This article originally appeared on Rhode Island Homes. Read the original post here.
Don't be fooled by the name of Laid Back Fitness. The Warwick gym is anything but laid back. Combining the equipment of a playground and fitness center, the gym has been putting participants of all ages through their paces as they run, jump, lift, and climb their way to a stronger, fitter body.
But as owner Ryan McGowan explains, the laid back in Laid Back Fitness refers to a more freeform way of working out and not drastically restricting eating habits.
"We guide people through gradual lifestyle changes that involve choosing healthier foods and making fitness fun," he said. "We don't force diets on anyone and try to work within their current routine so their changes become sustainable. We also regularly run challenges and encourage our clients to sign up for events that range from 5Ks to ten mile obstacle course races to stay motivated."
McGowan first established his gym in 2011 in a 700-square-foot space. The concept proved so popular with the Warwick community that less than a year later he moved his business into a 2,000-square-foot studio to accommodate demand. In 2015 Laid Back Fitness added the 'Jungle,' a 3,000-square-foot playground/obstacle training room. Now they can handle kids classes and adult classes at the same time in their current 5,000-square-foot facility. In fact, McGowan offers parents a significant discount to workout in the studio while their young ninja is honing their skills in the Jungle
The first class is free, so that new participants can determine if Laid Back Fitness is right for them before committing to a membership. Most of the classes are for small groups, but one-on-one personal coaching is also available.
"We offer fitness programs for adults and children," McGowan said. "For kids, we practice and develop 'ninja skills!' For adults, we offer two programs: a strength and conditioning program to build strength, lose weight, and become more athletic; and an obstacle skills and conditioning program for folks who want to take on obstacle course events like Tough Mudder, Spartan Race, and BoldrDash!"
Typical equipment includes kettle bells, free weights, and obstacles one would encounter in an outdoor endurance race. The one compliment that stands out in every review or testimonial for Laid Back Fitness is how supportive the staff is. Participants of all ages soon learn that they can accomplish anything they put their mind to, and discover just how strong their stamina really is. Members have also developed strong friendships and camaraderie from attending regular classes.
McGowan is a former engineer that was turned onto the primal way of fitness after reading an online article that made a case against long period of cardio exercise. After adjusting his diet and getting into the best shape of his life, he was inspired to walk away from the construction industry and pursue his passion full-time. Today, he loves introducing the laid back way of fitness to members of all ages and seeing them light up from within, just as he did.
"We are an all-levels and all-ages facility," he said. "I enjoy seeing people achieve goals. My favorite part of the job is witnessing the celebration when someone accomplishes a goal!"