Metro June 14, 2019

Kristin Armstrong’s Second Act

The Olympic gold medalist promotes healthy lifestyles with her new gym venture

With three Olympic gold medals and multiple national and world championship titles in the sport of cycling, Kristin Armstrong has achieved more than most athletes could ever dream of. Retired from the sport, Armstrong wanted to find something meaningful to do next. It is, after all, hard to top winning an Olympic gold medal.

Her focus now has become helping other people of all levels, from elite cyclists chasing their own Olympic dreams, to people who haven’t been to a gym before, achieve their fitness goals, too. “I always want to work, and I want to help people live better lives and make a positive impact,” Armstrong said in a recent interview.

Armstrong is preparing to open four new gyms in the next year built around healthy lifestyles. The new gyms, called Pivot, will be spread from Meridian to east Boise. The first is set to open in May, and the fourth will open in spring 2020.

The idea behind Pivot began in August when Armstrong was
approached about the possibility of designing a gym to go in new business parks being developed in the area.
She said it’s becoming the norm for companies to want fitness centers to be within their business parks so that employees can use them without having to go far. This is a factor companies take into consideration when looking for space to lease.

The new gyms are planned for four business parks developed by the firm Ball Ventures Ahlquist. The first to open is at the Ten Mile Road exit of Interstate 84 in Meridian, followed by a downtown Boise location on Myrtle Street near 13th Street in the new Pioneer Crossing development. Two others are planned for Barber Valley in east Boise and at I-84 and Eagle Road in Meridian.

Armstrong said the gyms are in locations where they will be convenient for people to get to as the area continues to grow. They’re near office buildings and easy to get to from I-84 as people commute. Reaching more people is also the reason Armstrong is planning to open four locations in the next year, instead of starting with one and waiting to see what happens. “Rather than target one zip code, we wanted to target the Valley,” she said.

Armstrong designed the gyms around her own health and fitness philosophy and what she believes is important for people to think about in terms of their fitness. The Pivot gyms will include cardio and weight areas along with what Armstrong described as boutique-level studios for indoor cycling, yoga, and functional training. “All three of these modalities affected my career and were very important,” she said. The cycling classes are designed and endorsed by Armstrong.

Armstrong said yoga and strength training were essential to her training routine as a competitive athlete. When she started experiencing aches and pains, Armstrong turned to yoga, and it had a strong effect on her. Strength training is also something Armstrong said she couldn’t function without while cycling. It became important during her career to make her body as strong as possible when she was on her bike.

Pivot memberships will include unlimited access to these classes along with 24/7 access to the cardio and weight areas. In addition, Pivot will have health coaches, registered dieticians and personal trainers.

When the gyms open, Armstrong hopes they will cater to a mix of people in different fitness levels. She wants to break down barriers, make people feel comfortable and part of a community when they enter the gym, and make an impact.

“I’m putting their goals as high as my goals,” Armstrong said. 

This article appears in the Summer 2019 Issue of Territory Magazine.