Relay for Life Team in the Fight Against Cancer


Shirlee’s Ultimate Women’s Gym invites you to join Team D-Lad  ❤️ Shirlee’s at Upland’s Relay for Life on Saturday June 13, 2015, at Magnolia Park. The event raises money for the American Cancer’s Society’s fight against cancer.  The team’s name honors gym member Frances Ladner’s son, Daniel (D-Lad), who died from complications of leukemia at 18, as well as Shirlee’s, whose owner, Gary Peterson, died in October 2014, also from leukemia. The gym is now owned by his wife, Konnie Vong, and supports health-related causes.

The first time cancer struck Frances Ladner’s family was in 1983 when her sister, then 24, was diagnosed with ALL leukemia. “She fought her battle with grace and dignity,” Ladner recalls. “Bobbi was a nurse. She love to take care of others. After a three-year battle, she left us at the age of 27.”

In 2007, cancer struck Ladner’s family again: three times. “My husband was diagnosed with bone cancer in January and was just getting used to the shock and everything that’s goes along with treatment when in March my father was diagnosed with lung cancer,” Frances remembers. “It was quite difficult but we all managed. My husband continues maintenance chemo and my father is an 8-year cancer survivor.”


The third and hardest blow came at the end of that year. “In November our beloved Daniel was 18 and had just started college when I heard the worst news of my life,” she said. “I received a phone call from the doctor that my son’s blood tests showed something very serious. He told me Daniel needed to see an oncologist. My heart dropped.” That afternoon she learned that Daniel had APL leukemia, a rare but treatable cancer. Daniel was admitted into the hospital to start treatment on a Thursday. “We brought everything he needed for a short stay,” she recalls. “But God had other plans. Daniel started having complications on Friday afternoon, which was something no one ever thought would happen because was young and otherwise healthy. He died a few days later.”

Konnie Vong, owner of Shirlee’s Ultimate Women’s Gym, shares a bond with Frances Ladner. Her husband, Gary Peterson, was diagnosed with leukemia in 2011 and died in October 2014. With Konnie’s support, in his last three years Gary put incredible passion into building Shirlee’s into the top-notch gym it is today. Many of us at Shirlee’s, both members and employees, remember Gary for his upbeat attitude, his drive to succeed in all his endeavors, his commitment to health and fitness, and his genuine compassion for others.

Like Frances and Konnie, most of us have felt the blow that cancer strikes, either to ourselves or to a loved one. In June we have an opportunity to unite and honor those who lives have been touched by cancer by joining team D-Ladner ❤️ Shirlee’s.  “As Daniel’s mom I’ve made it my fight to stand up and pay it forward so others never have to hear those words, ‘You have cancer,’” said Ladner.

“Shirlee’s is all about supporting each other,” added Vong. “We support each other’s personal fitness goals, and we support our community in the fight against cancer. Our goal is to raise $5,000 for the American Cancer Society.”

Join Our Team.  Registered team members walk around a track and participate in activities during the event, which takes place all day Saturday and into Sunday morning. Team members can camp out overnight. To join the team or to learn more, visit our Relay page.

Make a Contribution. You do not have to attend the relay to help.  You can pledge online to our team or drop off a contribution at Shirlee’s front desk. Every single donation counts! If half the members at Shirlee’s gave $5, we would surpass our goal.

Buy ShirleeStrong.  Shirlee’s is selling special “ShirleeStrong” bracelets at the front desk for $2 as well as other mechandise. We will also be offering specials on memberships, massage and personal training. A portion of proceeds from all sales will go toward Team D-Lad ❤️ Shirlee’s.

If you have questions or would like to help our efforts by volunteering, please call Konnie at (909) 985-6400.  Thank you.

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Show Us Some Love! You May Win a Prize.


Show Us Some Love!

Here at Shirlee’s Ultimate Women’s Gym, we love our members . . . and we hope you will “LIKE” us back on Facebook.

Our FB page is a place where we give notify you about news and the latest specials at the club.  We share posts that will make you laugh and smile and feel motivated. If you are already a Shirlee’s FB fan, thank you! We appreciate your support. If you have not already liked the Shirlee’s FB page, please take a minute to do so now.

As an added incentive: you could win a prize!  We have about 850 “LIKES” so far. . . . when we reach 1,000, we will enter the names of all our members who are fans into a drawing for a special prize.  So LIKE us now, and tell your fellow members!

If you have friends who are thinking about joining Shirlee’s, tell them to “like” our page as well, as they will be eligible for our “March Madness” New Member FB Special.

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Change of Heart Event Feb 18

feb 18 change of heart flier

Ladies, you won’t want to miss fun, fitness, and fabulous raffle prizes at Shirlee’s on Wednesday, Feb 18. We will be hosting a Change of Heart event to benefit the American Heart Association’s Go RED for Women.

Change of Heart is a grass roots program presented by SELF Magazine to teach women about heart disease, the number one cause of death for women, and motivate them to improve their heart health. This event is open to our members and the public, so please tell your friends and neighbors. For $20 participants receive:

  • a year’s subscription to SELF Magazine
  • a SELF water bottle
  • a raffle ticket and a chance to win great prizes from Nordstrom and local businesses
  • full use of our gym for the day
  • Pinkberry yogurt
  • Heart health tips

We will also have special events, such as:

To register, stop by the front desk or call (909) 985-6400.

According to the American Heart Association, heart disease causes one in three deaths of women each year.  It is more deadly than all forms of cancer, killing approximately one woman every minute.  Since 1984, more women than men have died each year from heart disease, and the gap between men and women’s survival continues to widen. The symptoms of heart disease can be different in women vs. men, and are often misunderstood. While 1 in 31 American women dies from breast cancer each year, 1 in 3 dies of heart disease.

“We are proud to open our facility and host a Change of Heart day,” said Vong. “The event is a fun way for us to bring together our members and the community to educate women about heart disease, fitness, and health.”

Our goal is to raise $1,000. On behalf of Shirlee’s and our members, thank you for your support of this event to raise money for the American Heart Association.

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Giving Back


Every organ in your body depends on your heart.  As it pumps, this muscle provides oxygen and nutrients to everything else.  At Shirlee’s, our members take cardio classes to strengthen heart health. But the women who work out at our gym have another kind of heart as well: compassion for others. We at Shirlee’s are just as proud of the way our members exercise this kind of heart.

This year we sponsored three fundraising drives for health-related causes. Our members responded with generosity. Here are the amounts raised:

Relay for Life American Cancer Society—more than $1,000
City of Hope Breast Cancer Blood Drive Event—more than $2,500
Salvation Army Bake Sale—more than $500 and a truck-load of food and clothes.

Wow! More than $4,000 was donated to our community with the help of our members, family and friends.

For some people, meeting a fundraising goal can seem as daunting as reaching a fitness goal. Curing cancer, for example, or providing for the poor among us, seems an impossible challenge.  Why even bother to try?  What many of our members have found, however, is that being part of a strong, positive community makes all the difference. We cheer each other on. The same attitude that helps us reach fitness goals inspires us to meet fundraising goals.

Thank you so much to our members who gave, and in doing so motivated others to follow their lead. Special thanks for donations made by Mary Lamb, Carol and Richard Anderson, Karen and Bob Sorosky, Shirlee’s Aqua Elites, De Marie Bottai and many more.  Every dollar counts.  We hope to increase our efforts on these causes next year so as a team we can help even more. Shirlee’s also recently established the ShirleeStrong Membership Fund to help pay for gym memberships for women from our community who have cancer or other health issues who would otherwise be unable to afford membership. We welcome you to join us in our outreach by making a donation.

Just as the pumping of your heart provides sustenance for the rest of your body, the generous giving of our members supports the well being of the common good. For more information on any of the causes we support, please call (909) 985-6400.

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Three Words About Shirlee’s

Cloud 2

In a Member Survey, we asked women what three words come to mind when they think of Shirlee’s. This Word Cloud above shows the responses.

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Personal Training

Personal Training Rates
Before and After Profiles 

Invest in Yourself with Personal Training

Did you ever wonder if you should hire a personal trainer?  Motivation is high when women join a gym.  But for some, life gets in the way, and ­excuses take over.  “I need to stop off at the store. My kids are expecting dinner on the table.  I just don’t feel like it.  I’ll go tomorrow. What’s one workout? This is too hard . . . I’ll never succeed anyway! ” Before long, routine, resolve, and respect vanish.  Results never happen.  

Paying for one-on-one attention may seem extravagant at first. But many people find it money well spent, especially when they are first starting out.  Here’s what you need to know to decide if investing in personal training is worthwhile for you.

Personal trainers are experts who have been trained and certified to help you achieve your fitness goals. Trainers have the knowledge and skills needed to:

•    assess your current physical abilities
•    understand your lifestyle and personality
•    help you set fitness goals
•    develop a program personalized for your needs
•    ensure that your workouts are safe
•    tweak movements so you get the optimal results for your time
•    make sure you balance strength training, cardio, and flexibility
•    focus on specific areas most important to you
•    provide information about nutrition and encourage healthy eating
•    empower you to advance on your own
•    challenge you to work at your top level without burning you out
•    help you to develop positive workout habits
•    motivate you and give you the “extra push” you need to achieve your goals.

At Shirlee’s Fitness Club for Women, the Ultimate Women’s Gym, all our Master Tainers are experienced and certified.  But beyond that, we hire trainers with specific traits: Patience and listening skills; enthusiasm and the ability to keep you motivated; and respect for women of all shapes and sizes.  All our employees and independent contractors abide by a Code of Conduct that puts the client first.

To increase affordability and convenience, we offer several training options.  Our rates for personal training are reasonable. We even offer a special Introduction to Personal Training Package that allows you to try out training with a Shirlee’s Fitness Coach who is an apprentice trainer. This special introduces you to training at a very affordable price.   Our facilities include the best professional gym equipment, and your trainer or coach can show you how to use it correctly.  Many of our clients request a specific trainer they have met by taking a group class. Others get to know a trainer by observing them working with other clients.  You can also ask a manager to recommend a trainer.

Studies show that personal trainers make a difference in helping clients stick with an exercise program. Staying motivated, like anything else, is a habit you have to develop.  Some lucky people never need help.  But if you are not one of them, a personal trainer can get you started and help you keep momentum during the critical phase when you might otherwise give up.  When a trainer devises a routine tailor-made for you and helps you stick to it, you start to see results.  You look and feel better!  Results serve as positive reinforcement. After a few sessions, you discover that you do not want to miss your time at the gym. You become addicted to fitness. To learn more about investing in your health with personal training, please contact Dr. Konnie Vong at (909) 985-6400. See the results that personal training can help you achieve on our Before and After pages.

New Equipment for Training

Shirlee’s now has boxing equipment and TRX available for training!



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Shirlee’s Video on Yelp



A video showcasing Shirlee’s Fitness Club for Women in Upland is now up on Yelp. Thank you to all our staff and all our members who helped to show the world the ultimate gym for women! Check out the Shirlee’s Yelp video.   Thanks also to all our members who have posted reviews. We encourage you to share your own review on Yelp.

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All Shapes and Sizes Welcome

Making Plus-Sized Women Welcome

The customer is always right: that adage holds true for any business. It doesn’t mean that the customer is literally always correct, but that the business should treat the customer with respect and understanding.

According to a recent article in the LA Times, however, when it comes to health clubs, many gym owners just don’t get it. In fact, most gyms alienate the very people that could benefit from them the most: those who are overweight. The Times reported that while large commercial gyms are oblivious to the needs of larger people, some independent gyms are now taking steps to make plus-sized clients feel more welcome.

The Times article hit home for those of us who work at Shirlee’s because we know that our attitude is just as important as our equipment. Shirlee’s is a judgement-free zone. It is a place where women work out without being intimidated, where they enjoy valuable “me time” in a supportive, friendly atmosphere. This is true for all women, no matter what their size or ability.

Here’s some of the our features that make us more welcoming to everyone:

    • Equipment—Shirlee’s offers user-friendly exercise equipment designed to accommodate women large and small. To make sure you feel adept at using different machines, we have free orientations. The furniture in the locker room, by the pool, and throughout the gym was chosen because it supports the weight of larger bodies and will be comfortable for everyone.
    • The Locker Room—Privacy makes plus-sized (and other) people feel more comfortable, and we provide spacious private dressing areas. We have private individual showers as well.
    • The Classes—Because we have such a diverse clientele, Shirlee’s offers more than 60 classes a week, many more than most gyms. In each class, instructors provide alternative options when appropriate. In a yoga class, for example, the instructor will suggest different poses for women who have osteoporosis or other special needs. In an aerobics class, options are given for both high and low impact. Managers, trainers and instructors can help you find the class that’s right for you.
    • The Trainers—Personal training is available at Shirlee’s for those who want more personalized instruction. We hire trainers who are certified, have positive, compassionate attitudes, and are dedicated to motivating clients at all levels. Trainers can help you develop a routine that is safe and effective for your particular needs. All our employees and independent contractors abide by a Code of Conduct that emphasizes an environment that makes all women feel welcome and supported.
    • The Pool—Many larger women find exercising in water easier. At Shirlee’s, our pool is kept warm, so it’s not a struggle to get in. We offer aqua classes that give you a fun, effective workout without putting too much stress on your joints. You can also relax and soothe your muscles in the jacuzzi.
    • Our Attitude—We want women of all shapes, sizes, ages and abilities to feel comfortable at Shirlee’s Fitness Club for Women. We listen to members and welcome your feedback. Unlike gyms that ignore certain segments of their clientele-whether it be larger women, frail women, mothers-to-be, or others-we want to anticipate and accommodate special needs whenever possible. I invite you to let a manager know if you ever have an idea on how we can make Shirlee’s even better.


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Thank You to Our Cleaning Crew!



When it comes to working out in a gym, sometimes it’s the little things that matter most. Shirlee’s conducted a Member Survey recently, and as the survey responses starting coming in, we noticed one thing all members seem to agree on: Cleanliness matters.

We asked members to rate 24 different aspects of our gym as: most important; very important; important; not a big factor; or not a factor at all.  The quality that most members chose as most important was that our gym is “Clean and Classy.”

From the Grand Opening two years ago, Shirlee’s made a commitment to keep our facility absolutely spotless.  You may have noticed that one of our cleaning staff is always on hand, mopping the floors, wiping down equipment, scouring the bathrooms, and keeping everything looking and smelling fresh and clean.

We know our members see Shirlee’s as an oasis, a place where they can get away from the stress of jobs, family, and housework to concentrate on “Me Time.” Keeping the place super clean is just one way we make members feel like they are in a resort, not a chain gym.

So on behalf of the owners and the members, here’s a big THANK YOU to our hard working housekeeping staff: Blanca, Sylvia and Dinorah.  We really appreciate all you do to make Shirlee’s special.

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