A new CrossFit facility recently opened on the Southside in the former location of an obstacle course gym.
“I decided to open my own and make it unlike anything else offered in the area,” Lookout Fitness owner and former lawyer Manzura Weldy—also known as Coach Z—said via email.
Her 8,500 square-foot facility is located at 1802 Washington St. and offers a mix of CrossFit and body weight training classes, called LeanX, throughout the week and weekend.
Childcare, nutrition and cooking classes, community events, movement assessments to help prevent injuries and a coffee and tea bar with wi-fi are offerings that distinguish the business, she also said.
There are two large, separate rooms—one for CrossFit and the other LeanX.
“We have a very neutral, welcoming and unintimidating space, ” Weldy said. “We want everyone to feel comfortable and be a part of a drama-free, positive and supportive community of like-minded people.”
Many people join a gym because they want to improve how their body looks or to maintain their current fitness, she said. Both those goals require an equal focus on workouts and eating, she said.
“Most gyms do a great job with workouts but offer little to zero help with nutrition,” she said. “So, people end up basically spinning their wheels because they’re putting great effort toward working out but they’re not seeing any progress.”
For injury prevention, trainers work with clients on a movement assessment and incorporate beneficial activities into workouts.
Some customers use the common space like a coffee shop.
“We encourage people to come in early before a workout or stay after for a bit to chat with others and hang out,” she said. “One of our goals is to build the best fitness community in Chattanooga and that isn’t possible with a workout-then-get-out mentality. We even have members that use the area to work as well.”
Athletics and fitness have always been a part of Weldy’s life. She found rowing in college at Stetson University in Deland, Florida, and discovered CrossFit while in law school.
Weldy spent a few years practicing law, but the fitness industry was calling.
When she moved to Chattanooga with her husband in 2012, she began coaching at a local CrossFit gym, and after several years of that, it was time to open her own business.
“I’ve wanted to open a gym since 2009 when I first learned about CrossFit,” she said. “I went to my first class and I was hooked. I just knew I would own a gym one day so I could help people improve their health and fitness.”