Morgan Barnes appears to have just what the former Gold’s Gym North Potomac needed. Effective Jan. 15, she took over the facility, renamed MorFIT Gym, with plans and “confidence in my ability to give members the comfortable and high-level experience” they have long desired.
“Our goal for MorFIT Gym is to maintain and enhance the facility to meet the specific needs of the Darnestown, North Potomac and Gaithersburg community,” said the 27-year-old Darnestown resident. “We have really great members that deserve a well-run community gym.”
Barnes, who worked as a fitness advisor at Gold’s for three years, said she “approached Gold’s corporate about the current condition of the club. They indicated they were considering moving the location of the gym to another area or merging it with another Gold’s. I asked about acquiring the business to keep it operating in this location, gave them my background and my ideas for program offerings for the members. I was eventually able to work out a deal with the landlord and Gold’s Gym to keep the location.”
The Northern Virginia native had the appropriate upbringing. “I have probably played every sport and grew up surrounded by very health-conscious and disciplined individuals. My dad played for the NFL and my family is comprised of a lot of military,” she said. “So, the discipline to be consistent and manage a team and my time was developed very early on.”
Her four years as a department head at Life Time Athletic in Columbia and Rockville during her student years gave her substantial experience in the fitness business. “It was my responsibility to run daily operations, lead team meetings, coordinate marketing campaigns and events, manage the profit and loss and create projections for the fiscal year for presentation to the district manager,” Barnes explained, adding, “It was essentially running your own company and Life Time actively refers to the departments within their organization as ‘companies inside.’”
Now Barnes is a certified trainer and nutrition coach. In addition, as “a top 20 world ranking IFBB (International Federation of Bodybuilding) Bikini Pro, I compete actively on the professional bodybuilding circuit,” she said.
Barnes has a lot in store for her new gym. “MorFIT Gym will retain everything the members love about the hometown feel of the space. We will be working to get legacy issues resolved—deep cleaning, painting, replacing broken or inoperable equipment, painting the interior and rearranging the equipment to open up the space,” she said.
There will be new features as well, among them, “a member lounge, towel service, installing a Les Mills Virtual Cycling Studio, creating a new functional training studio for athlete training and building out a child center activities schedule.”
In addition, she said, “We are in the process of rolling out several programs customized for our members’ fitness needs and scaled to ensure success. One thought is to provide an after-school athletic training program for kids looking to enhance their performance in sports. Another is for our legacy members (60-plus) and includes classes geared towards mobility, balance and functional training basics.”
A caveat: As the new gym is unaffiliated with Gold’s, members will have access only to MorFIT. “The great part is that the majority of our members only use the North Potomac location, so the transition will be very smooth,” Barnes said. The new monthly membership rate is $49.99.
So far, Barnes is delighted with the support she and her team have received from members during the transition. “The positivity and enthusiasm is amazing, and we are looking forward to having a bigger impact on local events, programs and charities. We are ready to serve (the community) in getting to (their) health and fitness goals this year and here to help in any other way we can.”
MorFIT Gym is located at 12171 Darnestown Road in The Shops at Potomac Valley. Visit www.morfitgym.com or call 301.963.4800.