For many resolute Americans coast to coast, New Year’s Day is the annual symbol of an important and self-empowering lifestyle change – “New year, new me.” At least that’s what the intention is, right? America’s multibillion-dollar fitness industry comes with no shortage of promises to help renew us in a multitude of ways. While the renewal sounds promising, the road to the ultimate goal or achievement is often complex to navigate.
Sam Woodworth, exercise physiologist and owner of local health and fitness center Fitness Clinic of Indy, knows the challenge firsthand, both as a business owner and as an industry consumer.
“What I tell people is that the industry is very unique because there is a great deal of different information, pseudoscience and part-truths, which do confuse people,” Woodworth says. “It leads people to ask themselves, ‘Who can I trust? Is the paleo diet in? Is the keto diet in? What about this specific technique? What about that vitamin brand or supplement?’ It’s a lot to take in at one time.”
Often in professional sports, the complex nature of the game and the high frequency of pressures that the sport comes with cause players or teams to become self-defeating by what many describe as “getting in your own way.” Much like professional athletes, fitness beginners looking to succeed in their renewed health-focused lifestyle can often get caught up in the high number of moving parts, options and methods. At the end of the day, the most common solution across the board is a simple one. That solution is what Woodworth explains his facility’s identity is based on – the fundamentals.
“No one is going to debate whether or not broccoli or other vegetables, for example, are good for you, today or tomorrow,” Woodworth says. “That’s pretty much settled. No one is going to debate whether or not we need six to eight hours of sleep. That’s pretty much settled. We need exercise, strength training, growing flexibility and things of that nature. It’s all settled that we need those things, and for us, we are here because we aim to become a trusted source that helps people figure out exactly what they need at this stage in their life.”
In a world where corporate gym chains, supplement companies, health magazines and fitness models hold a great amount of leverage, the consumer seeking validation and self-worth through a physical change can become vulnerable and easy to sway in the process. A quick-fix search for six packs, beach bodies and a sense of self-esteem is often thought to be related to the amount of dollars one is willing spend, and the amount of supplements one is willing to consume. First-time fitness consumers often rush to their nearest gym chain in hopes of finding the answers, or a facility that is invested in them and their community. During that process, consumers often overlook local health and fitness clubs whose entire aim is to help local consumers, and has been since the start. Woodworth takes pride in not breaking morals for anything.
“We stick to our moral compass, which is more valuable than any kind of extra money we could bring in by partnering with supplement or equipment companies,” Woodworth says. “Our goal is to build long-term relationships with our customers to earn their trust. I’m perfectly fine with doing a really great job in impacting the people in our community that we can affect, and if we are bursting at the seams later on and have an opportunity to expand and make the reach even greater, we could talk about that later on.”
Woodworth’s business model is focused almost entirely on personal relationships with trainers, their clients, and the importance of their progress and health. It houses local personal trainers like independent contractors who are looking for a private, comfortable and spacious place to train the clients they bring in and help. The facility also hosts various fitness classes with in-house trainers that may include indoor cycling, a fitness bootcamp, group classes, and rotating classes throughout the year.
“We want to take the judgement out of this journey for people, and allow them to take their guards down a bit,” Woodworth says. “We want clients to know that we are on the same team, and are aiming to avoid things that can be packaged and sold from an ideas standpoint. Though we stay in our lane, if our clients do need things outside of our scope of practice, we want to partner with local business to bridge that gap for them, but still not overcomplicate the fitness journey.”
For Woodworth and Fitness Clinic of Indy, it’s imperative that local fitness consumers feel that their goals are valued, and that they understand that they’re not just a gym application or an account number. Integrity with clients is important to Woodworth, and if by the end of December clients have achieved what they intended in early January, he will have felt he did his job, all through the common thread of it all – the fundamentals.
Fitness Clinic of Indy is located at 2160 West 86th Street, Suite 101 in Indianapolis. For more info, call 317-876-9414 or visit fcindy.com.