Raising the bar
A stylish cafe and business lounge, qualified barista, luxurious bathrooms with high end appliances and quality products – they’re not the usual benefits you would find at your local gym, but then Hunts Fitness is definitely “A gym like no other”. Adrian Hunter shares the philosophy behind his exclusive new full-service club that’s creating quite a stir among the Sunshine Coast’s fitness scene.
Suave, sleek and sophisticated and I’m not just talking about the general manager! I’m referring to Hunts Fitness – the brand new state-of-the-art gym that has recently opened its doors to the Sunshine Coast, taking high end fitness to a whole new level, putting us firmly on the map and offering its members an exclusive club where service and attention to detail is second-to-none.
It’s the brainchild of ex-military fitness trainer and entrepreneurial businessman Adrian Hunter, a project he is fiercely passionate about and one that has taken him years of research and hard work to create.
“I knew exactly what I wanted, and I’ve done my homework,” says Adrian. “I looked at over 400 gyms around Australia for two years and spoke to lots of gym owners, trainers and clients.
“I wanted it to feel like you were coming to a luxurious spa or hotel. I wanted a place where business owners or those who strive hard for success can come and do a gym workout, have a shower, have a complimentary breakfast, enjoy a barista-made coffee or two, maybe check their emails and then head straight to work. My clients see the value in their time, it’s a club for them to use as their own, to train, to work and to relax.”
But let’s step back a few years to where it all began for this driven businessman and fitness lover.
“Sport was always a big part of my life, particularly swimming and rugby,” says Adrian.
“I wanted to join the military straight out of school, but my dad advised me to get some life experience first. So I ran a couple of small businesses and then applied to the Army a few years later and was accepted.”
Adrian was sent to the infantry battalion in Townsville and it wasn’t long before his sporting prowess was noticed and he was selected to join the Physical Training Instructor’s course, which he excelled in.
“It’s pretty competitive because it’s probably one of the best jobs in the army. The job is to build good functional activity and prepare military personnel to be
“I loved being a trainer and I would still be in the military today, but a great job opportunity to open a startup business in America presented itself and I left the army in 2002 to pursue that.”
An entrepreneur at heart, Adrian spent the next few years in the US working his magic with several other startup companies before returning to Australia in 2008 to launch beverage company, Monster Energy in the Australasian market.
“The last 15 years have been focussed around building businesses. I like starting things, I get bored pretty quickly if I’m not creating something new. I love to keep moving and remain innovative and contemporary,” he says.
Recognising a gap in the market for an exclusive niche fitness club on the Sunshine Coast, combined with the exciting opportunities Maroochydore’s new CBD has in store for the future of our region, Adrian jumped at the chance to combine his love of business, fitness and the finer things in life and the idea for Hunts Fitness was born.
But not before months of searching for the perfect location.
“I had to wait longer than I anticipated for the perfect space but at the end of the day it’s a great location – it’s the new central business district, the first part of the new CBD, so for me it was a step in the right direction. It also gave me the ability to plan the gym around the building. How it was on paper is exactly how it is,”
“It’s a business building, not residential, so it works well for my clients because they are not competing with residents for a park during the early morning and evening peak hours,” says Adrian.
I wanted a place where business owners or those who strive hard for success can come and do a gym workout, have a shower, have a complimentary breakfast, enjoy a barista-made coffee or two, maybe check their emails and then head straight to work.”
Given the competitive nature of the fitness industry, Adrian knew he had to offer something different to his clients to stand out from the crowd.
“I don’t think other gyms see me as a competitor to be honest, I am just offering something so completely unique.
“I wanted a one-stop-shop. I want people to know when they come here, the classes are the best, the instructors are the best, the equipment is the best, the coffee is the best.
“Going from this to any other gym is a very different experience. The reason gym owners don’t do full service models is – one, because it’s expensive and two, as the general manager, you have to be there. If they sign on they’re making a lifestyle investment to come here.
“You have to be invested in your brand, if you are not invested it won’t work. If you are going to provide a high level service you have to be on top of your game, your clients will soon tell you if you’re not.”
From the moment you step inside Hunts Fitness club, you realise this is a gym like no other. The elegant foyer is reminiscent of a high-end spa or hotel lobby.
Beautifully furnished and boasting high end fixtures and fittings, it offers a relaxing space where you can connect to free WIFI, do business in comfort and enjoy breakfast and a Toby’s Estate coffee, barista-made.
“We are so excited to have Toby’s on board,” says Alex. “The Sunny Coasters are mad about good coffee and Toby’s are passionate about delivering the best, it’s such a great partnership.”
Welcoming and non-intimidating, the club’s neutral timber flooring and muted colour interior scheme has been specifically designed with both men and women in mind.
I haven’t created this gym for everyone, I have a niche market, I know who my clients are.”
“I wanted it to be a non-intimidating space for both sexes,” says Adrian. “I didn’t want men to feel afraid to join a yoga class or for women to feel uncomfortable training with men, it’s all very neutral.”
The stunning bathrooms are fitted with Dyson hairdryers and Hunts Fitness has partnered with the White Company to provide luxurious products to relax and revitalise you so you leave your workout completely refreshed. They even provide bath-size fluffy towels so you can finish your workout with opulence.
“You can never re-create a woman’s bathroom,” laughs Adrian, “but I wanted to make it as comfortable as possible for the ladies to feel at ease with showering and getting ready as they would at home.”
But there is a catch, you do have to actually do some work first!
Whether it’s free weights in the purpose-built cardio room or one of the many innovative classes on offer including pilates and yoga, or utilising the state-of-the-art gym equipment, there is something to suit all tastes and fitness levels.
“Any personal trainer working here will always have vast and diverse experience,” says Adrian.
“Alex and Mimi are Nike master trainers and there’s myself with over 20 years experience in person training,” says Adrian. “We know how to train people hard and safe.
“I also offer the opportunity to train with me, inclusive in your membership. I run you through the equipment and show you how I train to keep myself physically fit.
“People go to different classes for different reasons. We all have our strengths. Mimi is a fantastic pilates and yoga teacher, Alex is high intensity and I tend to push you past mental barriers.”
What you won’t find at Hunts Fitness are heavy weights, with Adrian preferring a more holistic approach to health and wellbeing that allows his clients to still enjoy a balanced lifestyle while remaining functionally fit.
“I haven’t created this gym for everyone, I have a niche market, I know who my clients are,” says Adrian.
“I don’t have 60-kilo dumbbells, I don’t have a power rack that you can drop weight, I don’t have the big squat racks, I built this gym specifically not to have that.
“If you’re a powerlifter you’re looking for a particular gym and this format is different. I’m a functionally fit guy in my 40s. I built this gym for guys who have young kids and are trying to keep up with them, for women who want to build themselves fit. At age 35 or 40 you need to make some changes, it gets harder as you get older.
Once 40 kicks in, testosterone drops and it gets harder for men in particular.
“I’m not going to make you a marathon runner but I’m going to make your lifestyle better so next time you kick the footy with your son you are not going to tear your hamstring, because you’ve gained flexibility doing yoga for six weeks. Or you are going to go fishing for a week with the guys and you know it’s going to be heavy on the booze, but you can hold that fitness and come back after that.”
And he says when it comes to nutrition, it doesn’t have to be complicated.
“It’s about sustaining your habits by working out. I teach my guys to change from having big meals at night to eating a big breakfast and lunch and then lighter in the evening, a piece of salmon and some vegetables maybe. Cut down to a couple of beers at night, buy a $30 bottle of wine instead of a $15 dollar bottle and savour a glass or two rather than the whole bottle.
“Nutrition is easy, people over complicate with fads and that only creates up and down movement of the body, not stability. Be good during the week and on Sunday have pizza, have tacos and enjoy it. We don’t work as hard as we do for nothing.”
Speaking of lifestyle, Adrian also hosts social evenings at the gym where members can mingle and learn from some of the best in the health and wellness industry.
“We are not pretending to be anything but a lifestyle gym. There is not one person at this gym who isn’t social; they travel, they go to functions, they like good food and wine.
“That’s the idea behind the social nights at Hunts. We are providing an opportunity for our clients to learn from some of the best guest speakers from different specialities including nutrition, fitness, massage and physio.
Nutrition is easy, people over complicate with fads and that only creates up and down movement of the body, not stability.”
“I want to supply my clients with as much as I can, so it’s all inclusive – I know they’re not going to find it anywhere else.”
And to ensure his clients are getting the best value for their investment, Adrian has a personalised app that allows members to book their classes in advance to work around their lifestyle.
“You can go on the app and book your classes for the week while you’re lying in bed at night. It gives you calendar reminders two hours in advance, it’s your own personal training device. It builds a profile around you, how long you are here and the classes you like so we can build the program around what suits our clients best.”
Adrian is currently working with a leading nutritional scientist here on the Sunshine Coast to develop his own range of protein powders fulfilling his dream of a one-stop-shop for holistic health and wellbeing.
And with a cap on the number of members, he says Hunts will remain a boutique club where his members feel special, and service and attention to detail will remain paramount.
“I have groups of people here not telling anyone about the gym, they want to keep it to themselves,” laughs Adrian. “It’s like the Coast’s best kept secret.”
Not anymore Adrian! I think you had everyone at wine and cheese!