Reach opens The Factory, a new climbing center in Bridgeport


Combined with sister facility Reach Climbing and Fitness, the factory is the region’s largest climbing and training facility.

Climbing in reverse at the Factory. | Photograph courtesy of Reach Climbing and Fitness

While it’s been a tough year for fitness organizations, there have also been positives and some exciting and unexpected new openings. The latest newbie to defy the odds in the Philadelphia area is factory, a 20,000 square foot competitive rock climbing training facility for youth and adult athletes, which officially opened to the public on January 25. Factory (401 East 4th Street, Bridgeport) is the sister establishment of Achieve climbing and fitness next – combined, the two buildings are the largest climbing and training facility in the Philadelphia area.

Reach Climbing and Fitness opened its doors to much fanfare in the spring of 2019, in time to welcome the USA Climbing 2019 National Youth Sport and Speed ​​Championships. (It was our Best of Philly climbing gym that same year.) “We built the original gym from scratch as the first custom-built climbing gym in our area,” says the owner and climber. longtime Michael Feinberg. “It has the only regulation speed wall in our region and a number of other features that really set us apart.”

The factory is a continuation of Feinberg’s vision. While the first Reach space was an entirely new construction, the factory has a bit more Philadelphia fabric and industrial history. Feinberg chose the name because, well, it takes place in an old factory building. “It was originally Lee’s Carpets,” says Feinberg. “He is well over a hundred years old. It’s really cool; we were able to use many of the building’s original features, such as the original hardwood floors, which we restored, and the original columns. »

The Fabrique’s shoe rental area. | Photograph courtesy of Reach Climbing and Fitness

Block at the factory. | Photograph courtesy of Reach Climbing and Fitness

Ninja Warrior obstacles at the factory. | Photograph courtesy of Reach Climbing and Fitness

Training and fitness centers at the Factory. | Photograph courtesy of Reach Climbing and Fitness

Now with the Factory there are two facilities where amateur and professional climbers can improve their skills on the bouldering wall, spray wall and reverse steps, among other features that beginners and veterans alike will appreciate. The factory is geared towards competition training areas and also offers fitness classes ranging from HIIT workouts to strength and endurance training, with cardio, resistance and weight training areas and a gym. yoga. Notable highlights are 6,000 square feet of bouldering and a Ninja Warrior course. In addition, there is a children’s bouldering area equipped with a slide and tunnels for the little ones.

The Ninja Warrior course isn’t usually something a climbing gym has, but “We wanted to add some obstacles to this new center,” says Feinberg. Ninja Warrior classes for beginners allow you to check obstacles. Among other special features, the factory climbing walls are replicas of what is currently used for the US National Climbing Championships. “The reason for that is training – we’re a facility that trains a very talented youth team,” says Feinberg, “and we want them to train on the best walls and what they use for national championships. .”

“We feel lucky to open,” he adds. “It has been a difficult year, especially for a young gymnasium like ours. We have only been open for a year and a half. The closures have been hard on us. But we’re lucky that climbing is a growing sport and that we have committed members who love climbing as much as we do — and who love our facilities.

You can find more information about rock climbing at Reach and the Factory, as well as view their full list of COVID-19 precautions, here. Visit their instagram pagee for additional updates.

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Virginia F. Goins