Just as the members of Rockwell Fitness work every day to improve their strength and cardiovascular health, owners Brian Chisholm and Sid Saab have been grinding since September 2018 to take the gym to a new level.
“It was part of my community and it was a familiar small business,” Chisholm said when asked about the opportunity to own Rockwell Fitness. “It was something I was personally connected to.”
Chisholm and Saab immediately gave Rockwell a facelift by replacing the carpeting; buying new equipment; adding a spin studio, sports training turf and two 132-inch virtual screens; improving the smoothie bar; and “painting and cleaning every inch of space,” Chisholm said.
“I wanted a feeling of energy and openness so people feel a positive vibe, which is hard to do when the gym looks dreary,” he explained.
The Rockwell team kept their spirits positive following the onset of COVID-19 in 2020. They purchased air purification systems and established procedures to sanitize all equipment regularly.
“We put a major emphasis on making sure we’re hygienically clean every day, and industrywide, there are very few incidents of people being infected within a health facility,” Chisholm said, citing a joint study conducted by the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) and MXM. “That’s because the emphasis on being clean but also because the people coming there are healthy people.”
Many of those people took advantage of outdoor classes in the fall, getting their workout while social distancing.
“We held everything from spin classes to boot camps outside,” Chisholm said.
While winter temperatures might deter some people from exercising outside, that is not the case with all Rockwell members. Trainer Travis Clay has been leading workout classes outside every weekday morning.
“Studies show that working out in colder weather activates brown fat cells, which burns more calories,” Chisholm said.
In the spring, Chisholm hopes to see more young athletes using the outdoor space for batting practice and soccer drills.
Inside of Rockwell Fitness, the 15,000-square-foot gym has plenty of space for members to maintain distance while exercising. FX Physical Therapy also operates in the Rockwell Fitness building, providing another service.
“Our gym offers so much more and is so much bigger than anyone would perceive by looking at it [from the outside],” Chisholm said. “We have a spin studio, a free weight room, a cardio room, a message therapy room.”
Chisholm believes the amenities and Rockwell’s level of customer service set it apart from other gyms. Speaking to that level of service, Chisholm said it starts when members are greeted at the door and continues during the workout for people exercising in groups.
“We have everything from specialized personal trainers who help people with body shaping, to the older generation who wants to stay healthy,” Chisholm said. “We have one-on-one to small groups and large groups.”
The gym’s hours are 5:00am to 8:00pm on weekdays and 7:00am to 4:00pm on weekends. To learn more about services and programs at Rockwell Fitness, visit in person at 551 Baltimore Annapolis Boulevard in Severna Park, call 410-401-0107 or visit www.rockwellfitnessmd.com.
“We feel like we’re taking something that was already good and building something great,” Chisholm said. “It’s a tremendous opportunity to help people transform their lives.”