VETERAN personal trainer and gym executive Mark Hebblewhite’s long-planned fitness studio will launch on June 11.
Mr Hebblewhite has invested about $200,000 in Highlite Hi-Tech Studio, a bricks and mortar extension of the outdoor fitness training business he began at Empire Park about a year ago.
The studio – at 17 Darby Street, between King and Hunter streets - is touted as the city's most technically advanced gym, with equipment Mr Hebblewhite believes has never before been used by his competitors.
“Our focus is on tracking people’s results, we use a heart-rate monitor system which allows our trainers to track the intensity of the class and ensure it aligns with the goals of clients,” the 38-year-old said.
Highlite’s 200-square-metre space will include a strength training zone, a conditioning area with functional training equipment and eight TrueForm Runners, essentially motorless treadmills which improve running and posture.
“As far as I know we’ve got the first ones in Australia,” says Mr Hebblewhite of the US-made equipment.
Highlite uses the latest bodyscanning technologies which track results in clients, including muscle gain and fat loss. Clients wear Polar heart rate monitors which are linked via Bluetooth to a large screen in the studio, allowing them and their trainers to monitor their work-outs and fitness goals.
Despite the focus on technology and results, the affable Mr Hebblewhite said the Highlite studio will be relaxed, with not a mirror in sight.
The qualified accountant crunched numbers for six years before switching to his passion of fitness, working for Jetts and Genesis before starting outdoor Highlite.
“When I left school it was hard to get a career in fitness, but the industry has changed,” he says.
The studio has a High Performance Academy that provides junior athletes in Hunter special training to boost their chances of success in their chosen sport.
A limited number of scholarships will be awarded, with trials on the June 4-5 weekend.