Culture / Sporting Life

Top Houston Fitness Center Moves Into Swank New Digs as Gyms Reopen — Henry Richardson Redefines DEFINE

Infrared Sauna Among the State-of-the-Art Features

BY // 05.21.20
photography Shelby Hodge

“Although it would seem like this was perhaps not the most opportune time to be opening up a new space,” says Henry Richardson as he surveys the swank new digs of his DEFINE body & mind fitness studio, “having a space centered around health and well being, honestly, I can’t think of a better time to be opening up a concept like this.”

As fitness studios and gyms opened across Texas on Monday, Richardson welcomed a loyal if limited contingent (coronavirus pandemic rules enforced) to his spanking new state-of-the-art, trés chic studio at 2515 Morse. The new space, replacing the much smaller locale on West Gray, has allowed for the addition of an overall broader wellness experience and sports medicine component that Richardson has had on the back burner for six years.

Partygoers might remember this location as LifeHTX, the event space owned by Richardson and his partner Monsour Taghdisi, which has hosted any number of colorful bashes through the years.  Richardson notes that the space continues to be available for evening events on weekends.

The transformation is subtle.  The reception area of the event space now functions as a chic and comfortable food bar where guests can enjoy DEFINE food‘s selection of healthful juices and ready-to-go meals and snacks, all from the healthful pantry created by DEFINE’s chef Erin Stewart.

“We wanted to create an area where guests could hang out and enjoy nourishing food in a comfortable setting,” Richardson explains.

DEFINE body & mind is offering 10 online classes at present, broadcast from a bright and airy second floor studio. (Photo by Shelby Hodge)
DEFINE body & mind is offering 10 online classes at present, broadcast from a bright and airy second floor studio. (Photo by Shelby Hodge)

The main 4,000 square foot studio space on the ground floor of the two-story building is offering strength training classes at present and size is limited to 20 participants, who are easily spaced six feet apart. Additional classes will be offered in the coming months as restrictions are lifted.

“We have two in-person classes a day and 10 online. We are easing back into this,” he says. Richardson adds that he is now focusing on the expansion of the online component of his business as this trend is the answer for many staying at home.

The second floor of the flagship is where things are new and very interesting. In addition to a bright and cheery studio for the online classes and perhaps smaller classes later, this is where Dr. Nashat Latib, osteopath and board-certified emergency medicine physician, and Dr. Tina Hills, specializing in sports medicine, will conduct functional medicine and personal training sessions.

Highlight of the new studio is the infrared sauna, which Richardson says “penetrates the skin through near, mid, and far infra-red light therapy that results in increasing the core body temperature by roughly three degrees, which consequently results in an array of health and healing benefits.”

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