High Class Fitness

 In Feature, Style

The new Red Fitness Lounge raises the bar of the standard workout.


Nothing about Red Fitness Lounge screams “gym.” Deep-red walls, black crystal chandeliers and glass-topped cocktail tables fitted with martini-glass candles make this newly opened Clayton fitness center feel more like a highbrow nightlife spot than an exclusive workout facility.

Not Your Average Gym

It might sound too frilly for an iron-pumping gym, but one look at owner and designer Jamie Mushlin, and all doubts subside. Mushlin didn’t want to open a gym that looked or felt like another YMCA. Instead, he decided to create a gym and dress it up as a cocktail lounge. It might be unorthodox, but Mushlin has a very specific clientele in mind. Red Fitness Lounge caters to busy professionals who spend most of their time traveling and don’t have time for the hassle of a regular gym—as well as those who are simply wary of the idea of “face time” and all the bells and whistles associated with more traditional gyms. With this targeted customer in mind, Mushlin built a workout facility with as little equipment as possible to show clients that they can get a full workout without the hassle of complicated machines—or the lines that often come with them.

Workout with Wherewithal

With just a few 10-pound dumbbells, Mushlin can create an individualized fitness routine that requires minimal gym time. This fitness buff has spent 25 years in the business; he’s opened other gyms and trained business professionals, pro sports players and celebrities. As a result, he knows how to individualize each workout regimen for ultimate results. That’s why there’s only one cardio machine in the whole building. It’s a concept that works to Mushlin’s advantage, since Red Fitness Lounge is just 1,500 square feet.Privacy was a major factor in the fitness lounge concept. After all, who doesn’t hate schlepping around the gym in last year’s ratty sweats only to run into your boss or a client? Here, gym-goers cannot simply show up—appointments must be made with one of the four independent trainers. Mushlin doesn’t want clients working out by themselves, though. “We train together,” he says. If normal metal dumbbells are rough on clients’ hands, Mushlin directs them to the easy-grip rack. If a client wants a workout using only a jump rope, he creates a cardio routine with plenty of double-dutch included. And, once the sweat has been wiped from their brows, clients can take a breather at the front lounge and enjoy a drink—swapping gin or vodka for vitamin B and antioxidants with the selection of vitamin shakes and antioxidant-rich beverages available.

The Verdict

Those who have experienced “the other side” argue that it’s quite possibly the perfect way to work out. No machines to wipe down, no questionable locker rooms in which to avoid eye contact—just a comfy chair, a tasty drink and a great workout routine that can be easily repeated on the next business trip.



Red Fitness Lounge


Photo credit: Virginia Harold

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