If you’ve turned on a TV or walked about outside, you’ve probably heard the mantra of “new year, new me” uttered everywhere you go the last few weeks.
Every January, just about everyone is looking to make it to the gym to start their New Year’s resolutions on getting into shape, but the biggest question for folks is always, “Where do I go?”
Although there are plenty of options around, the new Box Hiit Fitness Forma gym in Maitland is offering a different taste of workout for locals to try.
“They’re all group fitness classes — we do a boxing class, a kickboxing class, and we do what we call a Forma 50, which is kind of a functional strength training/total body conditioning class,” said Marilyn Limentato-Black, founder and owner of the gym. “The group classes create that sense of community and is very encouraging.”
The gym, which officially opened Sept. 23 at 143 Atlantic Drive, is the passion project for Limentato-Black, a fitness and health enthusiast.
After more than 20 years in the corporate world — from which she retired as the vice president of sales for Kraft — the Chicago native felt it was time to break into the fitness market.
“I’ve always dreamed of owning my own business — I come from a long line of business owners and entrepreneurs in my family,” Limentato-Black said. “So fitness and a healthy lifestyle have been a passion for me. In my 20 years of moving around — I’ve lived in nine states, all work-related transfers — I’ve tried every fitness (program), I’ve tried every gym, I’ve tried several trainers, I’ve tried every class, and I followed my passion and took the best of everything I liked and built a business plan.”
During the planning stages, in the few months leading up to the opening of the gym, Limentato-Black offered the lead trainer role to Ricky Moreno and the general manager position to new friend Anna Roxo.
Limentato-Black met Roxo via her friendship with Moreno at a previous gym, and they were the perfect people for the jobs.
The connection with Roxo, Limentato-Black said, was instant because not only were they both into fitness, but they are also Chicago natives and first-generation Americans. Both Limentato-Black’s and Roxo’s families are from Italy.
“I was all about it — I was ecstatic,” Roxo said about the opportunity. “I thought that it was such a privilege to work with such a great team of people. I knew Marilyn’s background; I knew her from my previous job — Ricky as well — and they’re both very talented at what they do, and I was very excited to be part of creating and making this great idea come to fruition.”
So far, the gym has been right on track. Locals have bought into the programs and atmosphere offered by Box Hiit, Limentato-Black said.
With four trainers currently on staff,and three major programs offered 30 times throughout the week (not including open-gym time), Box Hiit is working with customers on becoming the best version of themselves — whether it’s over in the corner lined with punching bags, or working with a variety of weights.
And although fitness is the focus, Limentato-Black said she also wants clients to feel a sense of comfort and community.
“I believe in everything that we do here, and it doesn’t feel like work, and it’s easy to be here when you’re excited about what you do,” Limentato-Black said. “I look forward to seeing everybody — I love coming in here.”