Completely intimidated. That was my gut feeling on my 10-minute drive to visit KAHA Fitness. Visions of being forced to dance, lift 5 lb. dumbbells, and make a complete fool of myself ran through my head.
I pulled up to the KAHA Fitness studio on the northeast side of Indianapolis, near the intersection of 71st and Binford, and had no idea what to expect. What I found was a large group, mostly consisting of women, who just finished what was apparently an intense class. I was surprised to see how many different people were here, all at various fitness levels. Here we go...
KAHA Fitness is a local gym, owned and operated by Monica Hilton and her team of AWESOME people, which is geared towards making fitness enjoyable. They have a full schedule of Les Mills classes which allows for a variety of options for the members, and starting next month they will be offering more intense strength training. There are 10 different class formats, which range from BODYPUMP (strength training) to RPM (cycling) to BODYFLOW (yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi).
At Monica’s request Ryan (IFM co-founder) and I tried out BODYPUMP, BODYFLOW, and finally GRIT. Here is the IFM Review of KAHA Fitness:
KAHA Means "STRONG"
Kaha is a Maori (Kiwi) word that simply means strong. The most apparent quality of this gym to me was the STRONG community and the sense of PRIDE that each member takes in being a part of the community. From encouraging each other, to cleaning up together after class, it is extremely easy to see that what the members get from belonging to KAHA goes much farther than just a good workout. It’s a gym family like I haven’t come across.
Whether you are just starting, or continuing in your ongoing fitness journey, the people you surround yourself with will keep you going. KAHA has mastered this.
The Approach: (5/5)
KAHA offers an extensive list of Les Mills classes. Les Mills is the worldwide leader in group fitness, and provide Les Mills certified gyms with scientifically-researched class formats and perfectly timed music (this was great) for a great workout.
When I asked Monica the philosophy behind KAHA she replied, “Fitness HAS to be enjoyable or people won’t stick with it. There are so many options out there when it comes to fitness, and I think it’s just a matter finding the things that motivate you enough to put in the work.”
Monica believes that beginners need these 3 things to start living a healthy lifestyle:
- A Plan
I would note that you will find all three of these at KAHA.
The Atmosphere: (5/5)
You would be hard pressed to find a member without a smile on their face, and when Ryan and I had no idea what we were doing, they were extremely helpful. In fact, one member stopped in the middle of her exercise, and ran to grab the correct weight for me. This really stuck with me.
I am a huge believer in the effects an environment can have on a person, and the environment that exists here is all about the group bringing out the most in each individual. Monica and her team OOZE passion for what they do and this passion has overflown to the members of their gym, and you can feel it when you walk in the door.
The energy here helped me to push my body way past where I was comfortable, and complete a few incredible workouts. GRIT was especially tough!
One thing is for sure: starting a membership with KAHA will help you to become stronger both inside and out.
Whether you are just getting started in your journey, or you are tired of doing the same things, I encourage you to check out KAHA for yourself. In fact, Monica is offering a Free Week Pass to KAHA for IFM readers to try it for themselves. Simply fill out your info below for your chance to see what this gym is all about.
“KAHA Fitness is for everyone. No matter your age, gender, fitness level or goals, we have options for you. Not only in the actual class formats but we have 30, 45, and 60 minute options so that you can find something that fits your schedule. We pride ourselves on being a “judgment-free” environment and our instructors/members are incredibly welcoming.” -Monica Hilton, Owner.