The Good Life: The Mix: Q&A: Gavin McKay

Fusion’s workout plan will get you off the couch

It’s cold — really cold — and you don’t need to be beach-ready for at least four months. So who cares about your little gym hiatus? Gavin McKay does — and his new gym, Fusion, is here to remedy your winter workout-slump. After beating a quarter-life crisis and kissing the corporate world goodbye, McKay traveled across six continents, studied Buddhist meditation, became a trainer, and settled in Philly to test his concept, and his mission of helping people get healthy and happy.

So what’s Fusion all about?
Our philosophy is to make a connection between heart, muscle and mind through a group workout. The best workout is in intervals, so our classes are 75 minutes, with one-third cardio, one-third strength, and one-third flexibility. People come here to get pushed to do a better workout, and a coach is key to making that happen.

Why does the group dynamic work?
It developed out of my experience with team sports. So many people say they were in the best shape of their lives when they played team sports, and that’s because they had a coach telling them what to do and teammates relying on them. Fusion is like Cheers, where everybody knows your name.

How do the physical space and atmosphere work with the concept?
In the cardio room, the lights are red and the music is pumping, to get that feel of really pushing yourself; lights are orange in the strength room, with upbeat music for energy and focus, and then change to blue for the flexibility section, with more mellow, calming music.

Do you offer any special classes?
We have one called Hot Mamas, where we provide child-care while moms work out, and also Boomerang, for baby boomers. And we’re doing an educational series — this month it’s Magic Hands, a massage course for Valentine’s Day.

How do you compete with other gyms that have more equipment and amenities?
Really, the coaching here is more valuable than all the Nautilus machines in the world.

Fusion, 105 South 12th Street (entrance on Sansom), 215-733-0633;