In March 2018, health and fitness advocate Ife Obi invested her savings into her passion and opened The Fit In Bed-Stuy, a fitness studio of her dreams.
In Bed-Stuy, we seldom see fitness studios other than Blink and Planet Fitness, which is why fitness advocate Ife Obi opened The Fit In right in the heart of the neighborhood.
The Fit In Bed-Stuy is a fitness studio that promotes diversity and body positivity, encouraging all women to be comfortable in their skin and giving them a place where everyone fits in. Women attend pilates and strength training classes to not only sculpt their bodies but to be in a safe space where they can feel body positive, supported and strong — no matter where they are in their fitness journeys.
Prior to opening The Fit In Bed-Stuy, Obi had a successful career in marketing for a major entertainment brand, but she was always passionate about health and fitness. Born and raised in East New York, Obi’s fitness journey began in her mid-twenties when she moved to Bed-Stuy and attempted to create healthier habits for herself. What started as a routine to help with weight management, became a healthy relationship with herself that would soon turn into a permanent lifestyle. Obi wanted to share her story to encourage other women of color to feel more comfortable in their fitness journeys.
Obi originally created The Fit In as a resource that provided fitness recommendations for real women by real women. Still with the same mantra, in March 2018, The Fit In Bed-Stuy has turned into a fitness coven taught by women and filled with women participants from diverse backgrounds working on the same thing—creating the best versions of themselves.
“We need to change this thought about what fitness looks like. I remember having a conversation about why women—specifically women of color—haven’t tried things like strength training or pilates,” Obi said. “The most common answer would be that they haven’t seen someone who looked like them doing it.”
In addition to teaching women strength training, Obi also seeks to bring more diversity to fitness, starting with having more black and brown faces represented.
“My mission, not just in Brooklyn, is to have more representation of women of color in fitness spaces,” Obi said. “Anytime I see women in fitness, I rarely see women of color represented. I wanted to make women feel wanted and comfortable—that starts with inclusion.”
Business is rewarding, but even with her success, Obi still emphasizes helping women find their niche in fitness and giving them support and guidance through their health journeys mentally and physically.
“For me, it’s about growth and reaching more people,” Obi said. “Knowing that I’ve helped someone in their journey is what makes me the happiest. It’s not simply opening the business, it’s about all the people that I am able to help. People coming to me and saying, ‘thank you for being here in Bed-Stuy.’ That’s why I do it.”
The Fit In Bed-Stuy is located at 423 Marcus Garvey Blvd. Check out the class schedule here!