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Igniting Change Through Fitness: A Newark Native's Mission to Empower His Community


By: Richard L. Smith 

In the heart of Newark's Ironbound Section stands a testament to determination and community spirit: Killa Fitness.FitnessDuring my visit, I learned that this isn't just any gym; it contains Khalif Sharrieff's deep passion for fitness and his commitment to his hometown, Brick City. 

Born and raised in Newark, Khalif is a proud West High School graduate, where I received my high school diploma about 10 years before Sharrieff did; he furthered his education at Rutgers, where he obtained both bachelor's and master's degrees.

But beyond academic achievements, Khalif harbored a deeper calling.

FitnessFor 15 years, Khalif honed his craft, initially coaching locals on fitness in nearby parks for a mere $5, driven by a simple desire to uplift others.

 His philosophy? Fitness as therapy, a healing force against the tide of poor health habits that he saw intruding upon his community.

Especially in parts of the West Ward where the city has made great strides to change what I remembered to be sections of food deserts and supermarkets that sold limited fruits and vegetables. 

Khalif told me that in 2022 he took a leap of faith, leaving a stable career behind to dive into the fitness industry full-time.

He had previously owned a gym in Union County named ‘Killa Fitness but his heart yearned for Newark.

He sought a warehouse-style facility that mirrored the robust and tenacious spirit of his city, leading him to establish ‘Killa Fitness presents The Mecca’ a 1500 sq. ft. facility on South Street, where he has been transforming lives and bodies for three years.

Killa Khalif's approach to fitness is personalized, shattering the one-size-fits-all myth. At Killa Fitness, every member receives a tailored plan, affirming Khalif's belief in the uniqueness of every individual's journey toward health.

His commitment extends beyond the gym; Khalif has ventured into apparel, meal prep services, e-books, and online training, all while maintaining the core mission of affordability and accessibility.

Yet, the path of entrepreneurship is fraught with uncertainty.

Just like any small business, Khalif faces challenges head-on, always prioritizing the quality and personalized nature of his training over profit.

KillaTo him, Killa Fitness is more than a business; it's a lifeline, a community, and a family where everyone is welcome to join the journey towards a healthier, more fulfilled life.

As Killa Fitness continues to push ahead, Khalif's vision remains clear: to inspire and empower his community to embrace a healthier lifestyle, one person at a time.

His message is a beacon of hope: in Newark, in fitness, and in life, transformation is possible with dedication, support, and a heart that cares deeply about each individual's success.


Khalif welcomes anyone interested in fitness and training to explore Killa Fitness either by visiting the South Street location or connecting online through Instagram, Twitter, and the gym's website for more details.

You can also Google search for him as an additional resource. 

RLS Media always encourages supporting small businesses, particularly those owned by African Americans like the dedicated founder of Killa Fitness.