Heroic Fitness: The Place for Purposeful, Result-Driven Solutions for Health & Fitness

Businesses Around Town
March 30, 2016

Mark Trapp is the founder and co-owner of Heroic Fitness along with his wife Zaneta. His dedication to accountability, education, and motivation is evident in his role as a father, philanthropist, and entrepreneur.

His wife and two sons, Jonathan and Jackson, are what he calls his “why.” They’re the reason he trains and is dedicated to living the healthy lifestyle he helps clients of Heroic Fitness achieve.

As an entrepreneur, after years of working as a personal trainer he cofounded Heroic Fitness in response to what he felt the health and fitness industry lacked in terms of purpose and result driven exercise.

His role as a philanthropist can be seen in the inspiring work Heroic Fitness does collaborating with the charity GiGi’s playhouse to empower individuals afflicted with down syndrome through the action of exercise.

Mark is proud of the ethos he has helped create at Heroic Fitness.

“It’s not a place where someone can just hide on a tread mill,” he said.

Mark and Zaneta, along with the aid of a very talented staff, have created a culture where trainers and fellow members hold each other accountable to achieve purposeful result driven workouts. Heroic Fitness is the final and lasting solution for people who are fed up with diets, exercises, and health fads that don’t work.

Living 60010 was able to catch up with Mark Trapp and have him tell us more about Heroic Fitness’s founding, mission, and results.

LIVING60010: How has your family supported you through the process of starting the Business?

Mark Trapp: My family has been fantastic. In fact, my wife Zaneta is a co owner with me. She’s the wonder woman that drives the facility. She’s also a certified personal trainer, and one of our spin instructors here. As the mother of our two boys Jonathan and Jackson she’s a very determined strong willed, and encouraging person, and none of this would have been possible without her love and support. A lot of the mom’s that come here really appreciate the fact that Zaneta is a mom, and there’s a lot of credibility to what she says because she’s practicing what she’s preaching. With our two boys that is our reason for training and staying healthy. There is nothing more important to us then them.

LIVING60010: What prompted you to open a business in the industry of health and fitness?

Mark Trapp: Well this is actually my second business. I started out as a trainer at the health club Life Time. I got my feet we there, but I really thought I was going to get more into coaching, which is actually what I went to college for. After being a trainer at Life Time I decided to go off on my own. I opened up a place in Schaumburg with a partner of mine, which was very successful. We focused on private individual training.

The business was very successful, but there were some gaps in what we offered. I felt like having a facility that still emphasized that culture of result driven work outs, but yet still had classes and things for one on one clients to come in and utilize on days that they were not personal training. Where as before I’d have to send them to their local health clubs, and have them get workouts in there. But these people are coming to us for the purpose of needing that accountability and needing that schedule. So our customers were getting accustomed to coming to personal training, but were still kind of left out on their own. It was a struggle sometimes to get to where they wanted to be with that kind of system. So by offering what we do here it has created a more complete all around program. It allows someone who might have been personally training for a long time to scale down, and maybe just look at doing classes.

So it’s not this all or none system. I opened Heroic based off of my history, and based off what I felt the industry was lacking. I am very big on accountability, education, and motivation those are the three pillars, which we have built this business on.

LIVING60010: How did you come up with the name Heroic Fitness?

Mark Trapp: It took me probably about two months, and I was driving everyone crazy trying to figure out a name. I was with my son in the front yard kicking around this ball.

I wasn’t paying close attention to what was on the ball, but then I looked and it was Batman, Superman, Green Lantern with a caption that said “life is an adventure. Live it!” I knew the name had to be something that really brought fitness to life, and so that caption with the image of super hero’s was really speaking to me at that point in time. In that moment the name Heroic Fitness just came to me.

I talked to my designer Tim, and he worked with me on that idea. He agreed that there was some branding ability with it, but we didn’t finalize the name Heroic until I had really looked into the different definitions of the word, and how that fit in with our values as a gym.

LIVING60010: When did you first open Heroic Fitness?

Mark Trapp: In March of 2014

LIVING60010: Why should people join Heroic Fitness and what makes it stand out from other gyms?

Mark Trapp: I think if somebody was looking to come to an environment and facility where people know them by name, and their workouts are effective. They have goals that they have set, and they want to be in an environment that can guarantee within the first 30 days that if they don’t like it than they don’t have to continue with their program.

This demonstrates just how confident I am in what we do. People come to us and they have exhausted so many things, so many diets, so many exercise plans and they’re burnt out with what they’ve tried. They want to come to a place where their hard work will actually pay off and transfer into results. Part of the reason we’re so effective is the fact that what we offer to our customers is a very well rounded and holistic program. If you’re signed up as a personal training member you’re going to get a certain number of small group classes as part of that membership.

As part of the service you’re also going to get our nutrition program that’s custom designed for the individual. You’re also going to do our in body scanner, which gives us down to the ounce how much of your weight is coming from lean muscle mass and how much is fat mass. So it helps us really get a good understanding of how to build muscle and what we need to do in order to get the customer stronger and leaner. We also put a lot of emphasis into testing. The proof is in the pudding so to speak, and without tracking things people can feel like they’re aimlessly working out with no idea of what progress they are actually making. We test our clients every six weeks, physically with a fitness test, and the in body scanner. These serve Part of what really drives our members here too is the personalized side of It. There is a smaller more close-knit community, and members don’t have to worry about the ten dollar a month gym goer who’s going to be throwing weights around, and working out by him or herself.

Because everything is more structured here I think it provides a greater degree of comfort for our members that they wouldn’t get elsewhere.

LIVING60010: How has health and fitness impacted you on a personal level?

Mark Trapp: I really have been around health and fitness my whole life. My dad was a football coach, and my older brother and sister were always in sports, and as a result of that I got into sports at a very young age.

I played football and baseball all throughout High School and collegiately as well. I’ve always been so involved in sports, and with the training that went into that working out and staying fit.

A desire to help people has really played a huge role in me doing what I do now. My love of fitness and desire to help people achieve their goals made my choice of profession a great fit.

Being involved in fitness and sports growing up was so effective for me in the character lessons I learned. From teamwork to discipline these are just some of the character traits that exercise and sports instilled in me.

LIVING60010: What kinds of personalized services and classes does Heroic Fitness offer?

Mark Trapp: We offer everything from personal training to yoga. We also have a new program we’re excited about it’s called our small group training, which is great for an individual who is wanting to have that personalized attention, but financially they aren’t yet ready for the personal one on one training. So everyone in the small group in a sense is just sharing the cost of a teacher.

LIVING60010: What does the Heroic Fitness facility offer its members?

Mark Trapp: Well we have a juice bar where there are custom shakes that we’ve come up with that our what we call “super shakes,” and they’re named after different super heroes.

We also offer different apparel.

We have your traditional locker rooms and showers for men and women.

There is a Heroic Fitness app that is very accommodating for members being able to schedule classes because we only have a certain number of people that can fit in certain classes. The app really allows us to kind of regulate that we don’t have overcrowded classes.

We also have introduced a product called “My Zone.” It is an activity belt that acts as a heart rate monitor worn across the chest. What’s great about it is the fact that if you purchase it here it’s yours to keep. You can use it outside of the facility, which is great. But what the product does while you’re here is measure your heart rate, and a box will show up on the flat screen TV, while you’re working out the box will change colors based off of one of the five different zones that you could be in. Those different zones are what we call your fat burning zones, so it monitors that. Both the customer’s and the trainer’s can look can look at the box and see how hard the customer is actually working.

In addition, you also earn a certain amount of MEPS with each workout. MEPS stands for my effort points. The way it works are as you go into the different zones you earn a certain number of points. The box will display how many MEPS you’ve earned, and then after the workout is complete. 30 minutes after the box is no longer reading, the device will automatically take your total points from that workout and put them into your profile. We have competitions that we do off of this.

LIVING60010: What’s the culture of the gym like?

Mark Trapp: The culture of the gym is very inspiring. I think it kind of goes back to the fact that 70% of our members are between the ages of 30 and 58. People come in and they see very quickly that no matter what weight they are, what gender they are, what their fitness level is the people that are in these classes are just like them.

Therefore, when somebody new comes in fellow members notice, and introduce themselves. Members here do a great job of encouraging and inspiring one another.

LIVING60010: How has your relationship been with Barrington Bank and Trust?

Mark Trapp: They’re great. We’ve been working with them since we came to life, and they have always gone above and beyond to support us.

LIVING60010: For those on the fence about joining a gym and getting back in shape what would you tell them?

Mark Trapp: With enough will power and motivation it will happen. Don’t give up on your health and fitness dreams. For every obstacle you overcome you’re that much closer, and I really think what we do here is encourage that result, encourage that goal, and sometimes people can lose sight of what the journey really is. People keep pushing themselves, and they get locked into a mindset where they think, I’ve got to lose five more pounds, or eight more pounds, or ten more pounds.

When you get to that goal whatever that is, you could be 5% body fat with a beach body, but if you don’t appreciate the hard work it took to get there, then when will you finally feel accomplished? You’ll just be thinking that you need to lose more weight and be more fit, and then there’s never going to be enough.

LIVING60010: How do I get started at Heroic Fitness today?

Mark Trapp: Visit our website which is Heroicfitnessstudio.com or click here There will be a form you can fill out, which is a free pass, and will give you access to come in and do what we refer to as a test drive. In a test drive you can test out our different services for one week. Or you could give us a call at 847 – 645– 9290, or of course feel to just stop on by.


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