In 2010, MetroEast Fitness and Performance affiliated. Owner Josh Nimmo ran the CrossFit program out of a fitness center he worked in. In 2012, he left the company he was working for and took the CrossFit Affiliate with him to start his own facility.
Currently, the gym boasts:
Nimmo shares about his business and its evolution below:
Josh Nimmo: Our business has taken on many forms in the last eight years, but what I would say makes us unique is we’re never afraid to be different. Too many gyms are trying to look down the road to see what their competitors are doing and trying to match it. I intentionally want to be different in every way. It starts with business operations, staff development, program offerings, how we on-ramp individuals, and most importantly, how we treat our customers. We truly offer a professional experience to our customers from Day One. That uniqueness comes from eight years of experience and a humble approach to get better all the time. We’ve had a lot of time to learn from our own mistakes and improve our systems.
JN: I started CrossFit in 2007 after a former Coach had told me to check out CrossFit.com. It had some crazy workouts he thought I might like. I was looking for a way to continue to lift weights after college football, so I was experimenting with different plans. I wanted to start running endurance races but didn’t want to get weak. CrossFit allowed me to train like the athlete I was, while giving me the fitness needed to pursue other activities. My first son was born in 2007 as well so time was essential. I could take him in his pumpkin seat to my college weight room and get a quick CrossFit workout in while he slept in his seat.
One of my greatest challenges in starting my gym was being committed to taking the leap and leaving a secure job in health and fitness. I had a salary and was doing what I loved to do, but I wanted to write my own ticket. I knew gym ownership was in my future from the time I was 15 years old. Finally taking the leap was a whole new challenge.
JN: We are an Affiliate that is truly about lifelong wellness. I have clients I have trained for over 10 years at this point. Even now I have “kids” who I trained when they were in junior high coming back to us for fitness after college. It’s pretty cool they value what we did for them back then to still be their choice 10 years later. We navigate careers, retirement, kids, grandkids, illness, births, deaths and just life in general. Our youngest client is 4 years old and our oldest is 76. If you don’t know how to take care of the youngest, the oldest and everyone in between, it’s really hard to stay relevant in this field for a long time.
JN: I don’t know that there is much that makes me unique as a person. I will say I am always striving to be better in all areas of my life: faith, family and, of course, fitness. I’m not a settler. This can also be a negative quality though because I seldom take the time to celebrate the successes we’ve had over the years. A couple of fun facts about me: I started training clients when I was 19 years old, so I’m approaching the 15 year mark in my career which is crazy to me. And something very few people know about me is that I was the editor of my school newspaper.
JN: Well, No. 1, my success is directly connected to the gifts God has given me. My talents and abilities are meant for one sole purpose and that’s to make Him look good. But probably the most influential people in my life and who I can attribute much of my success to are my parents. I grew up in a split home. Some might think this was a detriment, but I always thought I was fortunate I had four parents who loved me very much. They showed me what it meant to work hard for what you want, to be honest and respect others. My dad had owned a gym for a good majority of my life, and currently still works as a strength and conditioning coach in a large facility a couple hours away from me. I can’t even calculate the amount of influence he’s had on my professional career. In addition, I would in no way be where I am at today without the love and support of my best friend and wife, Gina. Business ownership can be hard on a family, and she is constantly my rock. We have three amazing kids, and I just hope our hard work and success can be an example for them.
JN: Being a great Coach will not make you a great business owner. If you started your Affiliate because you loved to coach people, that’s great, but you better figure out how to love running a business or you won’t last long. I still love to coach people, but I also love the ins and outs of running a business. Years ago a former client once said to me, “You’re an owner first, then a Coach.” At the time, I completely disagreed. Looking back, I wish I could thank that former client for the perspective they had back then. If you don’t own your gym first, it won’t be around long enough to coach people.
Also, get help. I tried to do it by myself for far too long. Get other professionals around you to do the things you’re not good at. It’s important to know a little bit of everything when running a business. But, you don’t have to be an expert at everything. Do the things you’re good at and hire other experts to do the things you’re not.
JN: Modified Injury Programming. I have a degree in athletic training and worked for six years for a physical therapy clinic and fitness center. One of my primary tasks was to activate physical therapy patients into fitness programs that aligned with their therapy protocol. That experience, as well as my overall experience in exercise modifications, allows us to be an effective part of the rehab team when it comes to dealing with client injuries. We believe it is important to keep clients exercising at some capacity even while rehabilitating an injury or issue. It’s also key that we communicate with physical therapists, chiropractors and physicians, and can specifically modify client programs on a weekly basis utilizing our individual athlete programming features through our Train Heroic tracking system. We do this at no additional cost to our clients as we believe it is an extension of their coaching plan. This is just one example of the personalized approach we take with all of our clients.