Fitness works out as a business

Whitney Jones of AZ Pro Physique in Gilbert.

As one of three owners of AZ Pro Physiques in Gilbert, Whitney Jones of Chandler is proof that working out and proper nutrition yield results. She is slim and muscular and, as a lifelong jock, has lived a fitness-centered lifestyle.

People coming to her business for personal training can see her results and rely on her personal experience to back up her business plan. “If you look the part, people at least give you enough credit and you’re halfway there,” Jones says.

As an International Federation of Bodybuilding & Fitness (IFBB) Fitness Pro she has competed in fitness competitions and trains clients who are working toward competing, though that is a niche business. Her main clientele are women ages 25 to 45 who want to get into shape, “mostly women getting healthy, losing weight, getting educated on their bodies,” Jones says.

She has women come to her who have been working out every day for two hours with no results, mainly, Jones says, because of their diets, which Jones says is 80 percent of losing weight. Plenty of women over-train. “Women are great at following a plan,” she says, “they’re just don’t know how to create their own plan.”

Jones helps them with their workout and diet, and gets calls at all hours when clients go off their diets and need advice or want to change their scheduled workout when the weather interferes with their plans. It’s this level of dedication by clients to their fitness routines and Jones’s experience and reputation in the fitness field that has made the business successful so far.

The facility opened in March 2009 and immediately had 60 clients, many who knew her from other gyms where she had worked, through people she has trained and by word of mouth. With an increase in clientele since then, the company hit its five-year goal in one year, has more than 300 clients and employs 11 trainers.

About 15 percent of the business is training kids, because they are in sports or they are getting teased about their weight or their parents want them to feel more self-confident. Jones makes the workout fun to get them interested in coming and hooks them on a healthy diet. Many of the workouts with kids focus on coordination, cardio and agility.

Because the business is so successful, Jones says she could work seven days a week but she is working to maintain her priorities, meaning her two sons, Brody (5) and Jake (3) and husband Chris. Brody “sees me working out and he wants to learn. He’s perfected his push-ups. He just powers them out,” Jones says. As for Jake, at this point “he’s infatuated with the water fountain.”

Jones is learning to say no to requests when her schedule is full and to work with clients on scheduling so she can meet her family commitments. ”I tell my clients I have to make every one of my son’s football games and they are understanding,” she says. As part of the balancing act of being a business owner and a mom she gets up early before getting the boys ready in the morning and works late after they are in bed to get everything done.

Learn more about AZ Pro Physiques.

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