Opening Sunday, Aug. 22: Couple to bring love for community and fitness to new gym

A Huntingburg couple is gearing up to fill a gap in the city with plans to open a new gym, Raise the Bar Performance, this fall.

Greg and Whitney Hirsch will open their new gym at 516 East Sixth Street, a location that has been used as a gym on and off for many years most recently as Iron Paradise.

The couple plans to create a space that fosters community while supporting athletic training for a broad spectrum of sports performance needs — strength training, endurance, agility, and just general fitness.

Both compete as powerlifters — they met while training — and want to incorporate the support and camaraderie they have experienced into their new business. “It (powerlifting) is such a supportive community,” Whitney said. “Even though we are all kind of competing against each other, everybody supports everybody. It’s a solo sport but everyone is rooting you on and cheering you on and it is just a really cool atmosphere to be in.”

Greg and Whitney built a new home in Hunter’s Crossing about a year ago but they were still training in Ferdinand. As they were considering building a home gym they saw an opportunity to do more.

“We realized there is a need and saw an opportunity to build a community,” Greg said.

“And build something for the community,” Whitney added.

They hope to bring that supportive and fun environment to their new gym and in effect, raise the bar for performance for all their members.

While they compete in powerlifting, the gym won’t just cater to their training needs. Greg and Whitney plan on providing 24-hour access to treadmills, stationary bikes, and other fitness equipment to support anyone’s goals and preferred training methods. They also plan on hosting classes to teach proper lifting techniques.

Again, they want to provide the best community-building support network they can for their new home community while sharing a sport they love.

The couple is currently in the process of having all of their squat racks, benches, and more custom-designed and built in Goshen, Ind. The move to have their equipment custom built was precipitated by the log jam in the supply lines caused by Covid-19 as well as the lack of used equipment due to the rise in home gyms. Their powerlifting coach in South Bend has pieces manufactured by the Goshen company Numero Uno and once Greg and Whitney started looking into it, they realized it would be less expensive to have the custom pieces built and they would be of better quality than what they could order.

Their opening timeline is based on the delivery of those pieces of equipment as well as the updates that are being done to the building on Sixth Street. If all goes well, the doors to Raise the Bar Performance will open in late August or September.

Update: Raise the Bar plans on opening Sunday, August 22.

Membership will be about $35 a month and will include 24-hour access. They will offer a daily rate as well as discounts for public safety professionals like firefighters and police officers as well as a couple’s rate.

Since announcing their plan on Facebook, Greg and Whitney have received a lot of encouragement from the community. “Most of the people we have talked to throughout the community are really excited about it,” Whitney said adding that Southridge Athletic Director Scott Buening has reached out for information to share with the student-athletes.

“You should have high standards for yourself and how you do things in life. And, we want to reflect that,” Whitney said. “We really want to offer a business that is going to raise the bar in the community.”