Let’s Take a Walk Down Memory Lane…

October 30, 1977

Light n’ Lovely opens in Salem, MA

January 1984

Light n’ Lovely in Salem is renamed Healthworks Fitness for Women

July 1984

Healthworks Cambridge opens at its original location in Porter Square

“Healthworks had only two locations: the mother ship in Salem, and our ‘under Tag’s Hardware’ location at Porter Square. We were two small strip mall locations, both with a very neighborhood feel.” — Jenny Briggs, Personal Trainer at Healthworks Cambridge since early 1992

“The ceiling was so low that when we brought in an assisted pull-up machine, a ceiling tile had to be taken out and your head went into the ceiling!” — Mark Harrington Jr., Healthworks Group President

September 1992

Healthworks Brookline opens on Commonwealth Avenue

January 1996

Healthworks Back Bay opens in Copley Square


James Foster sues Healthworks to become a member of the all-women’s club

October 1997

Healthworks celebrates 20 years

December 1997

Suffolk Superior Court judge rules that Healthworks Back Bay cannot bar men

“The possibility that men would intimidate, harass and leer at female club members was not enough to justify a contention that the women’s privacy would be violated, Judge Nonnie S. Burnes wrote in her decision. ‘Absent the unclothed exposure of intimate body parts, or the touching of body parts by members of the opposite sex, this court can find no basis for overriding the public accommodations statute’s mandate,’ she wrote.

“If that was the law, responded Mr. Harrington and others defending the nearly 50,000 Massachusetts women who belong to women-only clubs, the law had to be changed. They took to the State House.” — Carey Goldberg, “Lawyer’s Suit Challenges Women-Only Gyms,” The New York Times, January 26, 1998

January 1998

Governor Paul Cellucci signs a new law allowing single-sex clubs to operate

“…Foster may have won the battle, but he did not win the war. A bill was quickly introduced in the Massachusetts House that allowed single-sex clubs to operate in that state, and in January 1998, Massachusetts Gov. Paul Cellucci signed the bill into law. In a lot of ways, it was very positive for us,’ says (Mark) Harrington, who has owned Healthworks since 1977. ‘It brought attention to the niche we had, the significance of it and how important it was to a lot of people.’”— Stuart Goldman, “Women-only Health Clubs Play Important Role for Members,” Club Industry, March 1, 2012


Healthworks Foundation was formed as a 501c3

Healthworks Cambridge moves to its new building in parking lot of original club, now known as the Porter Square Shopping Center


Healthworks Foundation opens first club at St. Mary’s


Healthworks Chestnut Hill opens

“The positives were memorable—the immediate success and acceptance, with members signing up in the parking lot trailer. The great team who knew not only every member’s name but all the family news that went along with creating relationships,”— Mark Harrington Sr., Healthworks Cofounder


Healthworks Community Fitness opens at Codman Square Health Center in Dorchester, dedicated to providing high-quality fitness opportunities and health education for women and their families in underserved Boston neighborhoods


Healthworks Brookline relocates to its new club in Coolidge Corner

The GymIt brand is formed and opens its first club in Brookline on Commonwealth Avenue (at the old Healthworks Brookline location)


GymIt Watertown opens

Healthworks Group refocuses on premium clubs (Healthworks) and high-volume/low-cost clubs (GymIt). As a result, the Salem club closes


Republic Fitness is formed and its first club opens in Downtown Boston’s Financial District


First Fitness Management is formed, specializing in the design and management of fitness centers for corporations, property managers and institutions


HWX brand is formed, bringing new, studio quality classes for the next generation of group fitness at Healthworks and Republic Fitness

April 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic hits and all clubs close their doors as we enter into a quarantine that last far longer than we ever expected. The team quickly pivots, offering virtual classes on Instagram and later, Vimeo, outdoor classes, remote personal training and more. We are forever grateful to the members who stuck with us and chose to financially support our clubs, helping us weather the storm

July 2020

Our clubs are able to reopen with strict cleaning and safety standards in place. HWX Outdoor Classes launch and we continue to grow our virtual class offerings


We launched Healthworks Digital Studio (offering premium Livestream and On Demand classes)

Due to the financial challenges of the pandemic, we were forced to close Healthworks Chestnut Hill. Remaining Healthworks clubs and Republic Fitness finished the year off with 66% of the members we had in 2019, but with check-ins at 49% of 2019 rates. GymIt finished the year with 85% of the members we had in 2019

“From the moment I joined the Healthworks team in 2003, I knew it was a special place to work. The past 18 years have brought us many ups and downs, but one thing remains the same – our Healthworks Community! Supportive, encouraging, and innovative. I look forward to seeing what’s in store for the future!” — Kristyn Fales, Healthworks Group Director of Personal Training

Now in 2022…

  • Healthworks Group now operates 20+ facilities in Greater Boston, including Healthworks, Republic Fitness, GymIt, NB Fitness Club, The Track at New Balance and more
  • Memberships, class offerings and club amenities continue to increase
  • We celebrate 45 years of STRENGTH and our commitment to inspiring our members and community

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