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Fitness Instructor And Entrepreneur Wants To Make Downtown Fredericton Sweat

Laura Clendenning in front of the future location of the Sweat Club (Image: Sweat Club. Inc, Facebook)

FREDERICTON– A new gym boutique gym opening soon in downtown Fredericton is hoping to provide a place for those who live and work in the area to take care of their health.

The Sweat Club, slated to open before the summer at 361 Queen Street, will be a gym specializing in private training and regular group fitness classes.

Owner Laura Clendenning, who is from Fredericton, started her career in the fitness industry after she graduated from the University of New Brunswick in 2012 with a bachelor of science and kinesiology. She and her boyfriend then moved to Vancouver.

“We lived there for five years. While I was living there, I got really involved in the health and fitness industry. I started a blog and I actually competed in bodybuilding competitions in the bikini division,” says Clendenning. “Then people just started reaching out to me to train them through my blog. I went back and I got certified and I started a small business out there.”

Clendenning wanted to get her own space for her business in Vancouver but with real estate prices through the roof, it wasn’t feasible. Soon, they realized it may be time to move home.

“We always had plans to move back home because we’re both from Fredericton. I always had this dream to have my own space, but that seemed really unattainable in Vancouver,” she says. “Our family is here, and we had nieces and nephews so we wanted to get back closer to home.”

After moving back to Fredericton in 2017, Clendenning started to make a business plan.

“I started figuring out how I could make this happen. I started writing a business plan and I had a vision of keeping it downtown,” she says. “I really like the downtown vibe and the GoodLife had closed downtown, so I just really saw a market for it and it happened pretty naturally. I wrote the business plan and went from there.”

The Sweat Club will offer one-on-one and private group training. It will also have a full class schedule, which will offer unique classes. People will be able to register for the classes online beforehand, so they will never be too crowded. Classes will have a maximum of 12 people.

“It’s going to be a lot of functional training. I have attracted a lot of women, but want to attract men as well,” says Clendenning. “I will be offering classes for full-body, HIIT workouts, a cardio and core-focused class, as well as a glute and core-focused class.”

Though the idea of going to a fitness class may seem intimidating to some, Clendenning says the Sweat Club will have a welcoming and friendly environment, regardless of their experience.

“We welcome all levels of experience. We want it to be a very welcoming environment, especially catering to people downtown that may be having a stressful day. They can come in and let it out with a nice community environment,” she says. “You’ll have different options for each workout … You’ll have a lot of one-on-one with the trainer so you’ll be able to ask for modifications. We make sure you’re doing everything properly so you’re not just going to get overlooked in a big class.”

Individual classes will have a base rate of around $15 each. Sweat Club will be selling class passes where the more classes you buy, the bigger the discount. Private training will start around $50 a class.

Since the downtown Goodlife location closed about a year ago, there hasn’t been many fitness options in Downtown Fredericton except for some yoga studios. Clendenning hopes Sweat Club will help fill that void in the area.

“We want people to fall in love with taking care of themselves – [starting] in the gym and then having that correlate with every aspect of their life. We want to create a really good community feel,” she says.

“It’s not just like a Goodlife where you’re buying a membership and that’s it. We’re going to follow-up with you. We’re going to have fun together. We’re going to get to know your name. If you’re not there, we’re going to reach out to you and see how you’re doing.”

The location is currently still undergoing renovations, but Clendenning hopes to have the Sweat Club open within the next four weeks.