The founders of Chattanooga-based fitness startup Onsight Fitness are expanding their focus on lifelong fitness for everyday people into new markets, despite the economic challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.
"We decided to continue our expansion during COVID because we believe it's more important than ever for people to learn how to exercise safely and for life," said Onsight Fitness co-founder and CEO Matt Averyhart.
Averyhart came to Chattanooga in 2014 to work with startup Bellhop as it rapidly expanded its moving business.
"From there, I kind of got addicted to developing scalable models that help a lot of people," said Averyhart, a Denver native who played football for Texas Christian University.
In 2016, Averyhart worked with Onsight Fitness co-founders Josh Johann and Christine Hagemeyer, who both have degrees in exercise physiology from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, to open the first Onsight studio in Red Bank.
"We set out on a pretty big goal to turn fitness into a product that worked for everyone," Averyhart said. "Eighty percent of the current population isn't served by current fitness products."
Onsight Fitness opened a downtown Chattanooga location in 2017, expanded to Cleveland, Tennessee, in June and opened a location on East Brainerd Road in July. The founders plan to expand to Nashville and Atlanta in the first quarter of 2021.
Despite the challenges of growing during an economic slowdown, the business is expanding steadily because of its focus on everyday fitness, Averyhart said. The business has the financial backing of an angel investor, as well as a physician who sees the value of their approach to treating exercise as medicine, Averyhart said.
Onsight Fitness Locations:
Downtown Chattanooga: 736 Georgia Ave.
East Brainerd: 7633 East Brainerd Road, Suite 109
Cleveland, Tennessee: 130 Inman St.
Employees: 8, with plans to hire more in the fall
Cost: Around $70 for a one-on-one session, or around $30 for semi-private personal training sessions of up to three people.
"Instead of helping people get better-looking six-packs or run a faster mile, all of us are interested in ensuring that grandparents can have fun with their grandchildren for the long term," he said.
About 80% of their clients are referred to Onsight Fitness by physicians and physical therapists, with the goal of teaching them how to incorporate exercise into their lives.
Clients work with exercise physiologists who develop data-based programs of three to six months of physical training with the goal of handing over the reins to clients once they've seen progress and built their knowledge of how to exercise safely and effectively.
"It takes a extra degree of knowledge to work with someone who has hypertension, diabetes, or someone who's older, or someone recovering from injury," Averyhart said. "We built a team of smart exercise physiologists who have extra credentials and knowledge from a personal trainer to really solve what it would look like to make an impact on people's health and generate consistent outcomes."
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