It began as a vision for a new kind of health club — and after several years of relentless effort, it became a reality in September 1994, with the opening of the first from-the-ground-up Life Time in Eagan, Minn, a growing suburb south of St. Paul. This 75,000-square foot facility set a new standard for “gyms.”
For Life Time founder and CEO, Bahram Akradi, an engineer by training, the blueprints of the fitness center were etched in his mind — he knew exactly what he wanted to create. Yet he encountered plenty of skepticism right up until the club’s opening just six months after breaking ground.
With plenty of space, state-of-the-art equipment, knowledgeable team members, and vibrant class offerings, Life Time Eagan quickly became a healthy-living destination for its members. It put a stake in the ground about what a health club experience could be.
In reflecting on the experience of this vision finally coming to life, Akradi writes that it was possible because of “a conscious awareness of faith meeting fortitude, and with it, the complete confidence of tomorrow.”
Today, nearly 30 years later, Life Time has grown to more than 150 premiere athletic resorts around the country with a focus that expands well beyond fitness: It’s about the complete healthy way of life. But what does that really mean?
In Akradi’s regular column for Life Time’s Experience Life magazine, he recently wrote that healthy way of life “is a lens for examining every aspect of our lives, including our relationships, health, environment, and more. It’s a filter for honestly reflecting on whether our time, priorities, and choices are truly aligned with our values and passions.”
At Life Time, support for the healthy way of life is all-encompassing, with products, offerings, and services that include personal and small group training and countless studio classes; nutrition coaching along with healthy food options in the Life Cafe; child care, Kids Camps, and swimming lessons; multiple sports opportunities; relaxation and personal-care appointments in the LifeSpa; and more.
That “more” now reaches outside the health club, with Life Time Work and Life Time Living.
In fall 2018, Life Time broadened its portfolio with the launch of Life Time Work, reimagined shared workspaces that provide flexibility, accessibility, technology, and support for busy professionals. With five locations now open in various markets around the country, these unique workspaces offer connections to communities of health-motivated professionals, as well as convenient access to Life Time’s health clubs.
As we look ahead to 2021, that growth will continue. Despite the economic impact of the ongoing pandemic, Life Time is on track to open six athletic resorts, three additional Life Time Works, and the first-of-its-kind comprehensive Life Time experience in Coral Gables, Fla., that includes the first Life Time Living, with nearly 500 high-end apartment homes.
Life Time Living is weaving health into nearly every aspect of this residential development, from its location in a bustling, walkable neighborhood, to sustainable materials and state-of-the-art soundproofing and lighting that support circadian rhythms, to connectedness with the larger community. With a Life Time Athletic and Life Time Work in the same development, this 1.2 million-square foot facility melds together the key places most of us spend the majority our time.
In many ways, it’s the culmination of healthy way of life: Here, you can move, work, and live.
Whatever the offering, whether a standalone athletic club or the inclusive Healthy Way of Life experience, Life Time is committed to enhancing the health, knowledge, and relationships of our members as they pursue their unique health and wellness goals.
These values guide everything we create and do and will continue to do so as we move beyond this year into the next — stronger, healthier, and more confident in spite of and because of all we’ve been through together.
The evolution continues …