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News & Press: FOCUS

Focus on Small Business: State of Fitness

Monday, January 9, 2017  
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State of Fitness is not your average gym. Opened in January 2010, its business model is providing quality personal training to its clients rather than just renting out space and equipment. Though members can exercise on their own, CEO Justin Grinnell said 95 percent will be with a trainer in a large, small or private training session.

“I don’t think that fitness is easy to do on your own and I think people need a support system,” said Grinnell. “We want to be the best part of people’s day where we can support them and get them to feel better about themselves.”

Grinnell began his career as a personal trainer in 2001. After eight years, he had a large clientele, but realized he had reached his peak — there wasn’t room to move up. That is when he decided to open his own facility with fellow personal trainer Rebecca Klinger.

In addition to his gym in East Lansing, Grinnell has also opened a corporate location at Jackson National Life. Monday through Friday, for about 11 sessions each day, a trainer and an intern on staff are available at the facility for members to come and sign up for various training sessions.

“We manage it, we make sure everything is going well, we service it, we take care of everything, but it’s different,” said Grinnell. “It’s pretty cool because they helped us build it out and they just kind of rely on us to run it. It’s a great company to work with.”

As CEO, Grinnell’s focus is to ensure that employees are rightly placed in their positions and given proper direction for them to do their jobs optimally. Additionally, with social media marketing significantly on his radar, Grinnell publishes the company’s daily blog and also writes for “Muscle & Fitness Magazine.” Grinnell has authored three e-books, one about his company’s internship program titled, “How to Build a Rock Star Personal Training Internship.”

The internship program, open but not limited to students at Michigan State University, takes about 10 to 20 interns per semester. In just seven years, the facility has had more than 300 students pass through the program.

“The qualifications are you have a good attitude, be willing to perform the hours of duty that you need to, and be able to turn in all of your assignments — so it’s just like a class,” said Grinnell.” If you can take the class and put forth effort and be a good student, we want you here.”

The gym currently has 17 employees and 14 interns, helping to improve the client-to-coach ratio during sessions. It has also worked to create an environment where anyone can feel comfortable working out regardless of age, gender or fitness level — a place where people in their sixties can work out with people in their twenties without fear of judgment.

“Our goal is to help people reach their health and fitness goals, be coaches and provide a different service than just the old-fashion, buy a membership — try to figure it out yourself,” said Grinnell. “We’re here to help people.”

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