The Muscle Studio under new ownership

Jen Hulet is pictured in the cardio area of The Muscle Studio, a gym in South Beach that she and her husband, Brett, purchased last fall from Ric and Jenifer Rabourn. The gym provides 24/7 key card access. (Photo by Steve Card)

Brett and Jen Hulet are the new owners of The Muscle Studio. In October of last year, they took over the business — described as a “neighborhood gym” — which had been started 10 years ago by Ric and Jenifer Rabourn.

The Muscle Studio is located at 4909 S Coast Highway, suite 14, in South Beach, at the south end of the Newport Business Plaza.

“My husband is a big lifter, and I have always kind of been into fitness and athleticism,” Jen Hulet said when describing what led to their decision to purchase The Muscle Studio. Over the course of about a week last fall, several people told both Brett and Jen separately that The Muscle Studio was for sale. “So after repeated events, we thought there was something to this. We met with them (the Rabourns) and it was done very quickly.”

Running The Muscle Studio is a bit different from their “day jobs.” Brett has a dental practice in Newport, Canyon Way Dental, and Jen does the accounting there. But they have also made a commitment to provide the community with a full service gym.

Although the gym has key-card access 24/7 for its members, they do have regular office hours. “Brett does 5:45 a.m. to 7 a.m., and I do office hours from 5:45 p.m. to 7 p.m., so he takes the morning shift, and I take the night shift,” said Hulet. During these office hours, they can sign people up with a gym membership and provide tours of the facility. These regularly scheduled office hours are Monday through Thursday, but they will also meet with people during other times by appointment.

Hulet said they have made some changes since taking over The Muscle Studio. “We’ve done a lot of changes. We did the logo, so new branding. We painted, we did the lounge, the back room, the classroom. We brought in new equipment.” What remains the same is the 24/7 access and the pricing, which continues to be $35 monthly. Discounts are available for those who want to pay on a quarterly or annual basis.

People can also use the gym for a drop-in fee. “We get a lot of the people who are just here for a weekend or whatever,” Hulet said. “We just have to set up an appointment time for them for a drop-in for a day pass, or a week pass. It’s really good, and we get a lot of those in the summer.”

Hulet said they have also started offering classes, which weren’t available in the past. “We offer HIIT, which is High Intensity Interval Training. We also have Barre; it incorporates the ballet bar, but it’s not ballet, per se, and then we have Zumba.” They also offer Silver&Fit, an exercise and healthy aging program geared toward older adults, the cost of which is often covered by Medicare and other insurance programs.

Classes offered at The Muscle Studio aren’t included in the gym membership, and people who want to take a class don’t have to be members, “but as a member, you get a different rate than a drop-in would get,” said Hulet.

One of the goals the Hulets had when taking over the gym was to make it a welcoming environment for everyone. “I think previously it was thought of as only for weightlifters, instead of general physical fitness — stay-at-home moms that can’t work out because they have kids. So we’re kind of trying to change the culture from what it has been to what it can be. And that’s why we added the classes and all that,” she said.

“The atmosphere is what we’re really trying to capitalize on,” Hulet added. “You can be comfortable doing your fitness activity no matter what level you’re at. We have all shapes and sizes here.”

And The Muscle Studio offers something for everyone. “The gym is split into a strength training side and then a cardio side,” said Hulet. “The back area, we have the only deadlift platform in Newport.” The classroom is also located in the back area, as are showers and lockers.

Another big appeal is the kids’ lounge. “It’s not supervised, and the kids are only allowed in there, they’re not allowed on the gym floor,” said Hulet. “But we have movies, we have a hoop shoot, we have tons of toys in there, (and) there’s windows all around, so you can see your kids, and they can see you. It’s available all the time, and that’s been really great.”

People wanting to know more about The Muscle Studio can stop by during office hours or call 541-961-9612. There is also information available online at and on Facebook at The Muscle Studio.


More In Business