Also Published in the New Mexico Newsport
By Courtney Salinger and Jennifer West
Marissa Lopez and her mother Kristy Garduno, are two of the owners of Albuquerque’s newest gym, Body Mass Foundation, hope to change the way people make healthy gains — with “no rules.”
Body Mass Foundation, BMF, opened Aug. 26 and is located on the first floor of Cottonwood Mall, across from Conn’s and the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.
The “no rules” approach allows gym members to “slam weights, bring food and drink into the workout area, and to just have fun,” said Lopez, whose family owns the company. Body Mass Foundation is a family run business, consisting of Lopez; her father, her brother, and her mother.
Gym poster in Body Mass Foundation at Cottonwood Mall in
Albuquerque, New Mexico. Picture by Jennifer West
Lopez said it all started when her father, Arthur Lopez, was frequently attending a gym and came up with the idea to open up his very own gym. Lopez said her father did not like the rules in other gyms and they were always full of people.
Her younger brother came up with the gym name, Body Mass Foundation because he liked how Body Mass is another term for body weight and Foundation is like the structure of a workout program.
According to Lopez, all of her family members help run the gym,but her father is the main boss because he prepared and opened the business. He also handles the money and orders equipment.
Workout equipment in Body Mass Foundation gym at Cottonwood Mall in Albuquerque, New Mexico, picture by Jennifer West
Lopez described working with her mom as “awesome, but it’s hard at the same time because we are together 24/7 anyways.” Lopez said co-managing with her mother meant not getting along well some days, but that overall she enjoys the time they spend together.
Garduno, described working with her daughter as “a challenge,” because Lopez tends to exercise during work time. But Garduno said she loves being able to work with her daughter. Lopez says that her and her mother are closer now than they were before.
Garduno said the family’s goal for the gym is to keep their members happy and to make people feel comfortable working out. “We don’t discriminate and we don’t have all of these rules like other gyms that make people feel uncomfortable,” Garduno said.
The monthly gym fee is $19.99, with no contract or sign up fees. That’s a competitive price compared to similar gyms like Defined Fitness, which charges $39.99 per month.
Lopez said she hopes to expand the business into a bigger space within Cottonwood Mall or possibly its own stand-alone location. The family is currently working on collaborating with gym supplement store, GNC, and Monster fitness clothing. To help promote the business, the family has a booth in the mall located across from Boba Tea, where they dress up in BMF and Monster merchandise,pass out fliers and hold raffles for prospective customers.