Abilene gym allows members to work out for free in exchange for good deeds

POSTED: 7:33 PM Aug 27 2013   UPDATED: 8:08 AM Aug 28 2013
ABILENE, Texas -

Gym memberships can be expensive. Did you know there's a gym in Abilene that lets you work out for free?

But they do ask one thing of their members.

The Pit is the brain child of some members of Highland Church of Christ. They wanted to offer a place that promoted a healthy lifestyle, as well as opportunities to give back. 

The Pit isn't your normal gym.

First, it's about more than just getting buff.

"It's community-based," said founder of The Pit, Chad Walters. "It's a place where people can come work out, work out as a team and encourage one another."

Second, membership is free...but what's the catch?

"We try to do community service from time to time and so whether it's a day where we go and knock on doors or help with community projects, that's all we ask, that everybody who comes here at least tries to do some of that," Walters said.

One gym member said going to The Pit is like the perfect package.

"It sounded like a really great idea to get the community involved in activities, teach them about God and get fit all at the same time," said Rachael Barr.

Volunteers said even the workouts themselves promote a strong community.

"When you're out of breath and you're sweating and you're laying on the ground, and you've got somebody encouraging you, you build bonds," said Matt Pinson.

The Pit has been open to the public for a little less than a year.

The Pit has little to zero overhead costs since the gym space and equipment was all donated.

The Pit is located at 701 Walnut in downtown Abilene, in the same building as Christian Ministries of Abilene.

They're hoping to expand the class hours, but right now, classes are every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 5:45 a.m. and every Tuesday and Thursday at 12:15 p.m.

To attend a class, simply show up and fill out a waiver before exercising.