By Nancy Tannler

After dealing with a lifelong weight struggle, Tammy Salvato eventually found a solution at a gym in NE Portland. It was here she met Mary Drinkhouse, a trainer at the gym who came to this profession because of the same issues. This was in 2011.

This  model for a women’s fitness program really worked for both of them. When the studio closed down in 2015, they were quick to see a need to fill the void and open Kinnect Fitness Studio (Kfit), Fitness for Women by Women. In February of 2016 they opened their studio at 2715 SE Ash St. in the Buckman neighborhood.

Tammy Salvato and Mary Drinkhouse

Tammy said, “I tried every kind of fad diet and exercise gym and nothing really worked. Plus exercise regimes were boring and easy to lose my interest. That was before I learned how fun exercise can be if done right and what support and solidarity there is in training with other woman.”

Mary was primarily a runner whose goal was to run ten marathons (26 miles) before the age of fifty. She accomplished this goal by the time she was forty-five. “I realized then that I needed more balance in my training.”

That’s when she switched to the Kfit style program, eventually becoming a professional trainer. Prior to opening the studio Mary was/is a nurse. Becoming a personal trainer was a natural extension of her love of helping people.

Kfit offers balanced training programs in a supportive atmosphere. “We are mainly working in three categories; cardio, core-strength and resistance training,” Tammy said.

Sometimes classes rotate around the gym working out doing set routines at different stations. “It’s easy to watch everyone that way and help correct or encourage their progress.”

Other classes focus specifically on cardio training, core strength or resistance and any number of combinations of these classes.

“We try to make it so that if someone wants to come every day, we will be rotating the areas we are strengthening,” Mary said. She called it periodization, only for the body and not time, where you categorize muscle groups in the body and work on them specifically.

Their great names for classes: The Spark, The Kinnect, The Foundation, The Groove (a dance class) are sure to get your heart thumping – and a whole lot more. The word kinnect is what they chose for their business  name because it is a fusion of connect and kinetic – energy due to motion.

Mary shared an interesting piece of information about the heart. She said that we can strengthen and build heart muscle and stamina up until the age of seventy-five. “All hearts are finite but we can do a lot to keep them strong until then and beyond.”

Classes at Kfit serve women in their late twenties to their seventies. Along with exercise and fitness classes, they have a program called Eat Healthy/Feel Healthy, focusing on clean and mindful eating.

“We are not nutritionists per se but we have a lot of practical knowledge,” Mary said.

Not only has Kfit created a gathering place for women with a mutual goal, they have contributed to the community with their charity of the month program supported by the gym members.

So far they have helped Dove Lewis, Children’s Book Bank, Bradley Angle House, Friends of the Gorge and the Food Bank. They’ve held a blood drive and currently are doing the School Supply Drive.

“We do mostly local and some larger charities depending on the need,” Tammy said.

Even though it is a commitment of a little time and energy, the rewards can change a person’s life. People look better, feel better, are more organized and better equipped to deal with the daily grind. They sleep better and the endorphin boost can really give a lift. There’s also the opportunity to meet other women in your community.

For a complete list of classes and pricing, see: kfitstudiopdx.com or call 971.373.8499.