Ashley Frasier builds software at her job and sits a lot, calling herself "a desk jockey." While she worked out, it wasn't enough so she decided to give CrossFit training a try and fell in love with it.
"I thought I was fit," she said. "It changed my life."
So when the chance to acquire Lookout Fitness came about earlier this year, she and friend Kacy Womack decided to become co-owners and move the gym from Chattanooga's Southside to new facilities on McCallie Avenue near Warner Park.
On Monday, Lookout Fitness reopened in about 4,000 square feet of space at 1304 McCallie where the co-owners aim to offer the kind of life-changing fitness training that Frasier found.
Plans are to provide 30 group classes per week of high-intensify training as well as offer nutrition help and personal accountability support, they said.
Womack said the vision is to grow the business, in part by connecting with the adjacent Highland Park neighborhood.
"This area needs a community-based gym," she said.
Chattanooga developer Matt McGauley last year led a group to make over longtime commercial space that now includes Lookout Fitness. The property held the once popular retailer Service Merchandise decades ago and McGauley and builder Mike Berry are refurbishing the entire site in a $4 million project.
McGauley said phase one of the redevelopment is about 60% leased up so far. He said the group is in talks with a restaurant user for space along McCallie, which will fill up the first phase. On the opposite side of the tract is professional or medical office space that will mark the second phase, the developer said.
McGauley, president of Fidelity Trust Co., said he's partnering with prospective tenants such as Lookout Fitness to create custom space.
Locker rooms with showers were built into the Lookout Fitness gym to help provide people working out with an amenity to get them to their jobs during the day.
"It's a great convenient location," McGauley said, citing its proximity to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, the area's hospitals and downtown.
Operating a business venture in the best of times is a challenge, and doing so during the coronavirus pandemic created more work, the business owners said. They said Lookout Fitness has put into place the recommended guidelines for gyms when it comes to health and safety.
But Womack said she and Frasier didn't hesitate despite the coronavirus outbreak.
"We never questioned," she said, adding that they believe in the benefits of CrossFit training and the community around it.
Lookout Fitness was launched a couple of years ago by Chattanooga attorney Manzurakhon Talipova.
Frasier said that CrossFit provides an opportunity to do a variety of training exercises in a group setting.
"You should never plateau," she said.
In addition to Frasier and Womack, Lookout Fitness will provide six coaches who'll offer various classes throughout the week, Frasier said.
"All have different ways of teaching," the business owner said. "We try to meet everybody where they are. Our programming is for everybody, from age nine to their Sixties."
Lookout Fitness memberships are $155 per month, according to its website, lookoutfitness.com. It said it offers discounts for active military, fire and police.
Contact Mike Pare at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @MikePareTFP.