There’s a gym that’s catching fire in the Twin Cities that’s more than a swipe-in, swipe-out experience; coaches — including mom, fitness entrepreneur and athlete Andrea Jones — who get to know your name with classes that can change the entire outlook of your day. Alchemy 365 combines yoga, strength and conditioning at each of their five locations. Behind their sleek logo and 40+ classes a week, Alchemy 365 remains committed to five regimens that make this gym not like a gym at all.
Make time for names
Before each workout, the athletes circle up and say their names. It only take a minute, but the impact is powerful.
“Even if it’s a full class and we’re running behind, we’re going to take the time the time to do names,” Andrea, who co-owns Alchemy 365 with a small group of partners, including her husband Mike, says. “Everyone gets to say their name. Everyone has a chance to be seen. That’s important.”
Using a person’s name is an effortless way to connect with a new face, to build a relationship.
“Sometimes the smallest things hold the most intention,” Andrea says. “It communicates the message, ‘You’re not a stranger. You matter.’”
Connect with a coach
When training new coaches, Andrea and Mike make sure to instill this point: Nobody should leave the gym without having a touchpoint with a coach. This could be an attaboy, a ‘You’re doing great,’ or just saying an athlete’s name.
“Walking into the gym and finishing the workout might be the best part of someone’s day,” Andrea says. “Hopefully they’ll laugh, feel strong, smile…and for sure, we want them to feel like they are part of something.”
Gather outside the gym
When Andrea and Mike first moved to Minnesota in 2007 for Mike’s job (he worked in marketing and business development at 3M), Andrea found her community at a large gym, where she worked as a personal trainer. In 2009, Mike switched career paths and together, the couple opened CrossFit St. Paul. That community became like family to the Joneses.
“Those people were our family. We had brunch after our Saturday workout. We went to happy hour,” Andrea says. “We even got invited to our members’ kids’ little league baseball games.”
As Mike and Andrea opened two more CrossFit gyms and then Alchemy 365, they emphasized the importance of meeting up outside the gym.
“We’ve started ice cream socials and yoga and wine nights,” Andrea says. “Seeing each other outside of the gym creates an authenticity. We’re empowering each other in the gym and connecting outside of it.”
When Alchemy 365 heard that one of their members volunteered at Second Stork, a nonprofit that provides necessary items for newborns and their parents, they jumped at the chance to help.
“We loaded the trucks with diapers and wipes and supplies,” Andrea says. “We’re not defined by our education or by our jobs. We want to make a real, lasting connection. We want to make a difference.”
Pursue their legend
The name of the gym is based on the book The Alchemist, which follows a young man on his search for meaning.
“His own legend resonated with us,” Andrea says. “If we all were to pursue our legends, to be our best selves and fulfill our passions, wouldn’t that make for the best community?”
Owners and coaches encourage athletes to hustle, feel alive and most importantly: pursue their own legend.