New Romany Road fitness facility specializes in customer convenience
Lots of people have told Dawn Scott that they thought the building at 342 Romany Rd. should be a gym. In addition to its ideal location to Christ the King School, and Cassidy Elementary and Morton Middle schools, the building’s airy, bright feel struck Scott as the perfect fit for exactly that.
Scott, whose husband co-owns Suggins Bar and Grill and The Tulip Bistro and Bar across the street, said she dreamed for years of opening her own small gym, and had always admired the building. Together with business partner Christy Williams, Scott opened FIT earlier this year.
FIT’s goal isn’t to have every piece of equipment available crammed into one place. Instead of 20 different types of weight-lifting machines, FIT focuses on stationary bicycles, treadmills and a mirrored studio space that allows instructors to focus on fun, energizing group fitness classes.
The exercise bikes are a particular source of pride for Scott and Williams. They are Relay Fitness Evo bikes, which can unlock and sway side to side 10 degrees in each direction to simulate the feel of a moving bicycle, and to stimulate core muscles in a similar way.
In addition to combined cycling classes along with ab workouts and toning classes, FIT offers yoga, barbell and TRX circuit classes. TRX is a total body fitness program, and uses students’ body weight and gravity to develop strength, flexibility, balance and core stability.
Scott’s vision was to create a fitness studio that offers a variety of classes so customers can change their workout to keep interested. In addition, she wanted to offer customers the convenience of reserving their bikes for cycling classes on-line so they could easily fit a workout into their busy schedules.
Scott was a cheerleader in high school, which instilled a passion for keeping fit that has stuck with her. In fact, her idea for FIT was born when she began taking spinning classes at a local gym.
“You would have to get there an hour before the class, and they would have a sign-up sheet on a piece of paper, so you’d have to get there an hour before to make sure you got a bike,” she said “My kids would be stuck there forever.”
Sometimes, she says, she wouldn’t get a bike at all.
She was convinced there had to be a better way to get people moving without taking so much time out of what are usually packed schedules.
When she began planning to launch FIT, Scott brainstormed with Williams, who was looking for a chance to invest in a Lexington business at the time. The two have been friends since childhood and say that familiarity was what made them feel comfortable going into business together.
“It was this perfect combination of someone I could put my trust in, someone I knew, and we complement each other so well,” Scott said.
Williams is a personal organizer, which enables her to perfect the flow of the office while Scott can focus on the fitness side of things.
When she launched FIT, she set up a system within the gym’s website that allows customers to reserve a spot in each class, so they can arrive just before their workout starts. Scott built the class schedules around the local school schedules, hoping that parents can walk to their workout after picking up or dropping off their kids. The classes are small, too – usually between 10 and 15 people.
Scott and Williams say they want FIT to be a pleasant, fresh atmosphere where their customers can focus on having fun with their workout – that’s one of the reasons they offer child care for kids between six months and 10 years old during the Monday through Saturday classes, excluding the 5:30 a.m. and 6 a.m. classes.
FIT also offers personal training services for individuals, pairs or small groups. Scott is certified to teach TRX and spinning, and hires a group of instructors (many of whom are certified in more than one area) for the other classes. She hopes to add to the studio’s class offerings in the coming months.
For the co-owners, who are nearby residents, opening FIT is an opportunity to interact with the community that they’re excited to embrace.
“We want to know our clients by first name,” Williams said. “That’s a good feeling.”
Scott, whose husband has owned and operated Suggins since 1996, has been a resident of the neighborhood since they were married.
“Our whole life is right here in Chevy Chase,” she said. “Our goal is to make fitness fun and to offer group fitness and personal training in a comfortable and accepting atmosphere for people of all fitness levels.”