Barbella’s gym empowers women to lift weights and support each other

By Allison Marlow
Posted 9/20/17

Several years ago Matt Bishop says he lived a fairly unhealthy life – alcohol, junk food, cigarettes, late night.

“I was really just wasting time,” he said. “Like most people I realized …

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Barbella’s gym empowers women to lift weights and support each other

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Several years ago Matt Bishop says he lived a fairly unhealthy life – alcohol, junk food, cigarettes, late night.

“I was really just wasting time,” he said. “Like most people I realized that I would keep doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result. But that is insanity.”

His change started in the gym.

“I quickly realized if I wanted to make any progress in the gym, I was going to have to start cutting other things out,” he said. “After I got all the bad habits out, and got into the gym consistently and ate the right things and the right amount, that’s when progress really started to happen. “

Bishop gained muscle and strength. But beyond achieving fitness goals, that first step into the gym has helped him to work toward life goals of owning his own gym.

Now, Bishop, and his business partner own Barbella’s a gym for women in Fairhope. The gym, located on Morphy Avenue, is fueled mostly by weight training, rather than machines that allow people to move without using their minds. Bishop said that link between thought of what you are doing, and progress in what you are doing, was missing at many gyms.

“It’s not as effective,” he said.

Barbella’s caters to women who not only want to exercise but also, Bishop said, come together as a community.

“A lot of times when it comes to physical strength women are underdogs which is certainly a ridiculous thing to assume,” Bishop said. “This is a gym exclusively for women who can come together as a community not just to lift weights but to attend seminars and workshops and support each other.”

Bishop hopes to use what he learned on his own fitness journey to inspire the women at Barbella’s.

“Once I felt my body change, the way I felt changed and the way I acted changed,” he said. “Your attitude and the choices you make are going to determine the outcome.”