As people began filing into the Title Boxing Club on East Stan Schlueter Loop in Killeen, trainer Cedric Marks conferred with owner Susan Lockbaum. After agreeing on a few basic moves to begin the class, Lockbaum offered one final pointer.
“Make sure it’s pumping in here,” she told Marks.
Pop music began blasting through the speakers, and Marks was true to his word as a frenzy of left hooks and right jabs began in the gym.
“If I’m not talking, it’s because I want to hear you sweating,” Marks told his students.
The gym has been “pumping” since Title Boxing Club opened Monday. Lockbaum, who owns the gym with her husband, Joe Lockbaum, hopes to keep it that way.
“It consumes our lives seven days a week, but it’s a passion and a dream come true,” she said. “It’s amazing once this place gets full.”
The New Jersey natives moved to Central Texas when Susan Lockbaum, a first lieutenant with the 1st Cavalry Division, was stationed at Fort Hood. After settling in Georgetown, the couple decided to open a business together.
Both are lifelong athletes — Joe Lockbaum is a former wrestler and football player; Susan Lockbaum played college lacrosse and completed 15 marathons. A fitness company seemed the natural choice, and the couple felt that the business model of Title Boxing Club — a boxing, kickboxing and mixed martial arts franchise founded in 2008 — closely aligned with their own goals.
“Whatever your goal is, these classes will hit those goals,” said Susan Lockbaum, 34. “(The classes) challenge people to be comfortable being a little uncomfortable. Every time you come, you’ll feel better and better.”
That has certainly been true for Livier Lazaro, who noticed the Title Boxing Club sign while driving past the building. She signed her whole family up for Title Boxing memberships.
“It’s amazing that something like this exists in the Killeen/Harker Heights area,” said Lazaro, who lives in Killeen. “The first day I was like, ‘There’s no way I’m going to be able to do this,’ but by the end of the class, I had so much energy. It’s addicting.”
Opening and operating a business would present a challenge for any couple, but with Susan Lockbaum on active duty and Joe Lockbaum frequently traveling for his job, the process has been especially trying for the couple. They hired a full-time general manager to oversee the gym’s day-to-day operations, as well as a full staff of trainers.
“The construction process was really challenging, and now that we’re open, we’ll face new challenges,” Susan Lockbaum said. “But now we have a full-time staff that has a vested interest and thinks of this place as their own.”
Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Susan Lockbaum and her husband share a deep love of health and fitness.
“If something has to be difficult and demanding, I want it to be this,” Susan Lockbaum said. “I love changing lives … (and) I love being in the Army, so to realize two different dreams side by side is a really amazing point in my life.”
firstname.lastname@example.org | 254-501-7464