A KIRK Michael couple are hoping to change attitudes to fitness and exercise with the opening of their new business in Braddan in September.
The concept of the new CrossFit IOM gym, in Kirby Farm Industrial Estate, Vicarage Road, is a rejection of conventional gym habits, instead focusing on what they call ‘the sport of fitness’.
In a nutshell, CrossFit is an intense circuit training style approach, using ‘real life’ movements rather than static resistance exercises that have always been so common in gyms. CrossFit-trained athletes can also go on to take part in national competitions.
The Braddan gym is being purpose-built to house the hour-long supervised workouts that Erin Callister, aged 24, and Dan Bonett, aged 29, believe will prove popular in the island.
Equipment is due to arrive between the 10th and 15th of next month, with an official opening due soon after.
Erin, a physiotherapist who will work out of the new gym, explained: ‘It’s not a franchise, we’re opening our own gym and have paid to be affiliated with CrossFit, to tap into the brand and approach. As it stands we will be the only one in the island, though there’s something like 85 in the UK, and it’s massive in Europe and North America.’
With the approach being so different from the current status quo, are Erin and Dan worried about being able to attract settled members?
‘We’re not nervous at all! We’ve had so much interest we know it will work, it’s a calculated risk,’ said Erin.
‘It’s very specific to individuals, and we’d prefer a small number of happy customers than thousands of anonymous ones. There’s a lot of knowledge and experience involved, it’s quite a scientific programme, not just a bootcamp.’
Dan, a former fireman, expanded on the difference.
‘Normal gyms tie you to years, and people just get shown the raw basics,’ he said. ‘Gym instructor courses can be done in six weeks, so the knowledge base isn’t always great, a lot of things are kept basic.
‘Here, membership effectively means being trained as a pro athlete, including things like nutritional lectures.’
The unit at Braddan is apparently just the job.
‘It’s 2,000 square feet, which is a good size,’ said Dan. ‘It’s common for CrossFit gyms to be in industrial estates, as they need high ceilings.’
As well as the gym space, the unit will house the physiotherapy clinic, changing rooms and a juice bar seating area. It could also host local and national CrossFit competitions.