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Moncton Is Getting A New Kickboxing Gym

Moncton KickFit owners Russell Smith, Mandy McLean and Jake Darsch. Image: Inda Intiar/Huddle

MONCTON – Russell Smith, Mandy McLean and Jake Darsch love kickboxing. When their regular gym closed, they decided to open Moncton KickFit, a locally-owned, circuit-training gym.

Located on 1966 Mountain Rd., the gym is expected to open in about a week’s time.

“The concept of the gym is 35 minutes [of work out], no class times. You can just drop in, there’s always a trainer here to sort of lead you through a circuit type of training, kickboxing style, so lots of strength movements too, but definitely lots of punching and kicking,” McLean explained.

“That’s kind of the thing that’s most appealing to a lot of people with busy schedules is just to have that flexibility of never being late for a class.”

The circuit includes 10 rounds, with three-minute intervals and shorter breaks in between. This means even if the gym is full, the longest anybody has to wait to work out is three minutes, McLean said.

Each time, one or two trainers will be available to guide people through the circuit with no extra cost. Beginners may get more one-on-one attention.

Those who want to work out more can repeat the circuits, return at a later time on the same day, or extend the stretching and strength components. Trainers can guide the clients on what to do on the extra time as well.

McLean says the access to trainers on site and no class times means members will know what to do and can come at the time that suits them best.

The three of them started the business so they can continue to have a space to practice kickboxing and train others when 9Rounds, a franchised kickboxing gym, closed their Moncton location recently. Darsch was a trainer there for a couple of years, McLean also had some training experience there, while Smith was trained by Darsch.

Like Smith, many members were disappointed with the closing, creating a demand for a new work out space.

“It’s out of sheer demand and sheer passion for kickboxing,” McLean said. “Some of the people are so supportive and they’ve been involved in painting and getting this place ready, it’s been a sense of community. It’s pretty amazing to see it all kind of unfold. And we absolutely love every aspect of kickboxing and training and working with people, so it’s just a great fit.”

“We were looking to do something more private and a locally-owned thing. We have a bit more freedom with the business, we can offer lower prices and stuff like that,” Darsch said.

Moncton KickFit not only different pricing, but they’ll also use different equipment, activities and programming. Its main trainers, including Darsch, will prepare programming that’s strategic to each member’s fitness goals, whether that’s training for a fight or weight loss.

“Because of the personalization and they have this plan, [trainers] know how to modify exercises specifically for you, what you wanted for your goals,” Smith said.

“We really want to listen to our members too. So we’re having a Wonderwall here where members can give feedback to us about what they’d like to see in this gym and how they’d like to see it work differently… That’s what people want, they wanna come in, they wanna work out, they want it to be for them,” he added.

Clients can use the gym by buying a $99-punch pass for 10 sessions, a monthly membership for $99, or a yearly membership for $999. Smith says the punch passes will allow people to use the gym once in a while or take others with them.

“We have a number of people who are happy where they are and we’re not looking to take people away from other fitness activities. But maybe they do want to come in and maybe work out with a family member or spouse, or train specifically.”

Once the gym is open, first-time patrons will get a chance to work out for free. They can make an appointment via phone or through the company’s website.

Moncton KickFit will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Friday, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday.