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Solidcore Founder Anne Mahlum Invests in ‘Unique’ NYC Group Fitness Startup

Solidcore Founder Anne Mahlum Invests in ‘Unique’ NYC Group Fitness Startup

The Athletic Clubs (AC) offer an innovative approach to group workouts called “squad training,” where groups of 10 to 20 people train together

Anne Mahlum, the founder of Solidcore and Ambition, has invested $150,000 in The Athletic Clubs (AC), a New York-based fitness startup with an innovative approach to group workouts called “squad training.”

AC defines squads as a group of 10 to 20 fitness enthusiasts who train together twice a week at the same time and place with a dedicated coach, offering structure for consistency and accountability. AC’s squad sessions incorporate strength and conditioning, with members having access to morning and evening run clubs and classes focused on resistance training. 

“You have to offer something unique and effective to be successful in the fitness space and the AC’s does this,” said Mahlum. “The fact that you sign up for a squad and work out with that specific group of people at the same time is something no one else is doing in the fitness space.”

credit: The Athletic Clubs (AC)

The private-member athletic club currently has three locations in NYC: West Village Athletic, Greenwich Village Athletic and Williamsburg Athletic and plans to expand to additional markets starting next year, confirmed Dane McCarthy, founder and owner of the group fitness concept.  

“We’re very effective at building community, which makes our model very sticky,” said McCarthy, adding that the business is thrilled to have Mahlum on board.

“We are really excited to be partnering with Anne,” McCarthy said of the investment from Mahlum. “No matter how you measure it, she is one of the most successful and accomplished entrepreneurs in the fitness space and so we are very grateful (and humbled) to have her endorsement.”

McCarthy was featured on Beyond the Sweat’s podcast last month, discussing grit and the philosophy behind forming squads, underscoring that health means more than having abs — but being part of a supportive community. 

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“Working out consistently with the same people is an organic way of getting to know people,” said MacKenzie Johnson, AC’s head of operations. “We have found that when members really know and like the people they train with it has a profound impact on their ability to stick with it and actually enjoy the process of staying fit and healthy.”

The group fitness brand points to research showing the benefits of working together versus exercising alone. One study demonstrated that people who worked out with friends showed improved mental health, physical and emotional well-being and lower stress levels than those who train alone or with strangers.

Mahlum also recently invested $265,000 in Ice Barrel and extended a line of credit worth $1.5 million to support the cold therapy company specializing in ice baths.

She grew Solidcore, a Pilates-inspired boutique fitness brand, to over 100 locations before exiting in April

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