I recently sat down with one of the founders of the soon to open Maine Warrior Gym. The thing was before I ever met Brandon I had heard buzz about this gym and how different and unique it was. That told me the guys had been doing something right. I sat down more of a fan and wanting to know more as I wanted to know exactly what the gym was going to feature and how it would be different than the rock gyms, crossfit, and traditional style gyms in this area of Southern Maine. With the growing popularity of “Tough Mudder” style obstacle courses and “Spartan Races” it seems like the demand is there. Last year alone Tough Mudder reached into the high 70 millions for net worth with Spartan Races not far behind. Last year Westbrook hosted a “Tough Mudder” that brought in over 10,000 people from all over New England giving the local businesses an extra boost in Westbrook and Portland area. It’s obvious there is a big want for these type of buddy-style group driven athletic courses. My interview with Brandon was insightful, fun, and I left it feeling that they are well on their way to giving people what they want with this gym!
1. What gave you the inspiration to want to open this gym?
It’s clear that people are seeking alternative forms of exercise – ourselves included – that offer a way to get more enjoyment and fulfillment from working out. We are both huge fans of American Ninja Warrior, Obstacle Races, and unconventional approaches to exercise and we felt Portland was the perfect market to create a space that offered this unique approach to fitness.
2. Where did you go up? Were you into sports?.. or did this come about from a single experience?
Brandon: I was born and raised in Rockville Centre, NY and have always been interested in sports and exercise. After graduating from the University of Michigan I spent two years as a ski instructor in Breckenridge, Colorado before moving to Maine in 2010.
Tim: I’m a native Mainer, raised studying martial arts starting at age 11. I got my second degree black belt in Shaolin Kempo at age 17, and while studying engineering at Northeastern University in Boston, continued to study and teach Brazilian Capoeira, and Praying Mantis Kung Fu before having twin boys and returning to Maine in 2013.
3. As of late with shows like American Ninja Warrior, Crossfit gyms, and lots of tough mudder style obstacle course races the question has to be asked: What is it about this type of fitness is making people want to participate and gain so much popularity?
This style of fitness accomplishes two major goals. It not only allows for a great workout that breaks from the monotony of a typical gym experience, but also involves team camaraderie and support which can really help to make exercising more enjoyable. Running up a curved wall or swinging on a rope is a lot more exciting than simply running on a treadmill.
People like to be challenged, stepping out of your comfort zone really forces you to be present – to focus on the task at hand – and that’s so much healthier than just cardio or weightlifting. Healthier for the body, to get out of its standard range of motions, and healthier for the mind to overcome mental obstacles and see new possibilities arise. It’s the best way to improve your level of self-awareness, self-confidence and shift your entire understanding of your physical capabilities.
4. Will the gym feature only obstacle style courses, or will it have free weights, classes etc?
The gym will feature an obstacle style course that will be scalable, so people of all ages and ability levels can participate, as well as adaptable, so that the offerings will always be changing and allow for different approaches to completing the course. We will also have an area complete with free weights, kettle bells, medicine balls and boxing equipment such as a heavy bag and speed bag. Additionally, there will be a classroom area offering classes ranging from martial arts to yoga.
5. What will your rates be? Hours?
We will offer approximately 25 hours per week of monitored open gym times, and will also have a multitude of daily classes.
6. When can people expect to see the doors open?
We would love to have the doors open by the end of spring/early summer 2015. We’re offering discounted early-bird memberships for a limited time in order to build our membership base and gain traction locally. We’ll also be starting production on a variety of obstacle components that will be available for purchase at www.MaineWarriorGym.com for use at home.
7. Do you feel like people will travel far to come to your gym? Do you think it will not just people during the week have memberships? Like can it be a destination for those in New England?
We want to offer an experience that is not available anywhere else in New England and hopefully this will attract visitors beyond the state of Maine. In addition to our monthly memberships, we will also offer day passes as well as 10-class punch cards that can be used at any visit throughout the year. We will be hosting a variety of obstacle race competitions and the gym will also have programs to host birthday parties, corporate outings and boot camps. We want the gym to serve as a place where families can come to work out together, where elite athletes can come train for their next competition and where obstacle course enthusiasts can prepare for their next race or even their first race.
8. What type of obstacles or equipment will you have?
– Our equipment list will be in a constant state of growth and transition. New obstacles will be designed and built throughout the year to be cycled into use. The obstacles will also be modular which will allow the obstacle course to be completely re-arranged possibly several times a month.
For starters our equipment will consist of many items seen on American Ninja Warrior, such as: Cargo net, climbing ropes, warped wall, incline/declined monkey bars, standing walls, tires, balance beams, slack lines, rings, ball-holds, ledge walls, peg boards, salmon ladders, pull up bars and more.
Our toddler motor-skills development area, for kids ages 1-5, will have a small climbing wall, large various shaped pads, trampolines, balance toys and other equipment intended to help young children improve their coordination and self-control.
9. How can people support you, how can they find you on social media?
We have begun to sell memberships and punch passes and we frequently have sales where you can purchase a membership for a greatly discounted price. The best way to find out about sales and information on our progress is through our facebook, Google+ and twitter pages. You can also visit our website at www.mainewarriorgym.com. We are very excited to open our doors and we look forward to bringing a new dimension to the Maine fitness community.
On top of all that, my company Katalyst will be releasing Maine Warrior Gym shirts in a few weeks that will support the efforts with 100% profit going to help get the gym open sooner and also give people who buy a shirt 25% off a one month membership for or a 10 visit punch card!
We will let you know when those are available!
Follow the journey of Maine Warrior Gym on Facebook and Tim and Brandon look forward to seeing you when they open!