at Grassroots California’s former storefront at 2209 Larimer St. for $6,500 per month, he said. He’s said he’s putting between $100,000 and $200,000 into renovating the studio, including installing a 2,000-square-foot turf field and a boxing ring in the basement.

Bodies by Perseverance has about 150 members, Samuel said. The gym offers group fitness, personal training and boxing classes ranging in price from $75 to $700 per month for unlimited classes.

Membership data tends to lean slightly toward women, who comprise 60 percent of clients, Samuel said, and make up the majority of boxing classes.

“It’s amazing, I have a million housewives that go to boxing,” Samuel said.

Samuel stressed that while Bodies by Perseverance offers group classes, it isn’t a CrossFit gym.

A Bodies by Perseverance group fitness class. Photos courtesy of Bodies by Perseverance.

A Bodies by Perseverance group fitness class. Photos courtesy of Bodies by Perseverance.

“I don’t want people to get us confused with CrossFit,” he said. “We train people like athletes, and we’re specific to body design. Basically, we’re private personal training groups, so you get that one-on-one attention, but not in such a large setting.”

Samuel said he maintains a staff of three part-time and four full-time trainers, including himself and his wife Jennifer. The gym also houses Ben Cowin of Action Sports and Spine, a chiropractor and sports doctor who has worked there for the last six years. Cowin will be moving to the new location, Samuel said.

Samuel, 38, worked as a software engineer for Sun Microsystems before founding Bodies by Perseverance at the gym’s first 17th Street location in 2003 and its offshoot in 2009.

“I just came out to one point where I wasn’t happy with my life and needed change,” he said. “I found my passion in health and fitness.”

Samuel attended Gateway High School in Aurora and then played football at North Dakota State. He joined the New Orleans Saints as an undrafted free agent in 2000. But a chronic hamstring injury forced him to retire from the NFL a year later.

His stint as an athlete laid the groundwork for his transition into fitness coaching.

“I didn’t know it, but I’d geared up to do this my whole life,” he said. “It was an easy transition.”

Jennifer and Courtney Samuel

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