News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Sisters gym to host grand opening

Sisters’ options for pursuing a healthy, fit lifestyle keep growing. Ashlee Francis has opened Sweat PNW at 392 W. Main Ave. She will host a grand opening of the new fitness program and facility on Saturday, October 19.

Francis told The Nugget that she wanted Sweat PNW to complement the other gyms in town, offering a program designed to appeal to all fitness levels, with classes limited to six people (there will be more during the grand opening).

“I try to keep it limited so you feel like you are getting personal training for a fraction of the cost,” Francis said.

Francis’s education background is in physical therapy and she managed two gyms in Santa Barbara before returning to Sisters, where her family is. She is also a talented athlete.

The protocol at Sweat PNW is individualized training that focuses on proper movement, and a mix of cardiovascular and strength training for men and women.

Francis, who suffered a severed tendon in her ankle when she was hit by a car while riding her bike, understands the need to work around injuries, and she designs her programs to adapt and overcome limitations. The work is hard enough to smoke the fittest athletes if they want it — but it’s designed to go easy on the frame.

“All the cardio is low impact on the joints, so it’s great for building strength and cardiovascular fitness without applying any pressure to the joints,” Francis noted. “This helps prevent injury and allows people with injuries and bad knees to continue working out.”

Francis keeps the workouts varied, both to help participants stay engaged and to avoid repetition and ruts.

“This is about my 100th day in this spot,” she said last week. “And they haven’t done the same workout twice.”

As a mother herself, Francis knows the value of a gym offering classes where a parent can bring their child — and Sweat PNW does just that.

Francis’ ethic also emphasizes giving back to the community that has supported her family through trying times.

“Every month we support a member of the community in need,” she said.

Donations at the grand opening will help the Jeppsen Family of Sisters.

The grand opening will feature donation-based classes starting at 7 a.m.

“Every 75 minutes we’ll start a new class that’s an hour long,” she said.

That will give prospective clients a real taste of what the Sweat PNW program offers. Advance sign-ups are required due to limited space; visit to register.

Ann Griffin will offer free chiropractic consultations during the event and Amy’s Cake Lab in Sisters will provide cupcakes.

Author Bio

Jim Cornelius, Editor in Chief

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Jim Cornelius is editor in chief of The Nugget and author of “Warriors of the Wildlands: True Tales of the Frontier Partisans.” A history buff, he explores frontier history across three centuries and several continents on his podcast, The Frontier Partisans. For more information visit


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