At Studio K-Fit, gym-goers support local charities while still getting a personalized, intensive workout. The family-owned gym has become a neighborhood favorite in Redwood City, largely for its donation-based fitness activities. Owners Kendrick and Angela Ribeiro work to cultivate an encouraging environment where community members can connect with each other through exercise and disconnect from the "fast pace" of life in the Bay Area.
“We tend to forget the social aspect of overall wellness, especially in fitness," said Ribeiro. "Not only are people super friendly with each other here, but we go beyond the workout and really get involved with the community by working with local charity organizations.”
Studio K-Fit raises an average of $15,000 annually by holding donation-based fitness challenges to benefit charities. One of the studio's most popular challenges is the annual February Cardio Challenge, where participants complete a 2-kilometer row, 2-mile stationary bike ride and 500-meter ski, where K-Fit donates $1 for every attempted challenge simply for showing up and giving it a shot.
The challenge usually benefits the American Heart Association in honor of Heart Health Awareness Month, but after Kendrick and Angela's 3-year-old daughter was diagnosed with leukemia in December, the couple decided to donate to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society instead.
"After spending nearly four weeks in the hospital with our daughter, Angie and I wanted to do something that would charge us up," said Kendrick. "This year, the cardio challenge helped us restabilize our own lives."
K-Fit initially set a goal to raise $500, but after overwhelming support from regular clients, the gym was able to raise over $12,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Kendrick notes that 117 personal records were set during the month and 120 pounds were lost among all participants.
"February was the busiest month we've ever had," said Kendrick. "I think the purpose behind this year's challenge touched the hearts of our clients and everyone wanted to be more involved. We also made it a fun, team-based thing."
Erica Day has attended Studio K-Fit since 2020 and was heavily involved with this year's cardio challenge. She said that Studio K-Fit is the best gym she's ever been a part of.
"(Kendrick and Angela) pride themselves on having a really close community within the gym and the giving back part is just the icing on the cake. I haven't experienced that at other gyms I've been a part of," said Day. "I think a lot of the reason why people tend to stay there so long is that they really do feel that sense of community."
In addition to their monthly contribution to Feeding America, which has resulted in a total donation of 50,000 meals, the Redwood City studio plans to fundraise for New Creation Home, which supports single moms that are in transition from broken relationships and LifeMoves, which helps individuals and families experiencing homelessness to return to stable housing and self-sufficiency. K-Fit will also hold a spring pickleball tournament this May, where participants will contribute $50, and the total earnings will go to charity. More information is online here.