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Fitness center brings ‘Focused Results’

Zak River(left) leads client Kelly Bozic through A suspension
weight-bearing workout Eco-friendly Focused Results studio in
Lake Forest. | LindBlaser ~ Sun-Times

Zak Rivera (left) leads client Kelly Bozic through A suspension weight-bearing workout at the Eco-friendly Focused Results studio in Lake Forest. | Linda Blaser ~ Sun-Times Media

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Focused Results

Where: 950 N. Western Ave., Unit 1, Lake Forest

Specialty: Personal training and sports performance in an organic, eco-friendly studio

Hours: 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., 7 days a week

Contact: 224-880-5982,, email; Twitter: @FitwithFR;

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Updated: September 18, 2013 3:36AM

A personal trainer helped Zak Rivera attain his dream to play Division 1 college baseball, and now he’s paying it forward.

“She helped me get to my goals to become faster and stronger,” Rivera, 30, said.

The American College of Sports Medicine-certified trainer earned his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and master’s in business administration at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with the intention of opening his own studio someday — and an aim to share the training that helped him reach his baseball dream.

“This has been my vision for a while,” Rivera said.

Rivera opened his Lake Forest personal training studio, Focused Results, on this summer at 950 N. Western. Located in a 980-square-foot space on the south side of the courtyard, Rivera and his two trainers help clients achieve their goals, whatever those goals may be.

“We do a lot of functional training to get people feeling better in their everyday life — carrying groceries, picking up blocks of salt, whatever it is that they do,” Rivera said.

His team also helps clients with weight loss, strength and sports-specific training.

“We’re trying to make people healthy,” he said.

Kelly Bozic of Lake Bluff started going to Focused Results shortly after it opened about five weeks ago. The 24-year-old, who runs 30 to 35 miles a week, appears to be the picture of health.

“I would get shin splints and my knee would hurt and I didn’t know why,” Bozic said.

Rivera figured it out in their first session together.

“When I was running, I was hitting my heel instead of the middle of my foot to my toe — only on one side. That side was carrying all the weight, too,” Bozic said. As a result, her outer thigh muscles became bigger than her inner thigh muscles.

Targeted exercise and correcting her form has helped.

“She’s come a long way,” Rivera said. Getting Bozic’s running form better at 24 was an important goal for her so that she avoids future issues when she’s older.

Bozic also wanted to increase her overall strength and self-defense readiness. With Rivera’s help, Bozic now boxes, kick-boxes and does suspension training, using a TRX system of ropes and webbing that allow her to work against her own body weight.

Rivera and his staff focus their training for each client’s individual needs.

“Some people want weight loss. Some people want strength. Some people want to keep osteoporosis away as long as they can,” Rivera said. “Everybody has a little bit different goal. We find that out the first session, we find out what motivates them and we get them working toward that goal.”

Clients can work one-on-one with a trainer in half-hour or hour-long sessions, or in small-group lessons.

Whichever method they prefer, they will find a serene, eco-friendly environment where the bamboo floors are steam-cleaned regularly, the recycled yoga mats and weights are sanitized with organic cleaning products and the organic cotton towels are laundered in natural soap with non-harsh chemical smell.

Even the treadmill is self-powered, requiring no electricity, and napkins, plates and cups are recycled.

“My wife and I compost at home, we have our own garden. I thought, ‘Why wouldn’t I put that into my business?’ I’ve tried to infuse a lot of what I do with the earth here,” Rivera said.

The organic look and smells of Focused Results was another plus for Bozic.

“Usually you go to a studio and it has a hospital feeling,” she said. “This is more comfortable.”

An inspiration wall covered with motivational words completes the look.

“My whole vision for that was for when people are working hard, they look up and see a word that might inspire them to finish a set out,” Rivera said. “They’ll see the word ‘confidence’ or ‘strength’ and they’ll think, ‘I got this.’”

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