• Carolyn Hoffert

Customer Stories: Lara Garner

Freeplay’s mission is to bring people and exercise together in as fun a setting as possible.

To do this, we’ve begun a weekly spotlight to showcase our fantastic Freeplayers and to make a list of their recommendations for the best gyms in Utah. This week’s list includes best hot pilates studio and best high-fitness class in Utah, so make sure to check out the bottom of the post!


Lara: Self-Proclaimed Mom of 3 Trying to Stay in Shape

Lara joined the Freeplay famiy in February of 2019 and is loving every minute of it. She’s been a resident of Utah since 2013 and originally hails from the corn-filled state of Missouri. After getting her associates in Science from BYU Idaho, she settled in the lovely and growing area of Vineyard. At age 29 and with 3 kids under the age of 6, her hands are full! Especially since she runs a business making beautifully delicious cakes from out of her kitchen (when not busy keeping little hands out of her batter). To see more of her AMAZING cake creations, check out her insta: @cakedwithLara.

Aside from her love of family and baked confections, Lara loves to exercise. “It’s about mental health for me,” she says as we talk on the phone. “When I don’t work out, I am less patient with the kids. I need it. Working out in the morning helps me start my day with those happy endorphins.”


To relieve mommy-stress (and we all understand the need for that!), Lara likes to hit a variety of gyms. Her go-to fitness choices include High Fitness (or High-Fit as the savants say), and circuit training, with a bi-monthly or so drop-in on Hot Pilates.


“That’s why Freeplay is so great,” she said over the babble of children in the background. “The variety of gyms works better with the kids’ and my schedules and the classes I want to take.”



Establishing a Regular Exercise Routine

Curious if Lara has always exercised 6 days a week (I’m just squeaking out a proud 4 myself), I asked her what got her started down her fitness journey.


Doesn't this cake look adorable?


She paused a moment before answering, “Before my first kid in 2013, I wasn’t as regular. I’d do Insanity and then Vasa, then stop, then I became regular again when pregnant with my second child.”


So what helped Lara establish a regular exercise routine?


“The gym I started going to made a big difference.”


By finding a local gym that offered child care and classes at convenient times of the day, exercise became something more accessible for Lara.


Finding fitness classes we are actually excited about and that work with our schedule is a common lament of the working man (and woman, which all moms most certainly are). I mean, who has the energy to exercise when their schedules are cram-packed with work, children, social activities, and . . . what was the last one? Oh, right. Sleep.


Speaking of social activities, I asked Lara if she’s a lone shark when exercising or if she prefers to lift weights with a school of fish.

“I’m going to exercise either way. Going alone isn’t going to stop me, but I prefer to exercise with people. With Freeplay, I can go try out a new gym and tell my friends how it was.”


I ask if that makes her a sort of gym guinea pig and she laughs. “I have a group of friends who use Freeplay, too. We have a group text with 6 or so of us who carpool together, and we’ll just jump on and say who is going where for the week and make plans for exercising in the future. Especially with high-fitness. We have an early morning group that goes together.”


How does Lara stay motivated?


Since Lara already exercises more than the average American, according to these stats from the Centers for Disease ControI, I was curious if she had any goals heading into the new year.

(Infographic by Sara Chodosh on popsci.com)

“Well, I’m turning 30 in August,” she said resolutely, “and I want to be in the best shape of my life.”


For Lara, that means continuing to work out regularly and adhering to the Clean Simple Eats cookbook. As a busy mother of 3, she’s focused on tools that make her life easy, like Freeplay, and Clean Simple Eats does that by providing meal ideas and grocery lists for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.


“I want to be healthy, live longer, and be cleaner with my eating and living.”


Why Freeplay Works


After Lara finishes telling me about all her fitness success, I ask if Freeplay helped her get where she is now.


“Definitely. My husband uses Freeplay, too. We like the variety not just with fitness but for the Lindon pool. We bought a punch pass for the kids and then use Freeplay to check ourselves in. Freeplay isn’t just for fitness, it’s for your full happiness because it combines family life and exercise life. We even use it to go to the sauna.”


With a crackle on the phone, Lara breaks off to laud her son’s artwork before returning to our conversation. “I just tell people, don’t think of it just as a pass for exercise; it’s your entertainment for date night and the family. We even have a puffball jar for our kids so they can earn going to airborne because my husband and I get in free with Freeplay.”


When I ask her if she has a fitness mantra for this upcoming year, Lara chuckles. “You know the movie 13 Going On 30?”


Who doesn’t?


“Well, that’s my motto for this year. I want to be thirty, flirty, and thriving.”



For Lara’s favorite gyms in Utah that can be found on the Freeplay app, check out the list below. And if you’re interested in being spotlighted for Freeplay, contact us!


Best Gyms in Utah

Lara’s favorite Utah gyms:


Best Gym for Circuit Training in Utah

Boom Fitness Culture - A fitness center in Pleasant Grove that provides a positive atmosphere so everyone can enjoy a fitness level that suits their lifestyle.


Best Hot Pilates Studio in Utah

Brick Canvas - A fitness studio located in Lehi focused on mind and body wellness.


Best High-Fitness Class in Utah

Evolve Fitness - A fitness studio also located in Lehi that empowers women through positivity, self-care, and community.

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