Investigator with Sheriff’s Office opens new fitness studio in Albion

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 September 2021 at 4:08 pm

Shannon Brett, a certified personal trainer, offers many classes from beginner to advanced

Photo by Tom Rivers: Shannon Brett has opened Project: U in the second floor of 116 North Main St., Albion. Some of the classes include spin, Tabata (high-intensity interval training), Silver Sneakers, boot camp, strength workout, Barre (combining ballet, yoga and Pilates), yoga and TRX suspension training.

ALBION – It was about a decade ago when Shannon Brett was inside the Orleans County Courthouse when a teen bolted from the building.

Brett, an investigator with the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office, took off running after the person. She didn’t have to go far before the teen was apprehended. Brett was gasping for air.

“I could barely breathe,” she said. “I was coughing and hacking. I realized how out of shape I was.”

Brett signed up for a gym membership in Brockport, and the beginning was “horrible.” Her body didn’t like the exercise and she didn’t like the atmosphere, with lots of tough guys and not a lot of instruction on how to use the machines.

Brett learned how to use the different exercise machines, and found herself helping a lot of new people at the gym. She got in better shape and took that experience to help others embrace a more active lifestyle.

Brett became a certified personal trainer and an instructor at The Whole Approach in Holley. On Sept. 7, she opened her own fitness studio – Project: U – in Albion at 116 North Main St., in the second floor of what was once a dance studio.

The floor mat from that studio works well for the group exercises at Project: U. Brett also has 7 stationary bikes for spin classes and TRX suspension straps.

Brett, 44, expects to retire next year from a law enforcement career. She started 19 ½ years ago with the Sheriff’s Office. She said fitness is a passion and she wants to share that with others.

“The project is you and your project starts here,” she said today in the studio. “I want to bring in people to work on their fitness journey.”

She and her two instructors offer classes at beginning, intermediate and more advanced levels. As a certified personal trainer, Brett also can work one on one with people to develop a plan for fitness goals whether building strength, cardio or losing some weight.

Her classes are welcoming and nonjudgmental, with the members offering encouragement to each other. Most of the classes are smaller with up to 10 people. But she also will work with people individually.

“Not everyone feels comfortable walking into a gym or a fitness studio,” Brett said. “With some one-on-one training, they can build that confidence.”

Project: U will celebrate its grand opening on Sept. 25 and the public is welcome to stop by and try a mini session of the classes. The schedule that day includes: Tabata at 10 a.m., Pound at 10:30, Yoga at 11, Spin at 11:30, Barre at noon and TRX at 12:30. Click here for more information or email