This week, we caught up with Tungi Kelley, owner of Fitness Edge in Gaithersburg, MD, to learn how this neighborhood gym is succeeding in making fitness fun and affordable, and how MightyMeals is keeping their athletes on track when it comes to their nutrition goals.
How did Fitness Edge get its start?
Tungi: I opened Fitness Edge in May of 2015. I wanted a gym with a training atmosphere that I could put my own personal spin on and just make it fun. My previous job in the fitness industry was in a serious atmosphere; it was strict and not enjoyable. I knew that I wanted this environment to feel fun. If people aren’t laughing and having fun, then I feel like I’ve failed! The type of classes we offer are essentially a hybrid of HIIT training with strength training. The most dreaded day of the week is Wednesday; cardio day! Our high-powered weight training involves barbells mixed-in with HIIT, which is unusual. We also offer one-on-one personal training in-between classes.
What makes Fitness Edge unique?
Tungi: Our community is very tight-knit, and I feel that’s what separates us from most gyms. The workouts are really challenging, so everyone is going through the battlefield together. It’s cool to see everyone look at each other at the end of class like, “yes we made it, we did it! It creates a great atmosphere, a community that’s naturally molded together. We have get-togethers every month; we had a SuperBowl party at the gym, we have a pool party in the summer, we want to bring everyone together outside of the gym. The cool part about it is, you’re having so much fun you forget you are getting in shape in the process. We’re a black-owned business, and the members of our community are extremely diverse. We welcome all different races, ages, genders, shapes and sizes. We have clients that range in ages from 7 years old to 68 years old. There’s no limit in our demographic; collegiate athletes, professional athletes, people who have never worked out a day in their life. All are welcome.
How has the Coronavirus affected your business?
Tungi: During the Covid-19 crisis, we have been able to operate outdoors without limitations because we have a lot of space in the parking lot of our gym. Everyone wears a mask to grab the equipment in the gym and then goes back outside to workout. We stay outside unless it’s pouring rain. We take the health and safety of our members very seriously, and have taken full safety precautions. We have a professional disinfectant sprayer, everyone wipes down their equipment with disinfectant wipes after use, and we keep 10-15 feet away from each other when working-out. We are lucky to have a large enough parking lot in our facility that allows us to take those measures, and we have not had to put a cap on any of the classes. There has been a huge spike in personal training, people feel more comfortable doing one-on-one workouts, so we have been doing a ton of those and utilizing the whole gym and back stairwells to make it fun.
How did you get connected to MightyMeals?
Tungi: We were with another company that basically went out-of-business overnight, and that’s when MightyMeals co-founder, Dan Graziano, reached out to us. He came and checked out the location and told me all about how the MightyMeals partnership would work and what they had to offer. I knew it was going to be mutually beneficial for sure!
How does MightyMeals benefit your members?
Tungi: It gives them the opportunity to have real structure in their diet. Diet is 80% of this whole thing, and they are getting a strong 20% from us! The other hours of the day that they aren’t with us, we need to know that they’re being taken care of. If you’re following the guidelines and not slipping-up on your meals, then you’ll be set! That’s why I love MightyMeals. It takes the guesswork out.
What’s your favorite MightyMeal?
Tungi: Well, salmon is my favorite food in general, so I’d definitely say the Caribbean Jerk Salmon. MightyMeals knocked it out of the park with that one!
About Tungi Kelley | Tungi is the owner and head trainer at Fitness Edge MD. His background in semi-pro football and NFL Combine means his specialties lie in football drills, speed, and agility training, along with strength and bodyweight exercises. As a former Training Director at Bally Total Fitness and with over 12 years of hands-on training experience, he knows how to get you where you want to be!