Katie Lilly and her husband Kevin are the co-founders of the fitness studio Bunda, which has five locations across California and Florida. Bunda is a full body group fitness class focused on training the glutes. We want to share the story of how they started, where they are now, and what it is like to attend a class at Bunda.  


What made you decide to start Bunda and where did the name come from? 

Lilly: I saw the group fitness industry booming. I was like, okay, how do I take my passion for fitness and put it into a group and reach more people? I felt like there was a big hole in the group fitness industry on proper strength training and proper programming. Nobody uses the StairMaster, which is the number one best piece of cardio you can use, in my opinion. Plus, the fact that the butt and training your butt had become more and more popular and it is so beneficial more than just aesthetics. It's a stabilizer to a lot of joints and to get great longevity out of your body. I decided to make it about lower body training because metabolically lowered body training is the best for you and if you do it enough, you're going to see results in your whole body. We opened our first Bunda in April of 2018, and I chose the name Bunda because bunda is Portuguese slang for butt. My friend would always refer to the butt with the term bunda and I knew I had to choose that for the name of my first gym.  


Why did you decide to move from all corporately owned to franchising? 

Lilly: When you franchise a club, people have more skin in the game. If you are more invested, your work output is going to be better, and the quality of the business in my opinion will be better. I love my management team now, but it's hard to continue to replicate really good talent. Franchising gives people more skin in the game and people are more invested in it.  Franchising gives people the option. It's theirs.  


What is a Bunda workout?  

Lilly: It's traditional strength training and it's StairMaster. It goes by rounds, so floor strength training, then you transfer onto the stairs. You do those three different times in the class. The strength training portion is very basic, not easy, just basic moves. We are the first to focus on repeating exercises and applying that overload principle of adding weight when you're ready. 


What is a misconception about Bunda that you want to clear up?  

Lilly: People automatically think I already have a big butt, I'm not coming. It's more about just getting strong glutes and that comes in all different shapes of a butt. If you naturally don't have a butt, you're not going to just get huge. That's not possible. But can it become better? Yes. And can it become stronger? Yes. You can stabilize your joints better and longevity out of your joints is truly what everybody wants. It's like core training. Core training is good, but glute training, in my opinion, is more important. A lot of glute training trains your core anyways, so it's the most bang for your buck. 


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