It all started with a 900-square-foot, two-car garage. Well, actually, it started way before that.
Although Ruff House Fitness, LLC—a small-group fitness studio offering boxing, strength training, spin, and HIIT classes—officially opened in Salisbury in May 2019, this combination of two dreams began over a decade ago.
Owners and spouses Amy and Alicia Pike are certified personal trainers who bring their own unique specialty and fitness experience to Ruff House. Alicia has been a fitness instructor for eight years teaching a variety of classes including barre, strength training, and TRX, but her particular passion is boxing. “I’ve been in the boxing world for the last 10 years and absolutely love sharing that passion with others,” she says.
Amy grew up being in the gym and playing sports, including basketball at Endicott College. She always talked about opening a gym and now specializes in strength training and fitness nutrition. “It always used to get me when I would see people using improper form at the gym. That’s where my passion started and has evolved from,” she says.
Alicia is an amateur boxer herself and she and Amy structure boxing classes at Ruff House to mimic the workout a boxer does, with a jump rope warm-up and two- to three-minute rounds on the bags, broken up with agility and speed work. All of their classes are meant to challenge participants’ bodies and minds while also providing a fun atmosphere to work up a sweat.
Equipment like battle ropes, pull-up bars, plyo boxes, weights, and slam balls are integrated into each class, and participants of all fitness levels are encouraged to do their personal best through guidance, upbeat playlists, and all-around positive attitudes.
During the warmer months Ruff House takes their instruction outside of the studio for water-front workouts, kayaking, and yoga on the beach (oh, summer!).
The couple started by teaching all of the studio’s classes themselves but have recently expanded their instructor team and now offer classes seven days a week. Alicia says that owning a fitness studio attached to their house and having her life partner as her business partner “has been great. Amy and I balance each other out well and have different strengths.”
“There is nobody else I’d rather be on this journey with. We both have 100% trust and respect for what the other can provide and do,” says Amy.
One business decision the two were quick to agree on was the name. “If you know us you know we love fitness and dogs. How can you not love seeing that black and white face?” says Amy, referring to their dog Petey, whose face adorns the Ruff House Fitness logo. In addition to Petey, the Pikes own Piper, a golden mix, and Penny, a black lab, meaning a full house and a lot of furry individuals to look after.
Amy and Alicia do so much to help others, but Alicia is a strong believer “that if you don’t take care of yourself first, you can’t take care of anyone else. It’s not about having the perfect body or being super thin. It’s about doing something for yourself that makes you feel good and stay healthy.”
Amy seconds Alicia’s sentiment and encourages people to “also challenge yourself a little bit, and find positivity in the things you are, rather than beating yourself up for the things you’re not. Finding that positivity and accepting it will spread to the next thing you do,” says Amy.
When it comes to finding that next thing, both instructors agree that if you want to do something, go for it. While many use January 1 to make resolutions for changes they want to make in the coming year, Amy and Alicia have a different perspective: Don’t schedule your resolution around the first of the year—if you want to make a change, go for it. “Everything you do is about mindset and mental strength. If you realize your goal is too lofty then break it down into smaller, simpler goals to reach that larger one,” says Alicia.
Amy says it’s important to celebrate the small victories that get you to that larger goal. Maybe you’ll choose to make your small victories happen at Ruff House Fitness. The studio offers a special “$25 for 2 weeks” deal for new clients looking to check out their classes. Sign up at https://www.ruffhousefitnessllc.com.
“We want people to feel like this is their space as much as it is ours. This place is here for you!” says Amy.