How an ‘aha’ moment in Guatemala led to the creation of the FITNESS PROJECT
You can’t always predict where you’ll be when you get your next best idea. Former Gold’s Gym Houston owner, Bryan Murphy, was in a small town in Guatemala volunteering for charity when he came up with the vision for FITNESS PROJECT—a trip that he was inspired to go on by his church. They encouraged the community to give generously, which resonated deeply with Bryan and quickly led him to Casa Aleluya, an amazing non-profit that provides education, medical healing and loving homes to abused and abandoned children in Guatemala. It was 2015 and his 20-year Gold’s Gym career was about to take a big turn.
He knew he wanted to combine his passion for fitness and his desire to be more generous. While volunteering, the ‘aha’ moment hit him. He thought to himself: “What if we could benefit others while experiencing the benefits of the gym? And what if our personal health goals and projects could be part of a bigger community project?”
Participating in such impactful community work abroad made him wonder if he could be doing more at home in Houston. What if he could make his five-location gym, more than a gym?
“I imagined a place where a community of people could make an impact on others’ lives as we make an impact on our own.”
Fixated on the idea, Bryan began putting the wheels in motion upon returning home. After much planning and meeting with his executive team to develop a robust strategy, he decided to close Gold’s Gym Houston and meet with Texas-based charities to coordinate with Houston community groups to gain clarity on local needs. He and his team then created a few easy ways for members to get involved with local community work right from the gym, including membership contributions, personal challenges, project wall spotlights, and more. With a strong, reinvigorated sense of purpose, he built a totally new brand that would inspire people in North Houston to live life to the fullest and as of September 2020, FITNESS PROJECT was born!
The FITNESS PROJECT team has worked hard to completely rebrand Gold’s Gym Houston and evolve the entire business model. They realized remodelling alone wasn’t enough. They reworked the guest experience to ensure their members’ needs were put first, then they organized partnerships with organizations that the community really wanted to support. The team decided to initially focus broadly on Houston’s Habitat for Humanity and CASA of Montgomery County, then grow their community effort over time by getting involved in the neighborhoods of each FITNESS PROJECT location. They invested in offerings that members found most valuable and expanded on studio and team training opportunities.
Today, Texas is home to five FITNESS PROJECT locations, helping people all across the Lone Star State get healthy and give back. The newly renovated Texas gyms are equipped with top-of-the-line fitness equipment, expert-guided group classes, personal training, and premium amenities. Each FITNESS PROJECT location supports Texan charities and local initiatives, empowering members to elevate their communities while transforming their own lives. From the moment you walk in FITNESS PROJECT, you will feel inspired by the facility, staff, and space around you. You’ll be energized to move with purpose, toward your next fitness goal while contributing to the community around you. And together, we all will become stronger.
Want to elevate your fitness and your community? Get started with a free pass at the FITNESS PROJECT nearest you.