Golden residents looking to hit the gym for the first time in months or start a new exercise routine as they embrace post-pandemic life will soon have a new option for doing so. Unite Fitness, a new …
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Golden residents looking to hit the gym for the first time in months or start a new exercise routine as they embrace post-pandemic life will soon have a new option for doing so.
Unite Fitness, a new group fitness studio specializing in high intensity interval training classes, is set to officially open this May in the strip mall near the intersection of South Golden Road and East Street.
According to the fitness website Self.com, “the hallmark of high intensity interval training is repeated extremely hard bouts of work interspersed with periods of recovery.”
At Unite, customers will be able to chose from either strength-focused classes (called BURN) or classes focused on building cardiovascular stamina (called STRENGTH).
More than 40 class sessions will be offered each week from the early morning to the late evening as well as on weekends. Each class will last about 50-55 minutes with between 10 and 30 participants.
“The more the merrier because it creates kind of a cumulative energy,” she studio manager Tara Gillfillan. “That kind of motivates you having everyone do the same thing together.”
The studio’s owner, Mara Prendergast, said one of the advantages of its model is that people of any age and level of fitness can sign up for any class.
“HITT classes are great because you can pick however you feel and all of the movements are going to be super simple,” said Prendergast. “They’re truly for an athlete and a beginner alike and there will be adjustments for every single movement.”
The gym’s coaches, meanwhile, are taught to be encouraging but not critical.
“There’s no intimidation if it’s people stepping into the gym in a year,” said Gillfillan. “We are very welcoming of all levels.”
Inside the Unite Fitness studio, Prendergast said customers will find a “big, open space” containing hand weights, kettlebells, pull-up bars and other “functional equipment that goes in your hands” and will be used in the classes.
However, there will also be something people might not expect to see in a typical fitness studio: a mural by a local Navajo artist that will be located on the back wall.
“The studio will be very black and modern but also kind of artsy with the mural, which will incorporate nature and athletics,” Prendergast said.
For Prendergast, opening her own fitness studio has always been a goal. But she decided now was the time to do so after moving from Phoenix to Golden and realizing Golden’s group fitness scene felt lacking compared to what she was used to in Arizona.
“Immediately when I moved here I noticed a hole when it comes to those places that have a really fun atmosphere with loud music and are really welcoming to all different abilities,” she said. “And I just thought Golden was a perfect because there are lots of athletic people who want to cross train and I thought what was existing might not fit their needs.”
According to Prendergast, the studio also couldn’t be opening at a better time as many look to get in shape after a year or more of avoiding the gym.
However, she also notes that there will be precautions in place, including fans that are being installed to work in collaboration with the facility’s large garage doors to increase air flow, and a rule that everyone in each class must remain spaced six feet apart.
“Especially right now, people are ready to get after it,” she said. “It’s summer, people are getting vaccinated and craving community and feeling good.”
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