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Fitness industry goes specialized in Spokane area

Posted: January 31, 2014 at 7:45 am


As more movements emerge in the health and fitness industry, especially in niche markets, Spokanes fitness entrepreneurs and larger gyms are taking steps to keep up with the times.

Targeted workouts such as yoga, Pilates, Pure Barre, spinning, and Zumba have been rapidly outpacing generic workouts in popularity. More recently, niches such as high-intensity interval training, or H.I.I.T., personal training, and group classes have appeared on the American College of Sports Medicines annual predictive Top 20 Fitness Trends for 2014 list.

Nick Murto and Tyler Lafferty, owners of digital design firms 14Four Inc. and Seven2 Inc., and the Method Juice Bar, decided to take their personal passions for fitness and open a spin and yoga studio. Located at 121 W. Pacific downtown, The Union offers clients high-intensity spin workouts, set to loud music and black lights, and yoga, also set to music. The studio opened earlier this month.

Murto says the idea for the studio came from the duos preferred workouts, and also from workouts he experienced while traveling.

When I was in L.A., I came across a yoga studio I was really drawn to, he says. Then in New York I tried Soul Cycle, and started getting really hooked on that.

When asked why the duo didnt just open a general gym, Murto says the pair is all about niche markets.

Everything for us is about specialty, he says. We want to have our niche, in all our businesses. It makes it easier to do a better job and focus.

Lafferty says that while The Union is focused on building a community of yoga spinners, he recognizes that combination is not for everyone.

We wanted to build a culture and a community, he says. It lends itself well, but were not for everyone. Well freely admit that.

Murto adds, We play loud music, theres black lights, some people love that. Some people, its not their thing.

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Fitness industry goes specialized in Spokane area

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