Business: IBX Fitness
Voice: Ian Birnam, Head Instructor/Personal Trainer, with co-owner Brianna Costello
Watch & Listen: Excerpt of this interview on YouTube
How has the COVID-19 crisis impacted your business?
We had to completely change our business. Prior to COVID-19, we were not offering any digital classes, and our workouts involved lots of different equipment (dumbbells, kettlebells, resistance bands, slam/medicine balls, barbells, jump ropes, battle ropes, etc.). In order to still keep our business running, we had to adapt and become an online fitness service, where the majority of movements were based around bodyweight or household items.
Our business is also heavily focused on community and lacking that in-person touch has made it difficult for us. However, due to the adaptability and scrappiness of our team, we were able to not only survive as a purely online business, but thrive by bringing in new clients on a global scale, and offer more to keep our community engaged. Whether it’s a monthly challenge that supports local businesses, weekly game nights, or a platform to host recorded workouts, we’re doing our best to help our members stay active and healthy during this pandemic.
What is the meaning of your business to you? to the community?
The meaning of IBX Fitness is to work out, make friends, and feel good. We aim to provide a space where a group class is more than just an instructor at the front of the room doing a workout with everyone. We provide a personal focus and take the time to get to know each and every person who walks through our doors (or Zoom window). We solicit feedback from our members and take action to prove that your voice has value. We’re more than a fitness studio, we’re a true community, where every voice is heard. We know working out can be challenging, and we’re here to help.
What motivates you to continue to provide your services to the community?
I love what I do, and I love my community. These are difficult times for everyone, and we want to still provide the same personal care and engaging, creative workout to give people an outlet to take out their frustrations. We’re able to provide some consistency and structure to people’s lives as everything around them frequently changes.
Above all else though, what motivates me is the fact that our community has stuck with us throughout all of this chaos. They didn’t give up on IBX, so we have absolutely no reason to give up on them.
What are your current operations/services/specials & how people can shop local safely?
We provide live digital group fitness classes over Zoom and virtual personal training at a variety of tiered options. Our group classes are 4 times a week: Mon/Wed/Thu 6:30-7:30pm, and Sat 9:30-10:30am. Virtual personal training is flexible and will depend on the availability of the client and trainer.
What do you want people to know about your business?
That we would love to have you whether you’re a seasoned athlete or a seasoned couch potato. Our workouts are built to scale and can adapt to anyone’s exercise background. We’ll give you a level of personal focus that you won’t find in other group classes. Group classes still not for you? We offer personal training as well to hyper-focus on your goals, with training plans designed specifically for you. If you’re looking for a place to work out, make friends in a vibrant and open community, and have some fun, then we’d love to have you. Your first class is free!
What new safety/health protocols have you implemented since the shelter in place order?
Our business is currently 100% online, so there’s no in-person touchpoint. When we are allowed to reopen, we have a reopening plan ready to go that will be flexible enough to adapt to the county’s orders. Our top priority will be to keep our members safe and healthy.
How do you feel that you are continuing to foster the spirit of Richmond’s motto “Pride & Purpose” amidst this COVID-19 crisis?
We take pride in watching our athletes improve and achieve their fitness goals, and the friendships and support that come out of the community we provide. We continue to achieve our purpose of providing engaging, community-driven workouts where people can sweat it out together. Our members motivate rather than judge each other. Whether we’re in person or over Zoom, we are always together, and there to help each other.
Location: 960 S 47th Street, Richmond, CA 94804 (temporarily closed)
Good Deal: For a full-body workout with a personal focus, IBX Fitness has you covered! They offer a variety of virtual group classes, personal training & membership options to fit your health goals. Get started with your first session for free!
About Heart of Richmond
Heart of Richmond is a digital storytelling and marketing series designed to lift up the voices of our local entrepreneurial community. Over the course of 4 weeks we are sharing the stories and voices of 12 women-owned, food & beverage, Latinx-owned, and Black-owned Richmond businesses, and sponsoring promoted posts for them through our social media channels. Read, listen, stay tuned to our social media, and support local safely.
Interviews conducted by Richmond Main Street. Responses lightly edited for clarity with careful attention to maintaining the integrity of the participant’s time and insight. Photos by R.D. López/Shots From Richmond.
Generous support for the Heart of Richmond series provided by Wells Fargo.