After one year in business, Millions of Muscles owner Jodi Reath is measuring her success in pounds and inches.
Judging by the success of her start-up fitness business on Revere Beach, that’s no small loss.
“Since last May when we started with the boot camps on the Beach, we’ve gained a lot of business,” she said in a recent interview on the Beach at Carey Circle. “We have 100 clients now. We can’t even keep up with the e-mails of people signing up and our enrollment is growing. By June 1st, I’m going to hire three additional trainers under me so we can add more clients and be out on the Beach more often. Most importantly, our clients in the last year have lost close to 1,000 pounds and countless inches.”
Last May, motivated by losing her father to heart disease, Reath decided to go out on a limb and start her own business on Revere Beach.
She planned to operate laid-back boot camps for all levels of people in an outdoor setting. It was her passion and she hoped it would translate into a summer career.
By all indications, it did more than that.
As the classes became more popular, especially with Revere residents, and the summer began to wind down – she decided she wanted to be more than a seasonal business.
So, from October to April, she moved the boot camps into the Mottolo Post and used that as a base for her growing clientele. That, she said, propelled the business into the tight-knit fitness community she had dreamed of.
“We’ve created a really great group of people motivated to come help each other at each workout,” said Reath. “It’s a community of healthy living now. Everyone is motivating one another.”
Reath has kept things lively through changing up her workouts and holding special contests and events.
There are never two classes that are the same, and each class is designed to accommodate all levels of fitness. The classes and times are also very flexible. No one is tied down to a certain day or time.
Sean Mallett, a client and business advisor, said that he finds the group exercise format better than attending a traditional gym.
“It’s proven that group exercise motivates you and holds you accountable,” he said. “During the workout, you’re working out. You’re not just going to the gym and walking on the treadmill and watching TV and then saying you went to the gym for an hour. Sure, you went to the gym for an hour, but did you work out?”
Jackie Capobianco joined Millions of Muscles last September and has already lost 24 pounds and 23 percent body fat. She said she feels great and has stuck with it because of the camaraderie.
“Jodi isn’t a drill sergeant, but she does hold you accountable and keeps you motivated,” said Capobianco. “It’s a lifestyle now. You feel you’ll miss something if you don’t go. Then you get addicted to the workouts and feeling good and being with friends. It’s not at all like going to the gym.”
Reath said that one of the big challenges with opening a new business is getting the word out.
She has relied on traditional advertising in the newspaper a lot, but has also leaned heavily on the Internet – especially Facebook – for getting the word out and for organizing her clients.
“Facebook is huge for us,” she said. “Along with our regular Facebook page, we have a members-only Facebook page that no one else but members can get to. It has recipes, suggestions, meet-up times and even spontaneous runs on the Beach.”
She said that after taking the chance one year ago, she couldn’t have believed her business would take off as it did. “I would say this has exceeded all of my expectations,” she said. “I wrote down all of my goals last year when I started and I’ve hit and surpassed every one of those goals. I’m very excited and ready to keep motivating more people to be live healthy.”