By Zach Alvira
A former collegiate soccer player Mike Baker knows the importance of a good training regimen.
His wife, Kristen, who graduated from South Alabama with a sports medicine degree, is deeply involved in fitness.
The two of them—who have extensive backgrounds in medical and pharmaceutical sales, too—recently opened D1 Training, which is franchised by athletes like Peyton Manning and Denver Broncos Super Bowl MVP linebacker Von Miller.
The 7,000-square-foot D1 Training opened to the public about a month ago near the intersection of Scottsdale Road and East Joan de Arc. The staff trains a wide variety of individuals, including kids.
“Everyone in here works with coaches in a group class that will help guide you in the right direction to meet your fitness goals,” Kristen says. “Our coaches can tailor to a 7-year-old and then turn it up a notch in the afternoon with a professional athlete. We want to create a community for everyone to come in and enjoy themselves.”
When the Bakers were introduced to D1, they were immediately smitten.
“The D1 model itself is something we have always heard about,” Mike says. “The concept of an elite training facility, regardless of what your athletic ability is, was appealing to both of us.”
Together, they brought a new level of fitness training to the Valley.
Training sessions at D1 are held in a group setting, lasting roughly 54 minutes. Coached by one of the gym’s certified trainers, many of whom have achieved the highest level of certification for trainers, every workout highlights the five key elements of athletic-based training: dynamic warmup, performance, strength, core and conditioning, and cool-down.
The groups all vary by age. D1 caters to “Rookie” (7-11), “Developmental” (12-14) and “Prep” (15-18). It also hosts boot camp and strength training groups for adults.
D1’s coaches provide general fitness for patrons as well as sport-specific activities that can benefit athletes of all ages. The gym has already catered to as many as 20 professional athletes seeking a viable training option during the coronavirus pandemic.
The facility is outfitted with several strength and cardio machines, as well as free weights, resistance bands and other equipment to fulfill a full-body workout. There is also an area with artificial turf, allowing for cardio training that closely resembles the same surface most athletes train on during the season.
So far, feedback has been positive.
“To have such a big brand and to see the names involved—along with the new facility, the turf and all the equipment—everyone is enjoying it,” Mike says. “It’s been very overwhelming and encouraging to see what has happened so far.”
Mike and Kristen say they enjoy bringing a new level of training and fitness to Arizona, which, as of late, has become home to several up-and-coming athletes at all levels.
“Especially right now with everything that is happening, it’s fulfilling to be able to provide a place that can almost be seen as an outlet to continue focusing on the goal you’re trying to achieve,” Kristen says. “I just enjoy being able to provide that space for you no matter what level you may be at.”