13 minutes | Apr 30th 2020

Reece Killebrew with Republiq

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Kevin M.: Mixing it up with the Fitness Community is a podcast created by Fit Mix that introduces you to local health and fitness individuals along with their stories.Kevin M.: Episode 3 Reese Killebrew with Republiq. On today’s episode, Sara talks with one of the owners of Republiq, Reece Killebrew. They talk about the history of Republiq as well as the workout you can expect when you walk in the doors.Sara Y.: Hi, Reese. Thanks for joining us today.Reece K.: Hey Sara. Thanks for having me.Sara Y.: So tell us about Republiq. What is Republiq, and what sets it apart from all of the other gyms in Albuquerque?Reece K.: That’s a good question. Republiq is something that we’ve been building for 15 years. We started with just boxing and kickboxing classes. Over the years, we’ve morphed into what we are right now, a community-based gym that does a little bit of everything. We have people who want to get that fighter’s workout. We have the bodybuilders who come in here and who just want  weight training and then CrossFitters who come in and use our equipment for their CrossFit workouts. We just want to be the brightest part of everybody’s day, which right now kind of sucks cause we can’t do that for people [due to COVID-19]. But, you know, that’s what we’ve morphed into. It’s just a community-based gym for everybody.Sara Y.: You guys offer a myriad of classes now. Like you said, anywhere from kickboxing to like HIIT style classes. Can you talk about the difference between the classes?Reece K.: Yeah, sure. All of our coaches excel in whatever they are teaching at the time. We have a lot of coaches that used to fight or have trained in boxing/kickboxing for their entire life. We try to give members a fighter’s workout. Take a boxing class, for example. It’s a one hour class, and we’ll put these individuals through a dynamic warm-up. A HIIT type of workout in the beginning. Then we have them glove up. We have them take out their stress, whatever they’re dealing with on the bag. We try to get them to envision somebody’s face or, you know, a bad day or whatever they have going on, on that bag. And it’s a stress reliever. So one hour. Kick your butt, boxing class. Kickboxing is the same thing. It’s always different. But we add the kicks, knees, and elbows. And then we do have like a HIIT type class, which we call SWEAT. With that class, we try to introduce all of our members to every kind of modality that we have here in the gym. We don’t want somebody to come into our gym and not know how to use a piece of equipment. So we try to introduce that in the SWEAT class. Again, it’s like a boot camp type style class.Sara Y.: I think that is one thing that sets your gym apart from others, is that you have these kickboxing and boxing type classes. But to probably like the average person, those classes may be kind of intimidating. I feel like, at Republiq, they’re not intimidating because you’re still doing like cardio stuff, but you’re getting a hit a bag and wear mitts. I think they like that. It’s a different kind of workout. They don’t feel like they’re working out. MReece K.: Yeah. The thing is, I try to make the classes as fun as possible. So I’m kind of an in your face type of guy, but I always have a smile on my face. So I try to ride the line of a drill sergeant and funny guy in the gym. I want to push our members to their potential, but I don’t want to turn anybody away. I want to treat them like a fighter while they’re in the gym, but I know that everybody’s got a little bit something different going on in their life. You know, sometimes I’ll talk with a member, and they’re having, you know, spousal problems. So I say, ‘Alright, let’s go on and envision what we’re doing here on this bag. Let’s take all of our stresses out and put it here.’ Or I have somebody who might be being bullied or something at school. And I’m like, ‘OK. This is what we got when I’m here. This is how you’re going to channel all that aggression into this bad workout.’Sara Y.: Yeah, definitely helps. So with that being said, what’s your background? Why did you choose maybe this kind of avenue for a gym here?Reece K.: Well, like I said, we’ve morphed into what we are now. We started out as L.A. Boxing, which was a franchise. This was almost 15 years ago. And way back then, it was just boxing and kickboxing. That’s it. So then we introduced what we called a conditioning class, which is kind of what we’re doing today. So we did that for about five or six years and then UFC came out and bought L.A. boxing. And when they did that we went with the UFC brand. Then with that, more minds were brought to the table. So they started adding different modalities and different type of training regimens into our program. But like you said, it is intimidating, especially with that UFC name. We had an octagon at the time, and we wanted to get away from that because that’s not us at all. I fought in the past and I still do jujitsu. That’s something that interests me, but I know that a housewife walking in the gym is not going to want to jump into the ring anytime soon. My background and our coaches’ background. You know, we have all that fight experience and what have you, but what we’re trying to do is bring it to the masses in something that’s in a non-intimidating and inclusive, not exclusive.Sara Y.: I think that’s another thing that kind of sets you guys apart from others; that all of the coaches have fighting experience or in some way, shape or form. You know you’re getting a class or instructions from someone who is knowledgeable and not just maybe got their certificate online.Reece K.: Right. Yeah. And I don’t want to say something that we’re not. I do have coaches that are strictly fitness people. But I also have coaches like G, for example. Everybody loves G’s class. He’ll have 40 to 50 people in every single one of his classes, and G’s never fought ever. But he’s been trained by fighters, and he’s been in this environment, and he’s been boxing/kickboxing for the last 12 years or so. He has the skill, and he can relate all the specific moves to an actual situation.Sara Y.: Definitely. Since you have made a lot of transitions from where you started to now, what kind of growing pains you have experienced along the way, and how have you overcome those?Reece K.: Albuquerque’s a very saturated market. In the beginning, when we’re UFC gym, there were a lot of fight gyms, and everybody’s territorial, and we kind of got grouped into that fight gym name kind of, but that’s not what we were whatsoever. That’s the struggle we’ve always had is, ‘are you a fight gym, or are you not a fight gym?’ So what we wanted to do when we rebranded is we wanted to have more of a community-based name, which is why we called it Republiq and Q for Albuquerque because we wanted to be local. But with that, we weren’t carrying a big brand, right? So when it was UFC, everybody knew what UFC was right. We had to pump a lot of marketing into that and a lot of dollars into getting that name out there. The problem is, while we have a good name for ourselves and everybody knows us; but when we put a new sign on the building like Republiq, nobody knows who we are. Right. So that’s definitely been a struggle. Another struggle is there’s a lot of boutique gyms that open up. So there are boutique gyms that are class-based, and they charge $150 a month. Right. So there’s kind of a prestige when you put a high dollar on your membership for some reason. People think, ‘Oh my God. That’s it’s gotta be good.’ Right? And then there are also gyms who come into town that are like $10 a month. And we’re neither. We’re right in between. We’re $60 a month for everything that we offer. So I think for a price point we’re very, very affordable for what we offer. But then it kind of puts us into that predicament, right? ‘Well, they’re not the cheapest. They’re not the most expensive. So, where do they fall?’ So that’s been a definite growing pain. Now with Coronavirus, man talk about a growing pain for sure. It’s definitely a curveball. But I think one thing that helps my wife and I sleep at night is knowing that we’re not doing it alone. Right. So whether we have competitors in the market or not, we never want to wish misfortune on any other gym whatsoever. So now it’s all of our competitors. We’re all in it together. You know, That’s the great thing about what we’re all doing on social media. It’s like, hey man, I’m putting these workouts up not for my members because it’s social media. I’m putting them out there for everybody because I want when this thing is done; when this epidemic is done, I want people to come out of it realizing fitness is necessary. Movement is medicine. And all of these like fitness professionals and gyms, there’s a value to that. And for a lot of people who were never like fitness-minded whatsoever, hopefully, they’re going to come out of this thinking, man, ‘I got to move more. So. Hey, let’s step our foot in the gym.’ And I think everybody will be more successful. And ultimately, I think that’s our wish. Whether it happens. I don’t know. We’ll see.Sara Y.: Absolutely. Kind of going off of that, When we’ve spoken to other gym owners so far. They’re kind of saying that this is a blessing in disguise. Like you were saying earlier, this is forcing us to post on social media or get out there more outside of our comfort zone. Do you see yourself continuing to post workouts going forward once this is all said and done? Maybe continuing to do live classes?Reece K.: Yes. I still think that people want that personal touch. Then there’s always going to be people who are going to have germophobe response moving forward. So I do think that there is a place for it. If you ask me two months
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