History of Kia Ora Fitness
Kia Ora Fitness has been owned and operated by Karl and Lisa Christensen since 1999. The gym has providing some of the best workouts on the planet from the same location on the west end of Kennewick, WA for nearly 20 years. For the first 8 years it was licensed by World Gym International and operated as World Gym Kennewick. This was a fun period that allowed direct interaction with Joe Gold, the father of bodybuilding, during his last 5 years of life and encounters with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lou Ferrigno, Franco Columbu, Larry Scott, Dave Draper and others that were foundational to the sport.
Extreme Blendz Juice Bar has been included in the business since day one. These protein shakes are the perfect compliment to a great workout. As founder Lee Blackmon used to say, "They were born in a blender, conceived in a gym."
In early 2003 we became the first gym in the Tri-cities to offer Les Mills classes beginning with BODYPUMP®. With a popular response, other Les Mills classes followed and within months the gym was home to the largest offering of these classes in Eastern Washington. Kia Ora Fitness continues to offer a wide variety of Les Mills classes as well as a mix of other fun classes on land and in the pool.
In the summer of 2007 Karl and Lisa decided to operate on their own under a new brand – Kia Ora Fitness. The brand name was derived from a common greeting among the Maori people (the indigenous people of New Zealand). This was familiar from our dealings with Les Mills International which originates from Auckland, New Zealand. The literal translation of Kia Ora means “be healthy” and carries the sentiment we feel so passionately about.
Another significant modification at Kia Ora occurred in November of 2018 when the gym converted over to 24-hour operation. With the addition of controlled entry access and video surveillance equipment the gym has extended service to non-stop operation around the clock providing more value to our customers.
With nearly 20 years of experience behind us, our goal remains the same - to deliver fun, energizing fitness experiences day in and day out.