Fitness Options For All

Joshua Nations
Co-owner of Kauai Athletic Club

Please tell us about your business. Kauai Athletic Club is a collective of people – trainers, teachers, front-desk staff and custodians – who really work together to provide many fitness options for everybody in the community, from our seniors on down to our students. We have a club in Lihue as well as a new location in Kapahi, which opened in November. We accommodate all kinds of workouts. We have strength and cardio machines, free weights and we also try to have as much functional space as possible for cross training. We try to provide enough programming and equipment here to give people a well-rounded fitness experience. It’s not only about being strong and keeping your heart healthy; it’s also about remaining flexible and mobile.

Do you offer classes? Yes, we offer more than 120 classes every week at our two clubs. We have everything from intense strength classes to intense cardio and interval classes. We also offer a lot of senior programming, including our SilverSneakers program. We even have a dedicated cycling studio, and we do indoor cycling or spinning classes. It’s actually one of the more popular class formats, and it’s a great workout. Group programs like these help people get started in exercise and keep them motivated to continue exercising. It’s supportive and it’s fun, and our instructors are well-trained and so wonderful at what they do.

What is so important about exercising? People like to look good, but beyond the aesthetic, you’re talking about stress relief, disease prevention, active living and being an active participant in your life as you age. It’s great to see some of our seniors here – their strength and energy are amazing, and that’s what I want for all of our community. I really want people to be able to live longer and have a better quality of life – to be able to bend down and scoop up their grandkids, grab the groceries or still enjoy the island and get out and do some of these hikes.

What is your background in fitness? I was a former director of marketing at the University of Akron, and worked a lot with recreational centers, athletic programs, institutional dining and developed marketing of programs. I was always involved with sports when I grew up, and had a fitness and athletic-focused family. When I started the job at Akron, it was the right time in my life when I was ready to start thinking about longevity, and began getting into fitness personally as well. I love the way exercise makes me feel, and it just has such a positive effect on every part of your life.

Why did you start this business? When I moved to Kauai, I knew I wanted to do something fitness-focused. I wanted to open a business that made people healthy and happy. There was an opportunity for me to buy Kauai Athletic Club, and I took it. It was good timing, and I picked up the baton with no interruption of service in 2011.

Why did you open the location in Kapaa? I live in the neighborhood. I know that access is the biggest issue for people staying on a regular fitness program. If it’s not convenient or a hassle to get in and out of every day, people are less likely to make it a part of their lives. And we were looking for a neighborhood location for a long time, especially in Kapahi, where a majority of the population lives. It just made sense.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of your business? Seeing people use our tools – machines, classes, free weights – and watching their transformation mentally and physically.

3371 Wilcox Road, Lihue: Monday-Friday, 5 a.m.-11 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

5611 Kawaihau Road, Kapaa: Monday-Friday, 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.