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Meet Jenny Harkins of Treadfit in Beverly

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jenny Harkins.

Jenny, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
As an avid runner and busy mom, I struggled with fitting in time for both strength training and running. After training and running in five marathons and several half marathons, I began experimenting with shorter bursts of high intensity running mixed with strength training. I saw dramatic improvements in my running and decided to leave distance running behind. I opened Treadfit in Chicago’s Beverly neighborhood in August of 2015. The business started with four, fifty minute classes of 11 clients taught by myself and one other instructor. Very quickly, classes and instructors were added to accommodate demand. In July of 2016, Treadfit moved to a larger space to provide additional space for treadmills. Business has continued to grow. Treadfit has five instructors and over 45 classes per week. On average, Treadfit has over one hundred clients attending classes per day.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
There have been many struggles along the way since opening Treadfit. The biggest obstacle has been expanding the schedule and finding certified, quality instructors. I have been very fortunate to find five amazing, highly qualified instructors. Navigating social media and the importance of its use in the business has been a struggle as well. I am learning as I go how to maximize the use of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to grow Treadfit’s client base.

Please tell us about Treadfit.
Treadfit is an innovative fitness facility that provides fifty minute, customized workouts from certified trainers in small group settings. Each 50-minute Treadfit workout incorporates periods of intense anaerobic exercise with periods of recovery and strength-building exercises. Each client receives a heart-rate monitor to track heart rate zones and accurate calorie burn. Throughout the 50-minute workout, clients strive to complete 10 to 18 minutes of training at 84% or higher than maximum heart rate. Hitting this target will produce an increased metabolic rate for 24 to 36 hours after the workout.

Everyone is welcome at Treadfit, walkers, joggers and hardcore runners. Each client starts at their “easy pace”, a pace they can keep for one hour, and the workout builds from there. Unlike, larger corporate gyms that fill classes to 25 plus, our classes our capped at fifteen clients. Instructors are able to focus on clients form, and provide detailed treadmill segments aimed at improving clients speed and endurance.

As the owner, I love to hear clients describe Treadfit as a family. There is an energy and buzz the minute you walk in the door. That makes me most proud of the work I have put into the business.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
My favorite childhood memory was the day my brother was born. I had never seen my dad so happy. He danced with us around the living room.


  • Single Class $15
  • 5 Class Pack $70
  • 10 Class Pack $130
  • 15 Class Pack $180
  • 20 Class Pack $220
  • 20 Class Pack (military, police, fire, and teachers) $200
  • 5 Class Student Pack $50

Contact Info:

1 Comment

  1. Karen Corrigan

    May 2, 2017 at 12:28 am

    Jenny your Treadfit business looks so inviting. Congratulations on your article and your hardworking accomplishments.

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