“My clients have always complained, ‘I don’t like being in front of a whole bunch of people. I don’t want to go to the big gym. I don’t want men looking at me,’” McCready said. “It’s always been a goal to open up a boutique gym where people felt comfortable.”
Before starting Kova Fit, McCready studied kinesiology and nutrition in college, earned several health and fitness certifications, and gained years of experience as a trainer through a previous business in California.
After moving to Creekside Park, she developed the Kova Fit concept—“kova” is a Finnish word meaning “strong, and having a high impact or influence on someone,” McCready said—and eventually decided to launch the gym at the Augusta Pines Golf Club.
“You either go all [in] or you just don’t do it at all,” she said. “I just had an awesome support system from both my clients and my fiancé and my son, and I felt like it was just the [time].”
In Kova Fit’s single-room gym, clients can interact with a variety of strength and high-intensity interval training stations, including dumbbells, cable machines and a squat rack. Open space is also available for classes or active exercises, and workouts are often combined for circuit training in order to target a variety of body parts.
While the equipment at Kova Fit may be familiar to frequent gym-goers, McCready said her gym’s unique angle is a focus on connecting with clients to build on functional fitness at their own pace without the burden of a cumbersome payment system or overly intensive programming.
“My main thing was having a place to come get personalized workouts without having a membership fee, initiation fee, an annual fee, a maintenance [fee],” she said. “I feel like a lot of people offer the same thing: ‘Hey, come in and work out with me,’ and then, that’s it. And I’m very invested in my clients. ... I’m literally on the journey with you.”
McCready said Kova Fit is open to people of any age looking to take further steps in personal fitness. Clients arriving at the gym will go through a goal-setting and assessment process before creating workout and nutrition plans that guide their training both at the gym and at home.
“I check in with their nutrition and then their at-home workouts or programs that I assign for them to do when they’re not with me,” McCready said. “If you’re only working out 30 minutes, 45 minutes, three times a week, you’re not going to see [results]. You have to go home and do your homework.”
Since its launch in March, McCready said, the gym has received a positive response from the local community due to its scenic location, setup and offerings. Kova Fit can be rented out by independent trainers and their clients, and McCready said the gym could also expand in the future to feature areas dedicated to specific types of equipment or to new classes. At present, her focus remains on maintaining her planning and relationships with any clients interested in the Kova Fit program.
“[I’ll] just keep growing and keep helping people,” McCready said. “I would like to cater to everybody. ... I like the family-based, intimate setting.”
18 Augusta Pines Drive, Ste. 111W, Spring
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., closed Sat.-Sun.