Capitol Hill gym blends technology and health

Couple takes over gym and transitions to preventive care

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In some ways, Matrix Fitness and Spa is a gym like any other — there’s exercise equipment and yoga rooms. But new owners Philippe Goix and Regina Brugh have big plans for the 14,000-square-foot space, and it includes using technology to help people take better control of their health.

The couple took over the gym in August and held a reopening party last month. Once they came in, Goix said, they began adding new types of equipment that help measure fat and muscle levels and bone density. Both Goix and Brugh have backgrounds in health care and were “handpicking the best technology we could find,” Goix said.

Brugh said that no two people’s bodies are alike and by giving people personalized data, they can then take the right steps toward losing weight or eating better. Taking those steps is key to preventing major health issues down the road.

“You can’t rely on one methodology,” she said. “Tuning is easier than fixing.”

The data can be sent directly to an app that people can look at on their phones. It helps give Brugh an idea of what nutrition and exercises to recommend to clients as well. As a 20-year clinician, Brugh said she enjoys having the data on hand.

“I don’t believe in guessing,” she said.

Goix, who is originally from France, moved to the United States in the late 1980s to do a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of California in Berkeley. From there, he began working in the Bay Area and Silicon Valley for different healthcare companies. On a visit to Austin, Texas, he met Brugh, who was a clinician working with nutrition.

After the couple got married, they wanted to get out of the healthcare space and move more into preventive care. They found the Matrix space in Denver, and closed on the property quickly, Brugh said.

Insurance is like any other business, Goix said, it’s there to make money. This can mean there’s not as much of an incentive for preventive care, he added.

Oftentimes, when people are at the gym, Goix said, they do the same workout repeatedly and are surprised when they don’t see results. Using technology and data more specific to a person’s body can help them change that.

“People come in, they want to get fit, they want to get better,” Goix said. “I think people need to invest in their own health.”

Besides the equipment that measures specific data in someone’s body, Matrix also has equipment that uses infrared technology. The infrared lasers penetrate directly into cells, kickstarting chemical production that your body does naturally, but slows as it ages, Goix said.

When Goix and Brugh bought the Matrix gym, they also got the workout equipment inside, and kept Hayne Ellis on staff as the director of operations. Ellis said that many of the gym’s 750 members are excited about the changes the couple is making to the gym.

“It’s an infusion of new energy,” he said. “They could have gone anywhere.”

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