Located in a warehouse space at 2066 NE 155th St., the Fit Shop looks more like an auto shop than a gym. But the industrial space is filled with heavy weights, strong women, and really good music. Instead of fixing up cars, owners Adriane Abraham and Kaisa Kerwin tune up bodies — mentally, physically, and spiritually.
"We're here to work on ourselves on a daily basis to be the best versions we can be," Abraham says. "I think it's so important to talk about that in a gym. It's more than just the physical."
At the Fit Shop, the two longtime friends turned business partners and created a concept called "shift" that plays a vital role in and out of the studio. "It's about the inner change first," Abraham explains. "Nothing can truly change if you don't have that shift on the inside."
Abraham, a former CrossFit coach, and Kerwin, who ran her own kickboxing studio, wanted to create a safe space for women and men to train. They pride themselves on fostering personal relationships between trainers and clients.
"I've been to gyms where it just doesn't feel like home or where there isn't a want to know the clients. But it's different here," Abraham says. "We know who you are, and if we don't see you for a day or two, we'll call you. Everyone in our classes is meaningful."
About 150 clients shuffle in and out of the gym on a given day. The owners estimate about 70 percent of them are women, but a good number are men too.
"Women basically run the facility," Abraham says. "It just sort of fell into that. I think that's why women feel really comfortable here. But we love guys too, and we really push them. Our workouts aren't easy whether you're a man or a woman."
The studio offers four signature classes: Burnout, Tune Up, Supercharge, and Tune Up Performance. They fuse varied techniques such high-intensity interval training, cardio conditioning, flexibility, balance, and resistance work. Abraham recommends the Burnout class for first-timers to help build up cardio training.
All gym music is curated by Kerwin, who spends her time as a DJ when she's not training. "It's pretty helpful having Kaisa as a DJ," Abraham laughs. "She always knows what the good songs are and what people like. It adds an extra flair."
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On average, 20 clients are in each class, and two instructors lead classes with more than 15 guests. Abraham describes it as group personal training that enhances the quality of the workout. "We don't allow 40 or 50 people in a class, because we want it to remain a more personal environment where the client gets attention instead of getting lost in the mix."
Lisa Segall, who has trained at the Fit Shop since it opened in May 2014, says she can see a shift, physically and mentally, within herself. Before joining Abraham and Kerwin's gym, she used to take sleeping pills and other medications. "Now I don't need any of it," she says. "Physically, I've made great changes. Mentally, I'm so much happier and have so much more energy. I feel like a better person.
"I used to organize working out around my schedule," Segall adds. "Now I organize my schedule around these gym classes. I can honestly say I've become addicted to the Fit Shop. It's not just the workout, but it's the people here too. You feel like you're part of a family here."