Former amateur boxer's fitness club attracting a crowd at Hampton Plaza facility |

Former amateur boxer's fitness club attracting a crowd at Hampton Plaza facility

Former amateur boxer Rich Mushinsky working out at his new Fit 4 Boxing Club in Hampton .

Living his dream with her blessing are Shaler Area High School graduates Rich and Laurie Mushinsky of Hampton.

The Mushinskys opened the Fit 4 Boxing Club in Hampton Plaza in March and now have about 140 members, including more women than men.

Rich Mushinsky, 52, shelved his career as a master plumber to launch the 4,700-square-foot specialty fitness club.

It features mirror-lined walls, padded floors, and 28 brand new blue boxing bags, plus a boxing ring for private lessons.

“I didn't want a sweaty boxing gym,” said the 5-foot-10-inch, 170-pound Rich Mushinsky, a 1980 graduate of Shaler Area High School and former amateur competitor.

“After 10 broken noses, I quit,” said the son and stepson, respectively, of Elizabeth and William Leach of Shaler.

“I've been a plumber for 35 years,” he said. “I made a good living doing it, but this was my passion — boxing. I've been boxing since I was 16.”

Mushinsky said his wife encouraged him pursue his dream of opening a boxing gym.

“We called it a club to give it more of a club atmosphere,” said Laurie Mushinsky, 46, a 1987 graduate of Shaler Area High School and an AT&T global service director. She is the daughter of Jack Burkhart of Shaler and the late Rita Burkhart.

Unlimited group classes at the club cost $79 to $99 per month, but all introductory classes are free.

Amenities include a Wi-Fi-equipped waiting area with leather couches and free coffee. Prospective members don't need any special equipment,

“We do have wraps and gloves they can use,” Laurie Mushinksy said.

“It's not fighting,” she said about the club's brand of exercise. “It's noncontact.”

Fashion model Alyssa Ball, 19, of Shaler tries to visit the club three or four days a week.

“It's a very challenging yet rewarding kind of workout,” she said about the club's brand of exercise.

“Working out at a regular gym, you have to push yourself as hard as you can, but to have all the really awesome trainers at Fit 4 Boxing, it's really easy to get in better shape,” Ball said. “They're just super friendly and motivating. … It's all the training you would endure as an actual boxer in training but not getting punched in the face.”

Heidi Bobick, 33, of West Mifflin recently joined the club.

“I work down the street, Bobick said. “I walked in. Rich was there. He immediately welcomed me, and everyone was so friendly and nice.”

A one-hour class at the club includes 15 rounds of three-minute workouts. Each class sandwiches eight rounds of bag work and three rounds of core work between three minutes of warm-up exercises and three minutes of cool-down stretches. Private lessons also are available. Bobick described the workout as intense but “over before you know it,” she said. “Once you start doing it, you forget you're doing it. … It's a huge stress relief, too.”

Bobick also praised the club's clientele.

“Even if they look intimidating because they're so fit, you can still talk to them, and they seem so nice,” she said. “I'm hooked. … I've only done six classes, but I've already lost 4 or 5 inches off my waist.”

Heidi Weinman, 41, of Richland also recommended the club.

“It's extremely clean,” she said. “The staff is great. They're very accommodating.”

Deborah Deasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6369.

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