Nearly three years ago, neighborhood resident Laurie Stein, already a mother of one son, gave birth to twins. Always a health and exercise nut, she found the demands of motherhood made getting to the gym all but impossible.

“The first year of their life, I was at home,” she says. “I didn’t know what to do – other than walk. I needed a way to work out at home.”

So, with a friend, Kelly Jarvis, she decided to get her personal training certification. And that led to inspiration.

“I thought, ‘Wow, let’s go into business,’” Steins says. “It was just kind of one of those random ideas that hits you while you’re in training.”

So Stein and Jarvis launched Muscle Moms in January 2004, with the idea that they’d help out busy moms and women with little time to work out. These days, Stein runs the business herself (Jarvis moved to Seattle).

“There’s no way for so many moms to get to the gym,” Stein says of Muscle Moms’ appeal. “Kudos to those who can, but there’s a group that can’t do it or doesn’t want to do it for various reasons. So that’s the group I’m trying to help.”

With Stein’s help, women don’t even have to leave their living rooms. She’ll bring equipment to her clients’ homes and teach them how to use it. Although she’ll use exercise machines already in the house, she also brings in smaller items good for weight training and aerobics: stability balls, bands, dumbbells, medicine balls, balance boards, jump ropes and boxing gloves.

And, occasionally, a kid. “Sometimes we use them as weights,” Stein says, laughing, of the smaller children. In fact, she adds, her clients shouldn’t worry about shooing their little ones out of the room. “Sometimes the kids are jumping all over us (while we’re working out). Sometimes there’s a baby crying, and somebody has to nurse. It’s just very mom-friendly.”

The completely word-of-mouth business now boasts a clientele of around 20 women all over Dallas. Some people have personal training sessions once or twice a week, while others may require less regular services. Sessions cost $55 an hour.

Less-expensive options include an eight-week program – after the first session, the client can work independently, checking off the exercises completed on day-by-day printouts – or a Muscle Mom training session with a group of friends.

“It’s a very personalized deal,” Stein says of the options.

For more information on Muscle Moms, call Stein at 469-438-8899.