It’s been nearly five years since the last Gold’s Gym location in the East Valley changed ownership and rebranded under a different name.
But thanks to Jad Awale, a 29-year-old fitness enthusiast, Gold’s Gym has made its return with a new location in Chandler.
“It was extremely important to me to bring the brand back to the Valley,” Awale said. “I felt there was a need for this type of concept, especially with our fully redesigned studio. I’m extremely excited.”
Before the change in ownership in late 2014, there were six Gold’s Gym locations across the Valley. They were part of a franchise with 16 total gyms in the region, with the other locations in Nevada and Southern California. In January 2015, every location was rebranded under the Eos Fitness name.
The new Gold’s Gym, in the Sunset Plaza center on Ray and Rural roads in Chandler, opened its doors in late May, but a grand opening with raffles, vendors and other events will likely take place sometime in July.
Growing up in Tucson, Awale became a fitness enthusiast at a young age. He recalled being in awe of the fitness magazines he would see at local grocery stores. As he got older, his love for fitness grew.
“It’s amazing how a little bit of money can transform your body and your whole life,” Awale said. “You feel like you have more energy, you feel less stressed. Overall, you’ll have a much healthier and happy life.”
Awale used to workout at Gold’s Gym locations in Tucson when he was younger. He knew he would always be part of a health club, but he never imagined he would be able to call one his own.
“I’ve always been emerged in business and I wouldn’t have it any other way,” Awale said. “I’ve been talking to this company for about three years now and I’m excited we can bring this concept back to Arizona.”
Awale’s uncle is a franchiser on the East Coast, so the passion for owning his own business runs in the family.
He already has four other Gold’s Gym locations paid for, though exact locations have yet to be determined. But he doesn’t plan to stop there. He anticipates he will open several other Gold’s Gym locations in the near future.
“This first location is kind of like a training ground,” Awale said. “We want to work out all the little kinks and make the next one better. That’s what we are aiming to do across the Valley.”
The new facility is the most up-to-date design in the Gold’s Gym family. The 40,000-square-foot gym offers state-of-the-art equipment and amenities, including a full studio package with Gold’s Burn, Gold’s Fit and Gold’s Cycle. It also includes Gold’s 3D, which measures every part of the body to track results.
The gym floor is equipped with several treadmills, ellipticals and other cardio equipment. Two areas fitted with artificial turf offer gym-goers an area for a variety of workouts, including TRX racks, punching bags, tire flips and rowers.
Traditional machines that work a variety of muscles occupy one side of the facility. But where this Gold’s location sets itself apart from other gyms is the large area for free weights.
The gym is equipped with several Breaker Olympic Flat Benches. On a traditional bench press, the weight is lifted from behind the head. The Breaker Bench moves forward once the person using it lays down, allowing them to lift the weight from their chest to reduce the risk of injury. Once finished, the bench moves back to allow a clear path to get up.
Each half rack is equipped with sound dampening platforms to reduce noise if weights are dropped. There are also machines that will count an individual’s repetitions and time the workout.
“It’s like the ultimate fitness playground in here,” Awale said. “There are very unique areas that will cater to whatever it is they want to train.”
A former 300-pound bodybuilder, Awale designed the gym with results in mind. But he also made it a priority for every piece of equipment to be used by anybody.
“One of the greatest things about it is the unity of people,” Awale said. “Everyone has a perception of what the brand is and when they come through the doors they evolve. It’s very results-driven and a positive environment.”
Awale has received strong feedback from early members. From the layout and look of the gym to the overall atmosphere, it’s been a positive experience for all who have walked through the doors.
But Awale welcomes criticism. To him, that presents an opportunity to make each new facility he opens better than the rest.
“I like to look for the negative because that’s where I want to improve,” Awale said. “It’s a lot of good stuff. We are excited for the expansion and ready to see where it all goes.”
More information about the new Gold’s Gym in Chandler, including membership pricing and hours can be found at www.goldsgym.com/chandler-az/.