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April 4, 2017

Fitness center planning move to Vint Hill in July

Rob and Alana Jenkins have signed a five-year lease for the new space.
One person changed my life. And, the more we can impact other people — kind of create a ripple effect for fitness and lifestyle and wellness — that’s really what our goals are.
— Rob Jenkins, owner
CrossFit VINT HILL
• What: Fitness gym.

• Where: 7140 Farm Station Road, Vint Hill

• Owners: Rob and Alana Jenkins of Warrenton

• Opening: July

• Space: 4,000 square feet

• Investment: About $28,000 in equipment

• Employees: Possibly six or seven after the first year

• Phone: 540-692-0113

• Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

• Website: crossfitvinthill.com

• Facebook: Click here
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
Vint Hill near New Baltimore will get a fitness center this summer.

Rob and Alana Jenkins in July plan to open CrossFit VILL HILL at 7140 Farm Station Road.

For the past year, the Jenkinses have operated the gym from the 1,200-square-foot basement of their Warrenton home in the Reserve at Morehead subdivision along Blackwell Road.

“This is our next step as far as what we need to do,” Mr. Jenkins said of the move to a 4,000-square-foot space at Vint Hill.

The couple have 31 clients and expect to “grow” that number to about 150 in a year.

If they do, Jenkinses — the business’s only employees — plan hire three or four training “coaches.”

The couple initially intended to remain in Warrenton. But, negotiations for a storefront in an older shopping center fizzled partly because of the space’s poor condition, Mr. Jenkins said.

In March, they signed a five-year lease for the Vint Hill space with landlord Ike Broaddus.

Their gym will occupy part of a 67,000-square-foot building that includes a church, an independent school, a caterer and offices.

Mr. Broaddus will finish the space, which will include two locker rooms, two showers, two restrooms and a children’s play area. Both parties declined to discuss the financial details of their agreement.

But, the couple estimated they so far have invested $28,000 in equipment.

A February visit to Vint Hill convinced the Jenkinses that the former Army base held great promise for them.

“The demographics are actually better in Vint Hill than they are in Warrenton, in terms of average income,” explained Mr. Jenkins, a Fauquier native and 2002 Liberty High graduate.

Vint Hill’s sense of “community” and “future growth” potential also appealed to the couple.

“There are a lot of businesses in Vint Hill,” said Mr. Jenkins, 32. “It’s an up-an-coming area.”

The fitness center will offer a range of exercise options, tailored to clients’ goals and exercise styles, he said.

“With CrossFit, it’s about community,” said Mr. Jenkins, who has 11 years of training experience. “Some of it’s one-on-one; some of it’s small group; some of it’s large group. It’s not just membership, where people show up and do their own thing and have no clue what to do.”

Like other CrossFit gyms, theirs provides “high-intensity” training through “functional” movement for “everyday living," he said.

“Function movement is stuff like squatting, picking things up,” Mr. Jenkins said. “The natural movement of life — just helping people get better at moving more naturally.”

“If you’re a mom, you’ve got to pick up those kids or put the groceries away, squat to pick up the laundry,” said Mrs. Jenkins, 31. “Those natural movements. That’s what CrossFit is about.”

“It’s to have someone be really great in the gym, but also outside the gym, for life,”
he husband added.

Paying a $3,000 annual fee, the Jenkinses last year became CrossFit “affiliates,” but they have used the company’s training methods since about 2014.

That fee simply allows a fitness business to use the CrossFit brand, Mr. Jenkins said.

To his knowledge, Fauquier has two other CrossFit gyms — one in Old Town Warrenton and the other near New Baltimore, behind the Pepsi-Cola distribution center.

Partly because of CrossFit gyms’ distinctive business models, the couple has no doubt Fauquier can support another.

“Each of them has their own game plan, their own style,” Mr. Jenkins said. “Your community that you build and the product you produce is what separates different CrossFits.”

Monthly membership fees vary. But, the first 50 new members will get a special rate, the couple said.

Each has a bachelor’s degree in exercise science from George Mason University, where they met. They have four young children.

Born and raised in Canada, Mrs. Jenkins attended GMU on a lacrosse scholarship.

Mr. Jenkins developed a passion for fitness in high school. Struggling with weight problems, he tipped the scales at 340 pounds as a 5-foot, 10-inch sophomore at LHS.

“He was very much obese,” Mrs. Jenkins said. “He came from a background of unhealthy eating.”

But, Liberty High’s strength coach encouraged the 16-year-old to exercise and to watch his diet, putting him on a lifelong path of good health, Mr. Jenkins said.

Inspired by that experience, he feels called to do the same for others.

“One person changed my life,” said Mr. Jenkins, who weighs 202 pounds. “And, the more we can impact other people — kind of create a ripple effect for fitness and lifestyle and wellness — that’s really what our goals are.”
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