OAKLAND -- "For a good, fun, way to train, this is the place to be," says Mia Honore, co-founder of CRUfit, a group exercise training facility that opened its doors to business Nov. 3 in Montclair Village.
Located at 6125 Medau Place, the facility specializes in cardio training in a group setting, focusing on indoor cycling and rowing, complemented by such strength training disciplines as Pilates and TRX, a suspension system designed to leverage gravity by using a person's body weight.
"Folks that train in groups usually train better and longer," explained Mark Sutro, co-founder of CRUfit.
"We want this place to be the place where people come to have a good time," Honore said. "Come through the door and try it. Throw away the notion that you want to be alone."
The husband and wife spent a decade at Club One Fitness Center, where they offered a 10-week endurance training program called Performance Max. A more flexible version of the program will be offered at CRUfit.
Sutro, a graduate of Skyline High School, was a member of their ski team. He studied at UC Berkeley and was on their competitive rowing team while earning an MBA. Honore, a native of New Orleans, was recruited to the West Coast after a Club One executive took her spin class. She is also a trained chef.
The club features 6,000 square feet of indoor workout space, including a state-of-the-art spin studio with 35 spin bikes, multiuse flat screens and recessed lighting, which gives the place the feel of a movie theater.
An adjacent 1,300-foot studio serves as the home of the other CRUfit activities, including rowing equipment, TRX and a circuit-training apparatus. And a 1,000-square-foot protected patio offers options for circuit training and personal training. The facility offers a child care room, run by Mills College early childhood education graduates.
"This is quality-of-life insurance," Sutro said. "A lot of people think that they are too busy to invest time to be fit, but I say that they will have more time if they make time. It's a payback on your investment."
Roy and Isako Egawa arrive for their midday rowing session. The couple, in their 70s, rows and spins at least four times a week, two hours a day.
"We look around, and we are losing friends. You realize what's important," said Isako Egawa, who is a two-time world champion rower in her age group.
"Mark and Mia stress performance and introduce metrics. Over time, you can see that you are getting stronger," Roy Egawa said.
"What makes the difference is that they (Sutro and Honore) love what they are doing. They care about our progress. They know more about us than we know about ourselves," Isako Egawa said.
"They are our coaches, our mentors and our friends," Roy Egawa said.
CRUfit caters to fitness buffs of all ages. However, Sutro finds that "the older demographic is underserved by the fitness community," which he seeks to remedy.
The couple runs the business with their niece, Caitlin Hutcherson, who is the membership and marketing manager, making CRUfit a family business.
Honore and Sutro were toying with the idea of starting their own club for some time but when the space became available in Montclair Village, they decided that the time was right.
"Mia told me that it was a no-brainer," Sutro said.
For more information about CRUfit, visit www.crufit.net.