GOODFORM Gym Takes Shape at a New Space

 GOODFORM Gym Takes Shape at a New Space

GOODFORM Studios is taking shape at its new space in the old Wave building. The strength and conditioning hybrid gym held its grand opening of its new ground-floor space on Sunday, October 9.

Monice Small’s GOODFORM Studios might have a shiny new space, but the gym has been serving the community for two years. Small started GOODFORM in June 2020, at a time when gyms had been shut down due to the Covid peak. But for Small, who moved to Rockaway about eight years ago, the timing was right.

“At the time, I had just been laid off from my job at the Rockaway Brewery and I wasn’t getting unemployment because of my immigration status. I only had a few things under my belt like pilates, but there were no gyms, and I was stuck in this rut of not knowing what to do. My friends said I should offer online classes, so I started doing that in my living room,” Small said. She gained a following of friends from in the community and outside, but Small wanted more, for herself and others like her.

“I feel because I am a black woman, I don’t often see gym spaces that have people who look like me. When I took classes for myself, I would feel a little uncomfortable and it would feel like I don’t fit in. There was a need here. A lot of the time, when it comes to exercise, people who look like me may feel intimidated going into certain spaces, and I wanted to get rid of that feeling, and provide a space where everyone can feel comfortable and make it as accessible as possible,” she said.

She just needed a little help getting started. “One of my friends suggested I should start raising money to open my own space. I thought it was crazy, but I started telling people in my network about these online classes to raise money to pay for my first space. I raised more than $6,000 in a month,” Small said. “I was amazed. Who knew people loved me so much that they would help me do this?”

Small connected with the folks at the old Wave building at 88-08 Rockaway Beach Blvd. and put the money down on a third floor, 400 sq. ft. space in June 2020. Soon, word spread, and GOODFORM started to build its membership. “This community is very good when it comes to spreading the word. News travels quick here and because I worked at a lot of local establishments, the local businesses were amazing when it came to sharing my posts and flyers. When I first started, I told myself I just needed two people to pay rent, but it took off and I did not expect it at all. I thought I would have the time to take more courses and expand my knowledge, but people wanted to work out, and they just keep coming,” she said.

With an expanding membership, Small wanted to provide a better space for her clients. So when an opportunity opened to move to the ground floor space, offering GOODFORM better exposure, she jumped at it. “The space is much bigger and gives me the opportunity to host larger classes,” she said. Over the summer, GOODFORM moved on down to the new space in the building and on Sunday, October 9, Small held a grand opening and ribbon cutting.

“We had an amazing turnout. We had 25 people in the class working out. People came in and out all day, and even a few days later we still have people coming in to sign up. It’s been good,” she said.

What exactly does GOODFORM offer? It’s not your typical big box gym with workout machines. GOODFORM is all about classes. “We offer multiple classes. Body Camp is my signature class. It’s circuit training with a focus on strength and conditioning and pilates. My background is in personal training and pilates so I incorporate those into my private sessions. It’s a full body class which is beginner friendly, using light to moderate weights, moving through different exercises for about 45 to 50 minutes. People tend to really like this class. I play really good music. We also have high intensity classes like cardio kickboxing, using body weight only, a HIIT class and a dance class,” she said. Classes are offered seven days a week.

And with the new space, Small hopes to expand their offerings. “I want to do a Body Camp 2 class for more advanced folks and we’re going to start offering kids’ classes in November,” Small said. She also hopes to expand her staff. Monice and her husband, Eric, run operations at the studio, but her team of instructors includes Cassie Phifer, who teaches dance, John Carruci, who teaches kickboxing and will do Body Camp classes, and Taina Manigat, who leads HIIT and Body Camp classes. But with more staff, Small hopes to offer even more variety. “Whether its yoga, kettlebell, pilates, I’m open to it. I’m hoping we can get an even larger, solid group of fitness people in Rockaway,” she said.

GOODFORM Studios offers a variety of membership types from one class a week/ four classes a month to two classes a week/eight a month and weekly unlimited memberships that are ideal for summer residents. And those who are interested can try a class before committing to a membership. But Small says, people usually sign up after giving it a go. “We offer a community here, and good, positive energy. I’m not a bootcamp style person. I’m encouraging but I don’t like yelling. We offer a light space that’s clean and makes you feel like you can breathe,” she said.

Small hopes others come experience GOODFORM for themselves. “I hope people see the space and feel welcome and excited to have another spot to do something other than going to a bar or restaurants. It’s another way for people to meet and have a good time without alcohol,” she said.

GOODFORM is located at 88-08 Rockaway Beach Blvd. For more information, check out: and follow Goodform_studtios on Instagram.

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