Heat Cardio Club is making working out fun again.
The new space, which opened in September, is a cross between a gym and a night club. In fact, the workouts feature club lights.
This, of course, was by design.
“There aren’t lights on. Nobody is pointing at them telling them that they need to fix their form or anything like that,” said Heather Wehnert, co-owner and one of the five fitness instructors. “It’s nice to be able to have some privacy, and I think the lower lighting definitely helps for some people.”
The atmosphere is important to Wehnert and her fiancé Keith Austin, who also co-owns the gym.
Other than providing comfort and privacy, Wehnert and Austin want the gym to be family-friendly and community-oriented. They make the space kid-friendly by inviting children to come for free on Saturdays.
“It’s hard to make a gym atmosphere into a community/family atmosphere because people kind of mind their own business at the gym,” Wehnert said. “People have told me it’s made them a better mom, that they’re closer with their kids because they have the bonding experience to do stuff like [this].”
For National Girl Scout Day on March 12, Heat Cardio Club is hosting a hip-hop class at 7:00pm. At the event, Girl Scouts have the opportunity to earn their fitness badge. The event is free for Girl Scouts, but because space is limited, attendees must register online first.
Heat Cardio holds many community events. Previously, the club hosted a Gobble Wobble for Thanksgiving. Those who brought food donations to the gym could take the class for free. As a result, Heat Cardio donated roughly 200 pounds of food to the Anne Arundel County Food Bank.
In December, after a family lost their house in a fire, Heat Cardio collected toys to donate to the family for the holidays. In the end, they brought two trucks full of toys.
Coming up, Heat Cardio is donating prizes for the sixth annual St. Jude Zumbathon, which takes place March 17 at the Severna Park Community Center. Heat Cardio donated a five-class pass, a water bottle and a gift pack to be one of the raffle prizes, and Wehnert will be one of the guest instructors.
“It’s definitely important to me that all children are healthy and happy and get all the treatment that they need,” Wehnert said.
In addition to supporting events, Heat Cardio uses its space to host, as well. Whether it’s charity events, fundraisers or parties, Heat Cardio is available to rent out. It has tables and seating available for up to 100 guests, and you can bring your own food.
“If people see that you’re interacting with the community and you’re giving back your time and what resources that we have, I think that helps people then look at us and say, ‘Hey, we want to support them, too,’” Austin said. “It’s a back and forth.”
Wehnert grew up in Severna Park and said she can’t turn a corner without seeing someone she knows.
“It’s such a close-knit community, and the word of mouth, they come together for things,” Wehnert said. “It’s a special place, Severna Park.”
Heat Cardio Club is located at 497 Ritchie Highway in Severna Park, behind Donut Shack. A monthly membership is $30, and individual classes are $10. The gym is open when classes are in session. For a full list of classes or more information, visit www.heatcardio.com.