BASH Boxing consists of 45 fast-flying minutes of conditioning. Using free weights, medicine balls, resistance bands, and a joint-safe aqua punching bag, BASH helps clients build lean muscle, improve overall endurance, and torch calories round after round. By Nancy E. Williams
BASH Boxing consists of 45 fast-flying minutes of conditioning. Using free weights, medicine balls, resistance bands, and a joint-safe aqua punching bag, BASH helps clients build lean muscle, improve overall endurance, and torch calories round after round. Members love the brand’s state-of-the-art lighting and surround-sound system that take the experience of working out to a whole other level.
Alex Trakas, CEO and founder of BASH, has been into fitness for as long as she can remember. “I consider myself a movement enthusiast,” Trakas said. “I earned a fine arts degree in dance from Shenandoah University. I love everything about fitness – not only what it can do for your body, but also your brain.” After graduating, Trakas returned home to care for her father, who was dying from cancer. “I had a circle of friends who were entrepreneurs, and they were experiencing something similar with aging parents. It motivated me to want to do something that made a difference in people’s lives,” she said.
Trakas started working for some of the largest boutique fitness franchises in the industry, and one brand had a strong emphasis on sales training. “I learned a lot from those experiences. That was the first time I really understood the importance of sales in this business. They provided an incredible set of tools on how to start the business and make it successful,” Trakas explained. Those opportunities gave her the experience to lead the effort of opening a new gym from start to finish.
During that time, Trakas started boxing and fell in love with it. “Boxing made me feel powerful, similar to how I felt when I was dancing,” she said. “I knew right then that I needed to bring boxing to more women. I asked myself, ‘How do we bring this to a community that wants to fight for themselves and bring empowerment to all aspects of their lives?’ There are a lot of women, and men, frankly, who have trauma they haven’t dealt with.”
In 2017, Trakas created a team as passionate about her concept as she was, and she started pulling in investors. Because she knew the community well, Trakas decided to open her first location in Arlington, Virginia. “Once we had the capital secured, I moved forward. When you start second-guessing yourself and let doubt creep in, you’ll never move forward. This has been the most honorable and humbling thing I have ever done,” she said about the Arlington location, which opened in 2018.
Having worked in gym franchises, Trakas knew franchising would be important to the brand’s growth strategy. BASH’s first franchise owner started as a member of the club in 2018, and after her first class, she immediately wanted to know when the concept would be taken to Pittsburgh. A year later, Trakas was ready to move forward with franchising – and then the pandemic hit.
“Unfortunately, we had to put our dreams of massive expansion on hold. However, it gave us a really great opportunity to look inward. We had to make a lot of tough choices during COVID. We started offering free workouts online, including through Instagram, and it created a following of raving fans that we knew we could build on post-COVID,” Trakas said. The Arlington location reopened in June 2021, and the Pittsburgh location has plans to open this year.
What makes a great BASH owner? “We’re looking for people who are passionate about the business. Whether an owner-operator or an absentee owner, the person running the business must be passionate and love what they’re doing. Business ownership is hard. You set out to do it, and there are always things that come up, but it’s so worth it when you can walk into your business and see that you are changing lives,” Trakas said.
The culture at BASH is all about hustling. Owners should be hungry to enrich themselves in sales training and knowledge and be ready to build skills they can use in all aspects of their lives.
Nancy E. Williams