A new gym that specializes in interval training through group classes is now open in Linden Hills.
AQ Fit Lab launched this month in at 44th & Drew. The gym specializes in a unique mix of high intensity interval training, cardio and strength workouts. “AQ” stands for Athletic Quotient, according to Anne Mezzenga, one of the gym’s owners, and the gym hopes to raise the AQ of its members through its classes.
The goal of AQ Fit Lab is for the gym to look different every day.
The interior of the gym is a constantly changing place. The walls are line with boxes to jump upon, bars to hang from, rowing machines to pull on and kettlebells to swing. There are bikes, treadmills and jump ropes to keep the heart rate up, and TV screens where people can track their progress and get competitive, if they want.
Classes at the gym are all an hour long and feature a warm up, 25-40 minutes of interval cardio and strength work and a cool down.
The workouts, Mezzenga said, are designed to be scaled for a variety of fitness levels.
“We don’t want anything to be the same, that’s when fitness gets boring,” Mezzenga said.
AQ Fit Lab is owned by Mezzenga, her husband Logan Bautch and Mark and Tim FunkMeyer. They all live in the neighborhood and say they want to the gym to be a place that builds a sense of community.
Mezzenga and Bautch also own Linden Hills CrossFit next door, and Nordeast CrossFit in Northeast.
“It’s very much meant to supplement the CrossFit business,” Mezzenga said.
Mark FunkMeyer, who is running most of AQ Fit Lab’s day-to-day operations and leads several fitness classes, said he’s already seeing a lot of variety in the gym’s clientele. The former Minneapolis Public Schools teacher had previously taught CrossFit next door. The difference at AQ Fit Lab is it provides a slightly less competitive atmosphere, is more cardio based and uses no barbell weights for lifts.
“We’ve tried to take a little bit of the intimidating nature out of it,” he said.
Both styles of fitness though can create a sense of community via their class formats, the owners say, which keeps people coming back.
AQ Fit lab offers five to six classes each weekday, and one a day on Saturday’s and Sunday’s. The gym offers a free week of classes for newcomers and sells classes in packages starting at $26 for a single class.