Dynamic duos

Anytime Fitness owners Renee Reed and Jacqui Bliss raise a son — and barbells — together

WORKIN’ IT | Reed, left, and Bliss stay fit and happy at their gym in Oak Cliff. (Arnold Wayne Jones/Dallas Voice)

As part of our recurring feature on Dynamic Duos, we talk with out couples in the community who might not work together, but who do workout together.

But in the case of Jacqui Bliss and Renee Reed, they actually do work together, as co-owners of Anytime Fitness in the Bishop Arts District. But in addition to running a gym, they also occupy themselves raising a child.

— Jef Tingley

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Names and ages: Jacqui Bliss, 34; and Renee Reed, 40.

Occupations: Co-owners, Anytime Fitness Club and personal trainers

Years together: 9

Exercise regimen:  Bliss: It varies. I mix it up with cycling, running, bodyweight intervals, kettle bell work, ViPR lifts and free weights. On an average week, I exercise six days and the time ranges from 30 minutes to two hours or more (if cycling).

Reed: I do strength training two to three times a week, mostly with free weights and cable machines. I like to run at least once a week and use cardio machines a couple of times, too. At home I do my own short, intense boot camp-style workouts, which were born out of the need to do a time-efficient workout while our son was napping.

Do you play sports or are you on any leagues? Reed: I don’t play any team sports now, although I played college basketball and rugby at Dartmouth and ran track and played basketball in high school.

Most memorable athletic goal accomplished:  Bliss: Competing in the USARA Championships in San Diego. Adventure racing is like no other sport and quite possibly is the most physically and mentally challenging endeavor I’ve participated in.

Reed: Crossing the finish line of the San Diego marathon with Jacqui was awesome (even if I made her slow down the last two miles so we could finish together). As an assistant basketball coach at the University of Illinois, we took an underdog team to the NCAA Sweet 16 against all the odds. We had a group of hardworking Midwest ladies that just played their hearts out. It was an amazing experience. And as a player, I remember hitting a 10-foot jumper for the win over Columbia.

Upcoming fitness goals: Bliss: To keep challenging myself and applying what I learn to my profession.

Reed: During this upcoming decade, I have to become a better swimmer and work swimming and yoga into my routine. I have to accept that in my 40s, my body has some different needs.

Workouts — mornings or evenings: Bliss: Whenever I can fit it in. Most of the time, it’s around lunchtime as I’m with clients in the mornings and evenings.

Reed: Morning.

Least favorite exercise or piece of gym equipment: Reed: There’s nothing in a gym that I actually dislike, but I’m not fond of swimming. As I mentioned, I need to learn to love it!

Favorite spot in North Texas to exercise outdoors: Bliss: White Rock Lake and my backyard.

Reed: I like to run around Kessler Park and North Oak Cliff, going north of Colorado if I’m game for some hills. I love the trees and looking at all the different architecture.

Favorite spot in North Texas to exercise indoors: Anytime Fitness in the Bishop Arts District, of course!

If you could become an Olympian in any sport, what would it be and why: Bliss: Track and field. I still get goose bumps watching track meets. The nervous energy is unbelievable. Knowing you are going out and giving your all and that your body is on the line to perform.

Reed: Basketball. I love being part of a small team that performs together as a unit. With the seating down close to the court (as opposed to an open field), the energy of the crowd is electrifying!

How do you reward yourself after a great workout or an accomplished fitness goal: Bliss: I need to work on that. I don’t give myself a reward per se. I would say my greatest reward is in how I feel after a great workout: Unstoppable, and filled with positive energy.

Reed: After a good run or cardio workout, the endorphins are enough of a reward, so is a compliment from someone in the gym. But I believe in celebrating victories, whether big or small. When we were approaching a milestone with our membership base, I kept a bottle of champagne on ice.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 29, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

Body & Fitness: Gym Roundup

Below is a list of some of the larger gyms in the area that are popular within the community. Along with their contact information, we’ve included observations made while gathering our information for you. You’re welcome.

Club Dallas
Has been exclusively serving gay men for more than 30 years. They are open 24 hours.
2616 Swiss Ave.
214-821-1990
TheClubs.com

LA Fitness
Has locations around the Metroplex. Their Oak Lawn facility is near Love Field.
4540 W. Mockingbird Lane
214-453-4899
LAFitness.com

Diesel Fitness
Located on the third floor of the Centrum in what was once the area’s most popular gym.
3102 Oak Lawn Ave., Ste. 300
214-219-6400
DieselFitness214.com

Gold’s Gym
Locations throughout the city with one location in Uptown. Not as popular as it once was since the chain’s owner made a major contribution to an anti-gay cause.
2425 McKinney Ave.
214-306-9000
GoldsGym.com

Trophy Fitness Club
Four locations in Dallas with one on Mockingbird Lane near Central Expressway and another in Uptown.
2812 Vine St., Ste. 300
214-999-2826
TrophyFitnessClub.com

Equinox
They’re located on Oak Lawn but call it their Highland Park location, so we’re not sure who they’re trying to attract or distract from membership.
4023 Oak Lawn Ave.
214-443-9009
Equinox.com

24 Hour Fitness
When you Google the Downtown location, this quote pops up: “Beware there are lots of bisexuals and perverts that go there.” Might be a reason to try this location … or a reason to call their management to get it changed.
700 N. Harwood St.
214-220-2423
24HourFitness.com

— David Taffet

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition Feb. 18, 2011.

—  John Wright