December 2023 Club of the Month, presented by ABC Fitness:
Southside Lifting Club, Spokane, Washington, est. 2023
Southside Lifting Club opened earlier this year and the community of the gym is already going strong. When building the facility, owner Alek Lewis knew he wanted to create a space of belonging that listens and caters to members’ needs. With a more intimate environment, Lewis knew members can form better connections with one another and club staff.
Below, Lewis details the culture of community, improving member experience, the ease of opening a club with ABC Fitness and more.
How did Southside Lifting Club come about? When was the club established?
I wanted to open a gym because I would see how members at some facilities were treated like a number and not a person. I wanted a club that feels like your friend’s garage gym but with bigger equipment. Community is the most important thing to me. Southside Lifting Club opened its doors this year on August 1.
What is the mission of Southside Lifting Club?
At Southside Lifting Club, we’re more than a gym – we’re a community. Our mission is to build a supportive and inclusive environment where individuals come together to pursue fitness, strength, and well-being. Through shared goals, expert guidance, and a culture of encouragement, we aim to uplift not only weights but also spirits. At Southside Lifting Club, we’re committed to lifting each other, both in and out of the gym.
What makes Southside Lifting Club unique?
The people and the community. It’s a fun place to be. We’re all in here pushing each other to be better. I want that, and I want members to feel at home here. If you ask them, I think that’s what they would say too.
How have your programs changed the way members think about health and fitness?
I have members of all ages and experience levels. We’re a 24/7 gym and having the constant access allows them to find the best time that fits their schedule. I offer personal training. I have yoga classes. I think it’s opened a lot of their eyes to the fact that weightlifting and going to the gym doesn’t have to be something you don’t want to do. It’s something they’re excited to get to do.
What is your favorite thing about partnering with ABC Fitness?
The team over at ABC has been great since Day One. I can’t think of just one favorite thing, but I would have to say they made the process of opening a gym a lot less intimidating. They set up my billing, 24/7 access, the system training and continued willingness to help. I would recommend them to anyone thinking of opening a gym or thinking of a new billing company because they’re a lot more than a software company – they’re a partner.
What excites you the most about the fitness industry in 2023?
The landscape for the industry is crazy right now with social media. Weight training is very much a trend right now. As a body building and weight training gym, I’m pretty excited to be a part of this fitness boom.
What advice or encouragement can you give other club owners looking to start new clubs/franchises?
The golden rule. Treat people how you want to be treated. It’s that simple. People are at your gym to train and become better versions of themselves. Make them feel like you care that they reach that goal.
Created in partnership with ABC Fitness. Visit abcfitness.com for more information on how they can help your fitness business.