New owners have rebranded Heng's Gym at 905 Eastland Drive as Capital Fitness.
Luke Gabriel and Amber Duenkel — also a Cole County sheriff's deputy — bought the gym Aug. 1.
Gabriel said the 3,500-square-foot gym previously had a reputation as a place for hardcore weightlifters. He and Duenkel want to change that and make the place feel more welcoming.
Previously, the space had a muted yellow color. To make the space feel more welcoming, the new owners are painting the space lime green and black. They're also adding a cardio workout room.
Capital Fitness' predecessor, Heng's Gym, opened at the Eastland location in fall 2015 after relocating from Missouri Boulevard.
The gym hasn't closed since the new owners took over, but it will hold a grand opening Sept. 2 to celebrate its new identity. Gabriel said a barbecue will have food for hungry and curious new customers. A body weight bench press competition will be held for men, and a half-body weight bench press competition will be held for women to see who can bench press their body weight (or half of their body weight) the most times.
While they've owned the property just over a week, Gabriel is already seeing new customers come into the gym, he said. Modifications to the space are about 60 percent complete at this point.
For Gabriel, 27, the change is a welcome one into a new industry. He served his last day as working on avionics in the U.S. Air Force on Thursday. There, he worked on F-15 and F-10 airplanes. He said fitness is his passion, and he loves seeing and helping his friends lose weight.
"I grew up around it," Gabriel said. "Physical fitness was a way of life."
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