Jim Karas said when people think of personal training, they think it’s all about biceps and triceps.
“Trust me, it’s not,” said Karas, a Chicago-area native who has trained celebrities and has been featured multiple times on national TV. “It’s about connecting with your clients.”
This summer, Karas plans to bring that attitude to the Hinsdale-Clarendon Hills area. In addition to opening a second Jim Karas Personal Training location in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood, the trainer has leased a space at 350 E. Ogden Ave. in Westmont to tap the west-suburban market of workout enthusiasts.
He plans to move in June 1 and open for business on July 1.
Karas said he had tremendous demand in the western and North Shore suburbs. His team looked at a dozen locations in Hinsdale, Clarendon Hills, and Oak Brook.
“This spot came available and it is perfect,” Karas said of the 3,000 square-foot space on the north side of Ogden across the street from Standard Market. “It really enables us to do what we do best.”
Karas’ specialty is one-on-one and small group training. According to his website, he does training at home and in studio, while also providing lifestyle, nutrition and post-rehab services.
The 51-year-old trainer has a client list that includes Dianne Sawyer, Hugh Jackman, and Kerry Wood. His website also lists Whoopi Goldberg, Rachel Weisz, and Emma Thompson as loyal customers.
The trainer said he has been a guest on The View and The Dr. Oz Show. He has also written three books and does speaking engagements across the country.
Karas is originally from Glenview and currently lives in downtown Chicago.
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The 350 E. Ogden building is zoned in a general business district in Westmont, according to Shannon Malik of the Village of Westmont's Community Development Department. It’s a three-story building that contains a number of different businesses.
Sandy Lagastee of LM Commercial Real Estate, which represents the building's landlord, confirmed that Karas is going to lease a first-floor space.
Malik said Karas has not come to the village yet for a business license, but said if the trainer doesn’t plan to open until July 1 there is an ample amount of time to take care of that.