Ambient lights, colorful pop art, and upbeat music.
A fitness center is the last place one may think they had just walked into. But with this gym’s determination to break out of the monotonous gray-walls, black-treadmills stereotype, it is no surprise that an innovative entrepreneur created a gym that resembles a fun, thriving dance party.
Hustle House – a fitness center in Klahanie’s Shopping Center Plaza – opened in January 2022. It is one of the few women-owned, non-franchised gyms in Sammamish.
Like most other fitness centers, its goal is to change people’s lives through exercise. But unlike others, Hustle House prides itself on building a community in their classes, and catering directly to the main demographic groups that make up Sammamish.
“We’re really focused on keeping the classes small [and] intimate so we can provide the appropriate amount of hands-on instruction for the type of strength training we do…There’s such a strong neighborhood-feel that everybody that comes in here is like, oh, I know you – your daughter played on my softball team,” said Leanne Couron, the owner and founder of Hustle House.
Growing up, Couron ran for her high school track team. She also played on their girls’ soccer team. In 2002, she became a trainer and has taught at the PRO Club, LA Fitness, and Bassline Fitness. She even taught at nine separate Orange Theory studios.
She chose to become a fitness trainer because this experience was never gifted to her.
“In sports, there’s always that idea of specialization. Repeated studies and research has shown overall athleticism – speed, agility, conditioning – makes a better athlete,” Couron said.
Couron’s way of thinking truly shows in the various exercises and activities that are provided at Hustle House. There are three primary classes – Youth Sports Performance, Team, and Adult RUSH – and each is targeted to a different, sizable group that make up Sammamish’s population.
For the teens, there is Youth Sports Performance, where young athletes are split based on age group. They develop their agility, speed, and endurance through guided circuits on hurdles, ladders, and resisted runs.
Workouts may start out with a quick 10-15 minute warmup that transitions to a short drill – such as ladders – before moving on to a HIIT-style activity circuit. It ends with a final push, with exercises such as a full sprint. Various equipment, like manual treadmills, electric treadmills, and weights, are kept in top-notch conditions and are used in creative ways.
Team is similar to Youth Sports Performance, except Hustle House is hired to train entire teams across a variety of school and club sports, either on-site or in-studio. These trainings tend to be more specialized.
“We’ve trained Eastlake Arsenal, the Bandits, Vandals Lacrosse, and Glasshouse Dance to name a few…We’ve had a softball team come in and say, hey, we’re really good with the hand-eye coordination, but we’re not so fast on speed. So we focused that whole 16-week training session on acceleration and deceleration,” Couron said.
Meanwhile, Adult RUSH focuses on strength training for older adults, especially parents.
“As we age, what happens is that our muscle mass starts to decrease, beginning around age 30. Our goal is to maintain and build that muscle mass through guided and proper strength training. We also provide varied amounts of cardio to maintain and build cardiovascular health, which is essential to overall health,” Couron said.
For each class, Couron and her other trainers help to create a fun, welcoming environment that challenges one’s way of using their body. The trainers explain the physiological benefits and background behind each activity, whether that be a focus on fast-twitch muscle fibers for rapid acceleration or slow-twitch for endurance.
In the future, Couron does not see Hustle House as becoming a massive chain fitness center. She hopes to continue keeping her fitness community close and intimate. However, as her business grows, Couron may eventually split the studio in half, with one location specifically for Adult RUSH, and the other for Youth Sports Performance and Team trainings.
“My personal goal has always been to keep it local. When first opening this studio, I looked at several different locations but decided to keep it near home, where I can make the biggest impact in my immediate community,” Couron said.