Helping People Pound by Pound
With weight loss at its core, Fitness Evolution has propelled itself out of a small-garage gym in the owner’s back yard, to a full service club that retains members by giving them a taste of a healthy lifestyle.
Having a purpose behind a business has been the biggest motivator for successful people. Vito LaFata, owner of Fitness Evolution in Laguna Hills, Calif., knew exactly that when he started his club. “I was really paying attention to the level of obesity in America,” LaFata said. “When you compare the number of people who have gym memberships with how many people are overweight, it just doesn’t add up.”
Fitness Evolution’s primary goal has been to help people lose weight. They are the average gym for the person trying to get into shape. LaFata believes in his club’s ability so much, he provides the Body Evolution Challenge (BEC) – a 30-day test run of his club and its amenities.
The program has been something brewing since Fitness Evolution was born. “We truly try to educate the people on the program and provide a timeline of care that helps them not just get a workout and buy a membership, but learn how to be healthy in mind, body and soul,” LaFata said. “Without helping a person overcome the limiting beliefs life has tried to drive into their brain, the one hour a day you get with them is worthless.”
LaFata has developed a fully comprehensive program that has helped members move off the track of an obese lifestyle and continue with a healthy future. “We provide small group training, classes, a cardio program based on VO2 tests, a meal plan based on RMR tests, physical therapy consultation, massage therapy, discounts with local running stores, motivation, inspiration and more,” LaFata said. “We offer it for free for a while to get the word out on how we do things at Fitness Evolution.”
LaFata has used the word free to lower the defenses of clients as they market Fitness Evolution. They have spent time wowing clients with amazing results, with the belief that results would retain clients. “We typically retain 70 percent or more of our prospects that come to us through this marketing,” LaFata said. “Sure beats the mailers return rate of 1 to 2 percent.”
LaFata spent many years trying to find a purpose in the world. He worked on Wall Street and in the fashion industry, but came to realize there were only two things he truly enjoyed: being in the gym and writing. “After one horrible winter working for a couple of jerks in the fashion industry, I just took action and got my certification, walked into Crunch at 83rd in New York City and got lucky to get one of the coolest managers I’ve ever known, Anne Marie,” LaFata explained.
After working with Crunch for many years, LaFata decided to leave after Bally Total Fitness purchased the company. He went back to his core values of getting people in shape – Fitness Evolution was the byproduct of those values. The club opened in August 2004 in the gym of a small apartment complex – three months later it was moved to the garage in the back of LaFata’s house. Clients that were members, and are still members, refer to that time as the “Garage Days.” The small gym only had enough room to fit a treadmill, elliptical, one dual-cable cross, some dumbbells, a bench and their first metabolic cart – plus zero AC.
The club wasn’t exactly what it is today, but it still held the same core values. “The most important thing I did after opening my club was find mentoring,” LaFata said. “This literally has been the best thing I did. Without others to help shorten the learning curve, provide tips and systems, you could spend a lifetime in pitfalls and never get to grow your vision.”
To learn more about Fitness evolution, visit fitnessevolved.com or call 949-916-1402.