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Fresh spot for Fitness

Crunch Bensalem celebrates grand opening, Bronx native excited to join local business community

Health goals: Crunch Fitness Bensalem’s general manager Jonathan Cardona (center) moved from New York for this opportunity. Samantha Bambino / Times Photo

Jonathan Cardona needed a job. At 5 feet 11 and 145 pounds, a gym was the last place he saw himself working. But the Crunch Fitness facility near the Bronx, New York native was hiring a cleaner, and he took the less-than-ideal position in 2013.

Cardona’s involvement at the gym was supposed to be a temporary thing while he worked to discover his actual passion. Little did he realize, his life’s calling was right in front of his eyes. Cardona formed a deep love and appreciation for the fitness industry, quickly climbing the ladder and running a Crunch location in Port Chester, New York.

Recently, Cardona added yet another bullet point to his Crunch-infused resume – general manager of Crunch Fitness Bensalem, which celebrated its grand opening at 1336 Bristol Pike on Monday, Jan. 13.

“It’s humbling,” Cardona said. “I didn’t think that I would even be working in the gym industry, you know, a skinny guy walking in. But Crunch really welcomed me, and it just kind of blossomed from there. I have a knack for it, and it worked out.”

The Bensalem community, including Mayor Joseph DiGirolamo and Bensalem Township Police Department Director of Public Safety Fred Harran, convened at Crunch Fitness to officially welcome its newest business owner, who moved to the area exclusively for this opportunity.

After the ceremonial red ribbon was cut, attendees were invited inside to see what Crunch is all about. Founded in 1989 in New York as a small, boutique gym, Crunch now boasts locations nationwide.

“You can open your own Crunch, you can run one that’s existing,” explained Cardona. “They’re all over the place now, on the up and up.”

While Crunch has standard gym equipment in its 32,000-square-foot space, such as bikes, treadmills and weights, Cardona named a few aspects that make it stand out from its competitors.

“The biggest thing that makes us unique is the classes. We have Crunch-specific classes that we make up, then we have yoga, Zumba. Our new thing now that we have here is HIITZone with higher-intensity classes,” he said. “They’re just 45 minutes, fast-paced, going station to station. It’s only 16 people in the class, but you’re moving. You’re working the whole time.”

Welcome to the neighborhood: Crunch Fitness Bensalem recently celebrated a grand opening at 1336 Bristol Pike. Crunch has a large amount of standard gym equipment in its 32,000-square-foot space, such as bikes, treadmills and weights. Samantha Bambino / Times Photo

Crunch guests can also take advantage of tanning, massage beds, personal training, Crunch Live online classes and showers and locker rooms.

“We try to incorporate everything from every different type of gym that’s out there,” Cardona said.

During workouts, guests at Crunch can look at virtually any wall to view a message of inspiration, including the company’s slogan “No Judgments.”

Locals are invited to sign up for yearly or monthly memberships, or drop in on a day-to-day basis. So far, Cardona said he has received nothing but a positive response from the township.

“We’re excited to be here in Bensalem,” he said. “The community has really opened up. I think they were wanting some type of change here. You could see it from the moment we actually moved into our space.”

As he revels in the early success of managing his first Crunch Fitness in Pennsylvania, Cardona is also involved in the creation of another location on Roosevelt Boulevard, which is slated to open at the end of the year.

For more information on Crunch Fitness Bensalem, visit crunch.com/locations/bensalem, call 267-545-8259 or follow it on Facebook and Instagram @CrunchBensalem. ••

Samantha Bambino can be reached at sbambino@newspapermediagroup.com

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