Overall in Portugal, at that time, there wasn’t much choice regarding Health Clubs, let alone in Alentejo. This was the reality that made us think about creating our own brand with a new concept – Kalorias.

Miguel Vaz, Chief Executive Officer and Manager and Maria João Salgado Vaz, Chief Technical Officer and Manager

At that time, Miguel who was born in Mozambique and raised in South Africa, was living in Alentejo for about 7 years managing his own Construction Company as a Civil Engineer. I was working as a Flight Attendant, in TAP, and finishing my degree in Sports Science.

In 1998 the first international chain of Health Clubs had started to emerge and we decided to find a place to build our first dream club. I was 23 and Miguel was 30.

I had received some money from my resignation with TAP, so we started our partnership and bought a land in Santiago do Cacém.

We needed inspiration, so we flew to New York to get some ideas. We arrived from the City that never sleeps with our bags full of dreams and willingness to innovate.

Packed with dreams and new ideas, we built a two floor Club with 2 studios, one exercise room, 3 offices, a cafetaria, sports shop and a babysitting area.

Santiago do Cacém, home of our first Club, had 6 000 citizens, the majority of them working in the primary sector – agriculture. So, there were no sports habits or culture and 70% of the population was above 50 years old.

At this moment we were in a deadlock – scary bank loans, no qualified staff, no clients walking in the Club, far from downtown and from schools.

Life could be a winding road, full of bends and turns, sometimes it may even look like a dead-end. But Portuguese people have a saying – “Faz mais quem quer, do que quem pode” – which means something like “if you want something very much, you are more likely to succeed than if you have the means to do it but have no will”.

We wanted to build a totally new concept, we wanted to share our knowledge and passion, be closer to customers, help them build good and committed exercise habits combined with a balanced nutrition, mentor them with our ability to be hosts of a healthier and happier lifestyle.

In order to guarantee success in our future business, we developed partnerships, both national and international, with nutrition, exercise and health experts to improve our skills and provide the best service and experience for our Customers, along with providing our teams with training and skills development on a daily basis, watching them grow within our Company.

The business was not easy to manage, we only had 6% of penetration rate, but our passion was still beyond limits. In 2012, Kalorias already had three Clubs in Alentejo, and we decided to “step-up the game” and managed to purchase one of the largest Health Club facilities in Portugal, located in Linda-a-Velha, Oeiras.

Throughout 23 years of existence, we managed to thrive and succeed in the Portuguese Health and Fitness Industry and to claim our presence. We now have 16 Clubs across Portugal as well as an Online Club. Proudly, our first unit is still operating and although being the smallest, it is definitely the most memorable of them all.

Managing with our own profits from daily hard work, no Financial Funds associated, we generate capital to continuously reinvest and grow our chain, allowing us to reach more people and also to create more job opportunities.

We are very proud of all our staff members, Top leaders, Club Managers, Technical Managers, Marketing, Sales, Personal and Group Trainers.

Our motto as promoters of wellbeing is “Kalorias, para estar bem com a vida!” (Kalorias, to feel well in life).

Our child space in Kalorias Linda-a-Velha was Shortlisted at WIN AWARDS 2014
Category: Leisure or entertainment venues

Krush-it won the German Design Awards 2018
https://www.german-design-award.com/en/thewinners/gallery/detail/17660-krush-it gym.html


Submit your Innovation Story

Join and network with a global community of innovators  by sharing your success story with the world.