Tiffany Krueger and Joanna Sather know how to guide a body into good health. Collectively, they’ve been doing it for over two decades as Certified Personal Trainers and Certified Group Fitness Instructors. As females in the fitness industry, they recognize the need for female-centric fitness and have created a new fitness studio in Olympia, Athena Fitness and Wellness, that is redefining feminine fitness. Through small group training, large group fitness classes, wellness services, and a community of women for support, working out in Thurston County never felt so good.
Welcome to Athena
Historically, Athena was the Greek goddess of wisdom. Their logo, an owl, was often a sign of the goddess, who was a symbol of sisterhood, power and courage. These are the characteristics that Tiffany and Joanna’s fitness studio on Pacific Avenue is bursting with, and the bright and airy space is a joint venture between a team of five investors and their spouses.
The fitness studio is open to everyone, with no exclusions, but the exercises and wellness services are targeted toward the female body. “The female body is different than the male body, and it needs to be trained that way,” Tiffany says. “The education that we provide for body care, hormones, nutrition – all of that, is geared toward females.”
Athena is also doing something very different from other studios in the area, and is deeply and genuinely focused on creating connections. “Over our years in the fitness industry,” Tiffany says, “we have seen how women need a community of other women for support, because that’s really the number one thing to keep people coming back. We are doing fitness here – yes, but really the number one thing we are doing is building community.”
Joanna experienced the power of community support three years ago when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. “Feeling connected and supported was so important in treatment and recovery,” she says, “as well as with living life after cancer and dealing with the side effects of ongoing treatment and anxieties.”
The fitness community helped Joanna stay active and keep wellness a priority. After eight surgeries in two years, she’s also learned what it’s like to rest and take care of her body and to come back to fitness in a gentle way. She’s looking forward to passing this knowledge on to others at Athena.
Movement Options at Athena
Athena offers many different fitness styles. Small group personal training is led by Certified Personal Trainers who lead the daily workouts throughout the day, on the hour. These classes are limited to no more than 16. The cross-training workout is circuit-style and uses TRX suspension training, kettlebells, slam balls and more. Three different variations are offered throughout the week.
The large group fitness classes can accommodate up to 30 people and are led by Certified Group Fitness Instructors. They use Les Mills Group Fitness repertoire and offer BODYPUMP, BODYCOMBAT, BODYFLOW, CXWORX, and BODYSTEP. Athena is the only fitness studio in our area to offer LES MILLS GRIT Strength and LES MILLS GRIT Cardio, 30-minute high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts.
Athena also offers dance fitness in a class created by Athena instructor, Rebecca. High energy dance fitness and athletic inspired moves are combined in an easy-to-follow class. Or, slow it down a little with a gentle yoga class designed to increase strength, flexibility and equanimity.
Wellness at Athena
Athena recognizes that overall wellness is more than just working out and provides services that complement the experience. A Licensed Massage Practitioner will be on staff, in addition to a Certified Nutritionist.
Inside Athena will be our area’s first Himalayan Salt Room, encompassing over 6,000 pounds of salt. With walls lined with Himalayan salt blocks and over three inches of granulated salt on the floor, it also has a halogenerator that, “regulates the amount of salt microparticles in the air,” Tiffany says, “so you’re breathing salt.”
Salt is antimicrobial and antibacterial. It strengthens and expands lung function, is good for skin, and helps detoxify the body. “Our cells move things by chemical charges,” Tiffany shares, “and the radiation we receive from Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G – even radio frequencies, disrupts our body on a cellular level.” She says the salt room helps to neutralize these electromagnetic frequencies by offering a negatively-charged source of grounding. “It heals you from the inside out.”
Tiffany and Joanna see the importance of offering salt therapy to the whole community and anyone may access this one-of-kind salt room with a small fee, even if they are not members of the fitness studio. The salt room is also ADA accessible.
Athena for Kids
Athena offers a supervised play space for children six-months to seven-years-old. Childcare can be booked in advance in predetermined time slots for a drop-in rate or a monthly unlimited rate, but care can only be utilized for two hours per day. “We don’t really want you working out more than two hours a day anyway,” Tiffany says. At Athena it’s about being kind, loving and gentle to bodies.
Athena also offers a designated space for older or independent children. There will be a table where they can work on homework or activities, while observing a valuable life lesson when they see their mothers and caregivers making space for themselves, connecting, and taking care of their bodies.
Grand Opening Celebration
February 27, at 5:00 p.m. the community is invited to a ribbon-cutting with Mayor Ryder and the Lacey Chamber of Commerce. There’ll be refreshments, a raffle with prizes, including a one-year membership to Athena. Childcare will be open, and at 6:30 p.m. there’ll be a pop-up fitness dance class.
Athena uses the MindBody app where you can reserve space in a class, schedule childcare and process payments. A full schedule of offerings is available on their website and through MindBody. Visit the Athena website for details or call 360-515-5723. Your first class is always free.
“We recognize the deep need for connection in general,” Tiffany says. “We’re shopping online, we’re working out online, we’re doing everything online – but we are designed to connect as humans. When we are working out together, and we smile at each other, that releases positive neuro-transmitters that have a full-body effect, and that’s real.”
Athena Fitness and Wellness
3330 Pacific Avenue SE
Suite 105, Olympia