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West Hartford fitness gym owner creates 'rage room' next door

Working out and working through the pitfalls of the pandemic

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. — The pandemic has delivered a gut punch to so many small business owners but, at BodyRoc Fit Lab in West Hartford, they are literally working to punch back.

BodyRoc, which is about to turn seven years old, is the brainchild of owner Shaun Chambers.

“It’s my own signature workout from my respective history," Chambers said. "Here, you get the combination of boxing, cardio, and strength training but it’s in a dance club environment.”

Chambers, who is originally from Hartford and was a collegiate football player at Southern Connecticut State University, said that the past two years in business has been the most challenging.

RELATED: Black-owned fitness studio in West Hartford is safe, holistic space for women and people of color

BodyRoc’s Avon location had to be closed -- a casualty of COVID-19, but his West Hartford location on New Park Avenue is holding its own.

“It’s been the hardest two years I have had in business, but in that two years, my team and I have become even closer and our community has embraced us even more,” Chambers said.

Credit: Jim Altman/FOX61

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In late 2020, Chambers and his partners opened “Smash Avenue” right next door to BodyRoc. Smash Avenue is a smash room that let’s guests come and destroy things like bottles, pictures, even giant screen TVs, all in the name of venting frustrations and fun. There is now a second Smash Avenue operating at Foxwoods.

RELATED: West Hartford lifting indoor mask mandate for municipal buildings Wednesday

Chambers is hoping the pandemic is winding down and, in turn, his business at BodyRoc will ramp up even more.

“With the pandemic and everything it’s been hard to stay motivated and you come here and just power it out, and that’s what we love,” BodyRoc member Lily Pham said.

To learn more about BodyRoc Fit Lab, click here.

Jimmy Altman is a reporter at FOX61 News. He can be reached at jaltman@fox61.com. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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