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Empowering women through strength training at (Savv)age Fitness
Savvage Fitness
After working as a trainer for a number of local gyms and fitness programs, Savannah Banuelos has opened up her own gym in Turlock, (Savv)age Fitness, focusing on women’s strength training (CHRISTOPHER CORREA/The Journal).

Name of business: (Savv)age Fitness

Type of business: Gym

Location: 2713 Geer Rd., Turlock

Contact information: Direct message on Instagram at

Specialty: Women’s Strength Training


History of business: Savannah Banuelos has a long history of living an active lifestyle. Since middle school, she has participated in athletics. After years of playing sports and training, she has now opened up her own gym in Turlock, (Savv)age Fitness.

But (Savv)age Fitness isn’t a typical gym. Instead of focusing on cardio or weight loss, Banuelos makes a point of emphasis on strength training. Not only that, but the gym is also tailored to women.

Banuelos’ journey to owning and operating her own fitness space began at Stanislaus State, where she worked as a trainer at the Student Recreation Center for three years. After graduating with a degree in kinesiology in 2021, Banuelos continued to train friends in her backyard. Before long, working at the Camp Transformation Center in Modesto and at Planet Fitness in Turlock made her realize that owning her own gym was a possibility.

“Working at the Camp Transformation Center in Modesto for six months was great, but I had always wanted to focus more on building muscle and building strength. There was always a focus on HIIT, which is High Interval Intensity Training, which I always felt was for losing weight,” Banuelos said. “Working out at Planet Fitness, it is packed like all the time. There’s a line for some machines, especially depending on what time you go, and they only have two machines for everything. On top of that, you have people on their phones, taking pictures, showing off, and I just said, ‘I can’t do this any longer.’”

Eventually, Banuelos came across one of the several empty spaces at University Plaza on Geer Road. On Oct.1, she officially moved into the space at 2713 Geer, and she was off to the races. Shortly after acquiring the space, Banuelos, her husband and her brother-in-law renovated the interior in a single day, painting the walls, changing the flooring and moving in brand new equipment. And on her first day of operation, she already had 32 participants.

“I started advertising in August and September, and 32 ladies showed up. Now, we have 64 clients with only 18 spots left,” she said. “It’s only been three months, which is crazy to think about, but I do think that people respect a women’s gym. Women don’t like to go to those other public gyms with the dudes showing off their muscles, on their phones taking pictures and especially the glaring eyes.”

The culture at (Savv)age Fitness is one that clients have been raving over, including Erin Genest.

“When I am in the gym, Sav kicks my butt and I love every minute of it,” Genest said. “Great location, close to home and the ladies you work out with are always amazing. Everyone motivates each other. It’s an amazing environment.”

It’s an environment that Banuelos is also proud to see come to fruition.

“Being able to get to know each of these ladies and build those kinds of relationships, it makes it easy not only to do my job, but I get excited for them when they are losing weight or gaining weight or hitting those personal records,” she said. “It’s a lot more personal and I’ve found that I really enjoy that. I know these women; I know their kids. It’s like our own little family here.”

With only 18 spots left before the space reaches capacity, Banuelos encourages all who are interested to send her a direct message on Instagram at Additionally, she offers a three-day free trial.

“It’s been a great experience so far,” Banuelos said. “These ladies come here motivated, they hold each other accountable, and seeing the results makes me so happy. I’ve really loved it so far.”