A local entrepreneur wants to help people improve their mental and physical well-being
By Aaron Allen, The Seattle Medium
Kyra Gaines, owner of the new Wellness Gaines Fitness Center in Renton, is a shining example of achieving something you believe is possible. Gaines, who opened the doors to her business last weekend, has worked in the fitness industry for years and after watching friends and colleagues start their own businesses, she decided to venture out on her own.
For Gaines, a former track and field athlete at Eastern Washington University, fitness and physical health have always been a way of life and an opportunity to turn her passion into a business.
“I’m a big believer in praying to manifest the things I desire,” Gaines says. “I really started to visualize what my studio would look like. And so, it’s kind of crazy but that’s how it works, you start thinking about it, you meditate on it and it happens.
Wellness Gaines Fitness Center is a comprehensive holistic wellness center that not only focuses on building the body, but also provides mental and spiritual well-being. In addition to having an open gym that allows people to work out on their own, Wellness Gaines offers three different programs: Flow Gaines, Steel Gaines, and HIIT Gaines.
HIIT GAINES is a combination of short, very high intensity cardio exercises followed by equal or longer rest periods. Think 30 seconds to a minute of sprinting, followed by a minute or two of slow walking or jogging. The benefits of HIIT GAINES include calorie burning, weight loss, and muscle building. HIIT GAINES can also help you lower blood pressure and blood sugar, while improving oxygen and blood circulation.
STEEL GAINES offers a different type of training using dynamic movements targeting almost all aspects of fitness: endurance, strength, balance, agility and cardio endurance.
“People love [STEEL GAINES] because it’s hard,” says Gaines. “It’s efficient and you only need one piece of equipment.
“STEEL GAINES can help you lose weight because the exercises can use up to 600 muscles at once, which increases calorie burning, increases your metabolic rate and boosts your cardio,” adds Gaines. Training with kettlebells can also produce an afterburn effect resulting in additional calorie burning for 24 hours.
FLOW GAINES is a yoga workout that works on the body, mind, emotions and energy. It’s a gentle way to improve your posture, balance and coordination. Yoga has been shown to improve quality of life, reduce stress, anxiety, insomnia, depression and back pain. It has also been found to lower heart rate and blood pressure. And, perhaps unsurprisingly, yoga has been shown to improve fitness, strength, and flexibility.
“I just wanted to provide a space that was designed to help people be more of themselves,” says Gaines. “Not just physically but mentally and that’s something we’ve always pushed [as a] message. It’s something we preach and teach and in my own life I live.
Kyra’s dad, Ronnie Gaines, not only watched his daughter turn her dream into reality, he also helped her build it — literally.
According to Kyra Gaines, the property where the gym is located had been vacant for some time and needed renovations to facilitate her dream.
“Years ago it was a Bally gym,” says Gaines. “Fortunately, my dad is an entrepreneur and so together he helped me put it together.”
Ronnie Gaines said it was important that he approached the project strictly from a professional rather than a personal perspective.
“When we [Kyra and myself] sat and talked, I was acting strictly as an entrepreneur and not as a father,” says Ronnie. “Because if I was trying to be both, knowing myself, I might have tried to take her vision and I wanted it to remain her vision not mine, so I came to her as as client/contractor in a total business relationship.”
Although she was driven by determination and faith, the journey to opening her business was not without its challenges. With an idea to open his business predating COVID, Gaines had to wait until the coast cleared before embarking on his dream.
“Having to wait was my biggest challenge,” recalls Gaines. “Waiting for contractors, waiting for equipment and waiting for necessary things was probably the hardest part of it all.”
Physical and mental well-being is the fundamental foundation that Gaines wants to provide for his community, especially people of color. Gaines believes mental and physical well-being is a conversation everyone should have with themselves and others with the goal of improving their lives.
“In the future, I plan to talk more about mental and physical health,” Gaines says. “It’s something we can never get enough of and have these conversations [is important]. My instructors and clients know that if [they’re] having a hard time is a safe space to come and talk with someone, move your body, sweat it out, but also know that you have a friend here and it’s not just about room business sport.”
Her dad agrees and says he’s proud to be by his daughter’s side right now.
“I feel good about it, it’s always been a dream, an aspiration for her,” says Ronnie. “To see her dream come true, it’s always been a dream about it for quite some time and she’s always been in good shape and to see it unfold is a blessing.”