CHANNEL DISTRICT — Bradford Stevens, 29, fell in love with fitness when he started rowing in college.
After college, a crew coaching position moved him from New York to Tampa.
Since the transition three years ago, Stevens has been planning his own fitness center.
"Finding the perfect place took time," Stevens said. "Being from New York, I wanted a location that was near the heart of the city."
The Channel District, right by downtown, filled the requirements and 1318 Channelside Drive became Viking Fitness in May.
"I was on a trip in Italy with a few friends and friends of friends," Stevens said. "We were drinking and eating a lot ('cause that's what you do in Italy, right?), so I would wake up and go for a run or workout before dinner, and some of the friends of friends didn't know my name."
"So before we set off one day one friend asked jokingly 'Where is the Viking? Is he working out again?' People thought it was fun and it just stuck the rest of the trip."
So, when brain storming a name for the new business, Viking "just clicked."
Now the special concept includes an 800-square-foot lobby that promotes social wellness, just one of the five areas of wellness the fitness center promotes, which also include: physical, mental-mindset, diet-nutrition and rest-recovery".
"People can hang out before and after workouts. There's healthy food that's also really good, drinks and televisions," Stevens said.
Trainers go through in-house training before they can even teach a class, like the signature work-out, the Viking fit, resistance training and cardiovascular workout, using body weight exercises mixed in with weights and equipment.
Clients can find programs that are only offered at Viking Fitness and ones that are tailored to them individually.
Viking Fitness has been operating in soft opening stages for the past month with limited classes but today they celebrate a grand opening from 7 to 9 p.m.
There will be music, fitness, food, facility tours and package discounts.
For more information, visit vikingfitnesstampa.com or call (813) 334-9443.
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