When step brothers Nathan Long and Brealon Ashworth opened Spark Athletic Performance two years ago they envisioned a gym where people could work out and better themselves. Their dream has become a reality. The business, located at 414 West King Street next to the Rock Church in the old Hastings building in King, is 10,000 square feet and offers a functional base strengthening system.
Ashworth graduated from Appalachian State with a degree in exercise science.
“While I was at Appalachian I enjoyed working with athletes and knew this was something I wanted to do,” he said. “I was into the cross fit part of it and Nathan brought the power lifting knowledge and we combined forces to create Spark.”
Recently, the duo added additional equipment to their inventory and membership has grown by more than 40 percent in the past three months.
“We have more free weights, kettlebells, a GHD machine, and a new cable cross over machine,” Ashworth said. “Our programs are designed more with free weights and not a lot of machine work.”
The workout programs help many with daily tasks that some take for granted.
“We had a woman come in and do a workout because she couldn’t lift a 20 pound bag of dog food,” Long said. “With our program she was able to start lifting and doing things she hadn’t done in years.”
The brothers have partnered with Kirk Goodson and Backward K Academy to add a strengthening program for athletes. In doing so, Surry Community’s volleyball team, West Stokes volleyball and area football players have begun to incorporate Spark into their workout regimens.
“I really like coming to Spark on a daily basis,” said member Brittany Mitchell. “They really hold us accountable and push us to our limits and sometimes we don’t really see the progress we’re making until we max out seven or eight weeks later.”
Spark Athletic Performance is open Monday through Friday from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. on Saturday.