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Brooklyn Boulders to 'aggressively expand' its BKBX fitness concept

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We are opening new gyms, including in new markets, and plan for one or two new BKBX launches a year
– Paul Juris

US-based climbing centre operator Brooklyn Boulders is looking to expand its boutique fitness studio concept BKBX across the country.

Speaking to HCM magazine, Paul Juris, the company's director of sports science – and part of the team behind the development of BKBX – said the plan is to rapidly expand the concept.

"We are opening new gyms, including in new markets," he said.

"We’re putting a second club in Chicago and we’re looking at Washington DC and Miami and looking to aggressively expand, with plans for one or two new BKBX openings a year."

The first – and so far only – BKBX site opened in March 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts, adjacent to the Harvard University campus.

It offers three distinct spaces. The first is a 2,000sq ft studio that plays host to an adaptable, multi-modality, interval-based fitness class with traditional elements – such as a rig, free weights, and CV equipment – mixed with interactive components.

There is also a deconstructed climbing zone, taking the elements of climbing and making a fitness application of it.

"You don’t have to get into special gear and it’s all done in an enclosed space, but it gets people off the ground, swinging around and moving around on walls," Juris explains. "It’s like a really sophisticated jungle gym, or monkey bars in the playground."

The other two areas are a 90ft bouldering wall and a 1,500sq ft recovery space featuring cryotherapy, an infra-red sauna, compression sleeves and vibrating rollers.

According to Juris – who was executive director of the Cybex Research Institute before joining Brooklyn Boulders in 2017 – BKBX also has a heavy focus on tech.

"We also use some very advanced technology that nobody else has, including proprietary analytics software," he adds.

"Nowadays everyone wears some type of activity monitor, but my question is always: so what? How are we using that information? Do we understand not just what people have done, but how well they’ve done it and what they should therefore do tomorrow?"

The first Brooklyn Boulders site – offering a cavernous space for climbing – opened in 2009 and there are now four locations in New York, Chicago and Boston.

To read the entire interview with Paul Juris, click here for the October issue of HCM magazine.

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US-based climbing centre operator Brooklyn Boulders is looking to expand its boutique fitness studio concept BKBX across the country.
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