(Photo by Johanna Kaiser for boston.com)
A new gym is opening in the Back Bay complete with no weight machines, no treadmills, and no individualize televisions, and a goal of offering full body workouts in a group setting.
"We're going to change lives. We're going to change lives with this place,'' Josh Plosker, co-owner of Reebok CrossFit gym told new employees, business partners, and city officials at the ribbon cutting of the new St. James Avenue fitness center.
Unlike the standard gyms, this 35,000 square foot gym runs varied small group training sessions designed to focus on the entire body instead of a particular area, such as legs or abs, and help improve overall health.
Similar fitness centers have been spreading in suburban and rural areas, but this is one of the first of its kind in downtown Boston, owners say.
"Our man mission is to get sedentary office workers to come down and work out,'' said co-owner Michael Cahill, who has heard positive reviews about the program and its communal format from people who have tried out the program.
"Your friends and your colleagues help you stay healthy, and create a community of health, vitality, and fun," Reebok's Chief Marketing Officer Matt O'Toole said. This is Reebok's first CrossFit gym, and the company hopes to open more.
This location will employ ten people and offer 5 part-time jobs for Boston teens through the city's summer jobs program.
Cahill and Plosker received a $150,000 loan from the Boston Local Development Corp. to open the gym. and Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino commended the owners for opening a business aimed at promoting healthy living in Boston.
"This is good for the people's health and the economic health of the city," Menino said at the ribbon cutting. "This give us a healthier city.''
Creating a healthier city has been one of Menino's goals. Right now, 50 percent of adults are overweight or obese as are one in three school age children, according to Menino.
Last week, he promised to help Boston residents shed a million pounds collectively by exercising and eating better and the Boston Public Health Commission is launching citywide campaign that will help residents track weight loss, find nearby gyms and places to work out, and educate children on healthy eating habits.
Menino said he hopes gyms such as CrossFit and the city's initiative "get people to enjoy working out, especially with the youth.''
Reebok CrossFit is located at 31 St. James Ave. Classes run every half hour from 5:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and again from 5 to 7:30 p.m. The gym will host a grand opening party Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with food, drinks, giveaways and workouts.