NEWINGTON – Have you ever played four square or had a workout in virtual reality at the gym?
The Revolution Sports Club at 169 Lowrey Pl. has both activities available, along with non-motorized treadmills, retro-style fan bikes, a basketball hoop and a rewards system that encourages friendly competition.
Husband-and-wife founders Rob and Deborah Maybruch are fun-loving exercise geeks who want people to enjoy hanging out and working out in the 6,000 sq. ft. space they’ve made their own.
“It really is all about enjoying your workout and your visits here,” Rob explained. “If going to the gym starts to feel like a chore, why would you want to keep on doing it?”
The couple opened Revolution Sports Club in late February, not long before Gov. Ned Lamont shut down all fitness centers and indoor gathering spaces to the public due to increased concerns about COVID-19. But that hasn’t kept them from interacting with new members and friends on Facebook Live, where Rob’s been leading guided workout sessions open to anyone every Tuesday and Thursday.
“We were a little bummed out by the mandatory shutdown at first but it’s also an opportunity to branch out a little bit,” he said. “It’s a cool opportunity for me to do some coaching and find new ways to engage with people.”
Deborah has her PhD. In biomedical engineering and is a field specialist in a stem cell company in Cromwell. She also spends a lot of time at Revolution.
“She’s the real brains of this operation,” Rob said of Deborah, who calls herself “a really good customer.”
“I’ve had the divine opportunity to be his test dummy for classes and training,” she added. “He brings a lot of science to working out.”
Rob changed careers years back after spending too much time behind a desk.
“Although I enjoyed looking at trends in data and analyzing numbers, I started to feel the wear and tear on my body,” he recalled. “I was always fascinated by the human body, performance and strength training.”
So he went back to school and earned certifications from the University of Connecticut, in exercise prescription, strength and conditioning, personal training and sports nutrition.
The couple lives in Wethersfield and started leasing the space in Newington’s Northwood Plaza last fall, formerly Tyler English Fitness. They transformed it into the type of fitness center they would love to be at, with engaging activities not limited to standard gym fare.
“Weight-lifting, running and biking aren’t the only ways to get healthy,” Deborah pointed out.
They offer group classes, individual sessions and even game nights, where small groups gather to play a game of four square or use the virtual reality room.
A “Workout of the Day” is written in chalk on a blackboard and a “Hall of Fame” is collecting photographs of friends, family and members. People can earn points for physical accomplishments, class attendance and progress made on personal fitness goals. A leaderboard is updated frequently.
“We wanted to create a community atmosphere where people come to find that support in their workouts, meet new friends and just have a good time,” Rob said.
Members gain access through the entrance on a keypad and the fitness center is basically open from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day of the week, even when the Maybruchs aren’t there.
“We couldn’t be happier with the location we chose,” Deborah said. “We couldn’t believe how much support we got from the community and the Newington Chamber of Commerce.”
“It’s been awesome,” Rob added.
A schedule of offerings can be found on their website, at revolutionsportsclub.com. Try their free live group training at Facebook.com/RevolutionSportsClub.
Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at 860-801-5097 or firstname.lastname@example.org.