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Self-defence training at core of new women’s fitness centre

Published on

Cathy Dobson

A former Phys. Ed teacher with a degree in human kinetics is co-owner of a new 30 Minute Hit franchise on Indian Road.

Kristin Braithwaite and her partner Ryan Reaume were drawn to the franchise because of its flexible hours and a philosophy that women can get fit while learning something about self-defence.

“It’s an intense, full-body workout,” says Braithwaite, “but it’s good for women of all ages because it can be modified.”

The workout room – for females only – features 13 stations that incorporate boxing, kickboxing and core movements such as ab exercises.

A trainer is on the floor at all times to teach, motivate and keep the circuit moving. The room is filled with high-energy music and the noises of children who can watch their moms workout from a gated play area.

Members spend two minutes at each station, using techniques inspired by self- defence movements.

“While it’s a workout, we also want women to feel empowered,” Braithwaite said. “We want them to feel confident that they can protect themselves if they are in a situation.”

The fitness training promotes weight loss, mental clarity, more energy and less stress, she said. On average, 500 calories are burned in half an hour at the 13 stations.

30 Minute Hit is new to Ontario although it’s been growing as a franchise in British Columbia, where the first gym opened in Vancouver 14 years ago.

Only this year has it started making inroads in central Canada. Sarnia’s location is one of a handful in Ontario, along with Toronto and London.

Braithwaite noticed the franchise when it opened in London and decided to investigate. She lives in Wallaceburg with Reaume but is familiar with Sarnia.

“We decided to locate in Sarnia because it’s a good size for a 30 Minute Hit and it’s a nice community,” she said. “A lot of what we do it about community.”

The business brings together her experience in teaching, her commitment to exercise and previous business experience with an online venture.

“I’ve done kickboxing for fitness,” she said. “I find there’s something about it as a workout that is empowering and energizing.”

Memberships cost $715 a year and include boxing gloves and wraps. Month-to-month memberships are also available with a $99 charge upfront and $75 per month.

If a member makes a yearlong commitment, she can pay $49 upfront and $65 a month rather than the entire fee at one time.

A free trial is going over well with more than 200 trying out 30 Minute Hit in the first two weeks.  Dozens have decided to join already, according to Braithwaite.

To book a free trial, visit The gym, located in the Eastland Plaza at 260 Indian Rd. South, is open Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. – noon; Monday to Thursday from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.

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