Mount Fit, a new community-led fitness studio

Committee members Rikki Simpson (left) and Craig Rich (right) at Mount Fit. Photo: Brydie Thompson.

Mount Maunganui is the home of a new not-for-profit community fitness studio named Mount Fit.

After F45 The Mount closed its doors last month, the loyal members organised a studio that would be run for members by members to keep this going in the community.

“We are committed to driving down the cost of typical franchise studios, so removing all those overheads allows us to drop the price,” says one of the founders and coaches, Craig Rich.

He says they rallied together and turned the vacant building into a community fitness studio, with all the money going into running the place.

Craig says they have no staff, just seven dedicated committee members who all volunteer and five volunteers who coach the classes. Many of these volunteers have full-time jobs and provide any extra hours they can.

“The plan for when it’s making a profit after all essential running costs, is for the money to be donated to local charities.

“For every member above our break-even point, we can invest in studio upgrades, pay for trainers, up-skill our volunteers, and contribute any additional profit to those community charities around us struggling in this current environment.

“The Mount is our home, our community, and we aim to enrich it whilst keeping active and enhancing our health and wellbeing.

“On Tuesday, May 21, we were informed that our F45 Studio was closing up with 10 days’ notice.”

Craig Rich. Photo: Brydie Thompson.

Craig says he has been attending F45 Studio classes since he moved back to New Zealand three years ago.

“I was determined to keep the studio open, and quickly found others with the same view.

“We currently have 30 members, but word of mouth is driving a lot of interest, and we start advertising this week.

“Doug, our head coach, and I devised a plan and created a working group to switch from a franchise to a generic video-assisted studio with a wealth of new community options over and above traditional classes.

“The members had a working bee a couple of weeks ago to get down all the F45 signage and give the place a big clean.

“Incredibly, with brute force from a group of our loyal community, sheer determination [and a distinct lack of sleep], we managed to remove all of the old branding and technology from the studio and ran our first class the day after F45 closed on Saturday, June 1.

“This was most definitely a ‘soft launch’ as we had very little time to ensure everything would be okay. Remarkably, everything was fabulous, and the support was overwhelming.

“It’s a studio where people can come along, make new friends, and work out to their ability. All workouts are redesigned. All equipment is there and it’s literally for every one of all ages, fitness abilities and experience.”

Craig says it is the furthest thing from intimidating and holds monthly social events.

He says they currently run 7 classes every weekday, first at 5.10am and the last at 5.30pm before they pack down and set up the new class for the following day. The classes are also unlimited for members. Weekends have two morning classes.

“The mix alternates between cardio and strength/resistance with hybrid classes thrown in for good measure.

“We aim to extend the number of classes and variety as soon as possible to include stretch, yoga, mat pilates, box fit, Tabata, Zumba, line dancing, whatever the community wants, and we can lead.

“It’s such a fantastic initiative and goes against the grain of money-hungry business. It’s just a bunch of people who love their fitness community so much that they’ve started this not-for-profit studio.

“It’s also super timely as we are trying to keep costs down as much as possible for members in this cost-of-living crisis.

“We believe we offer a positive place for people to improve their physical and mental wellbeing in a supportive community, and it’s important to try to make it as accessible as possible.”

Craig wishes to tell the community, “Come and see us! We don’t judge - we’ve all started at the beginning at some point! It’s our job to make everyone feel welcome and rise to their abilities in a supportive, inclusive, community-based studio focused on health, wellbeing and fun.

“We also host monthly social events to further bring people together - just on Friday we had our first Bingo Night.”

1 comment

Sounds fabulous.......

Posted on 18-06-2024 12:13 | By Bruja

have you got a contact phone number or email address? I guess you're still based in Tawa Street? Cheers :)

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