Kansas City workout concept prepares to open in Los Angeles and on east coast

PRAIRIE VILLAGE, Kan. – A health and workout concept conceived in the Kansas City area is partnering with athletes and celebrities like LeBron James, Russell Westbrook and Patrick Schwarzenegger to expand nationwide. 

Health House plans to open its first location outside the metro Nov. 1 in Los Angeles. The company has plans to add 35 facilities across California, New York and Florida over the next seven years. 

“You dream big, but you never actually think it's going to come to fruition,” founder Jon Knopke said. “With a lot of hard work and the right people in place, dreams really do come true. It's pretty awesome.”

Knopke described the concept as a first-of-its-kind rowing and weights workout. The proprietary plan incorporates a 60 feet wide digital wall which displays water for the rowers and adds an element of competition by listing the top performers in each class. 

“I think over the last 10-20 years people are starting to get a lot smarter as they work out. More efficient. Safer,” Knopke pointed out. “When you dissect what we do, we do a combination of high-intensity training on the rower and we combine that with strength training on the floor.”

Entrepreneurs have found success in Kansas City which has built itself as a start-up destination thanks to amenities like Google Fiber high-speed internet and co-working spaces like Plexpod. Organizations like KC SourceLink, the Kauffman Foundation, SCORE Kansas City offer guidance, and sometimes free mentorship, to people launching a business. 

Knopke credits Kansas City, his hometown, for turning his risk into a success.

“I think the fabric of our society, the Midwest mentality, these are salt of the earth type people. They take care of one another; they support one another. It's unlike any other community or culture I've experience,” Knopke said.

Click here for a list of other agencies in the area dedicated to entrepreneurs. 

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