Alex Joudy owned a couple of small personal training studios in California before he and his wife, Anna Marie, moved to the Key Peninsula about a year ago.
Joudy wasn’t in the market to buy a gym, but met Alexander Kathawa and they joined forces and opened Gig Harbor Strength and Fitness on March 7.
Kathawa said his general manager is extremely knowledgeable about health and fitness.
“He is also really good with people, very approachable, optimistic and a plan-driven guy,” he said.
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Kathawa is the primary owner and Joudy serves as the general manager. Anna Marie is the head strength and conditioning coach.
Their venture started out by remodeling 6,000 square feet of individual suites at 5775 Soundview Drive, Suite 101C, and transforming it into a gym.
“We opened the walls up and connected it all,” Joudy said.
Gig Harbor Strength and Fitness offers a strength room, a regular gym area, 30 weekly classes, designated strength and studio rooms, seminars, events and premium equipment.
Membership is a flat $50 per month for 24-hour access to the gym. There are no contracts, and membership runs month to month. It was very important to Kathawa that the gym have no contracts.
“I don’t want people to feel like they are stuck,” he said.
The gym offers a free weekly pass, and clients can take two classes and have a free personal training appointment to see if it is a good fit for them.
“We want people to try the gym before they sign up,” he said. “We want to make money, but we want to do it the right way.”
The $50 monthly membership allows members full access to the gym. For members choosing to take part in two-day-a-week classes, the fee is $100 a month. For three-day-a-week classes, the fee is $150 per month.
Joudy said the community has responded positively to the new gym, and the fact that there are no membership or joining fees is a real plus to folks using the gym.
Additionally, the 24-hour access is a big draw for a lot of the members, Joudy said.
“We get a lot of military, law enforcement and emergency services folks that use that 24-hour option,” he said.
A portion of the gym is dedicated to strength training, and Joudy explained it is not a cross fit gym.
“It is strictly barbell training. One of the advantages we have are the seven power rack stations,” he said.
The 2,000-square-foot weight room includes dumbbells, an Olympic bench press, leg press, treadmills, ellipticals, an eight-station cable jungle gym and more. The 1,000-square-foot aerobic room is open to members when not in use for classes and is stocked with yoga blocks, medicine balls, battle ropes and plyometric boxes. Locker rooms include showers, lockers, TVs and complimentary towel service.
In July, the gym will host a three-day course in bar bell training.
“It will be based off a specific training model for gaining in the most efficient and safe way possible. The development of this model came out of Mark Rippetoe, who was the main strength guru for Cross Fit. He had a lot of experience,” Anna Marie said.
Rippetoe and his staff will run the event.
“They are all great people — all certified — and they will have their eyes on clients and making sure they do everything correctly,” she said. “The goal is to gain muscle strength and be able to get through their everyday lives without injury.”
The couple said they have had a steady stream of clients and a great response to the gym. Word of mouth has brought a lot of clients to the gym as well. Kathawa said if the gym continues to be successful, he would like to open other locations.
Gig Harbor Strength and Fitness can be reached at 253-432-4971 or visit ghstrengthandfitness.com.