D1 Sports Training gym facility proposed for Bloomingdale

  • A D1 training facility, where members participate in group exercise sessions.

    A D1 training facility, where members participate in group exercise sessions. Photo courtesy of Chris Hess

Updated 4/12/2021 5:42 PM

A new gym franchise catering to athletes is proposed for Bloomingdale, with the opening anticipated in September.

D1 Sports Training is a group-based training facility that specializes in class exercises and high-intensity workouts, according to its mission statement. Although the gym has differing levels of experience and fitness goals, it is centered on amateur and professional athletes, with workout programs for children as young as 7.


The 5,500-square-foot facility is proposed for 400 W. Army Trail Road. Sean Gascoigne, Bloomingdale director of community and economic development, said the proposal will go before the village board's committee of the whole April 26.

"They've got a philosophy and a structured model that produces results," Mayor Franco Coladipietro said. "It's always a great thing when any business wants to settle in Bloomingdale."

D1 Sports Training has 65 locations, including one in Aurora.

Bloomingdale franchise owner Chris Hess says he wants to bring his love of sports to the village.

"The opportunity to open this D1 is a dream for us because we can bring that mission to our own community," Hess said. "Making a difference in people's lives in an area I grew up in by motivating them to be the best versions of themselves is inspiring to us."

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Age tiers are 7 to 11 years old, 12 to 14, 15 to 17, and 18 or older. Membership costs are expected to be around $200 per month, with signees also getting access to a D1 app. Classes of 12 to 16 people last for roughly 53 minutes of warm-up, cardio, strength, conditioning and cool-down periods.

The gym franchise was founded by former University of Tennessee football player Will Bartholomew. The fullback signed to play for the Denver Broncos in 2001, but a knee injury during training ended his career.

After returning home to Nashville, he began to rehabilitate his knee and would train middle-school athletes, according to Hess. The attention he received from the training led to creation of D1.

D1 Sports has the backing of NFL legend Peyton Manning and current athletes such as Super Bowl MVP Von Miller and NBA All-Star point guard Chris Paul, according to Hess and the D1 website.


Hess and his wife Deanna were once gymnasts and their three children all play various sports. He said he became involved in D1 to provide an alternative to the cost, distance and quality of training for youth travel teams.

"Having a facility like this here in Bloomingdale cuts down on the need to drive an hour to and back from these travel teams," he said. Hess said D1 plans to implement pandemic safety measures upon opening. He believes now is the best time for people to begin working out.

"There's never been a greater need for people to have a place to work out and get active," Hess said. "Motivating yourself to do it and get off the couch right now is not easy. D1 as a company has done a great job of implementing safe guidelines and restrictions where everyone can exercise safe and efficiently."

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