Years ago, Mary Champion battled a litany of health issues—multiple sclerosis, diabetes and rheumatoid Arthritis—and at 219 lbs, she was severely overweight. Champion tried working out but after three years saw little to no results. She kept pushing, hoping one day there would be a light at the end of the dark tunnel.
That’s when she met personal trainer Brandon Kimler and by extension, her friend and training partner Robert Conklin. The rest, as they say, is history.
Conklin and Champion began a 100-day challenge with Kimler as their trainer. Both Conklin and Champion began learning more and more about their bodies, their diets and how to progress in their fitness journey. That’s when the light bulb came on.
“(Robert and I) discussed our results daily and how it would be awesome to pass this knowledge onto others,” said Champion. “We would see people every day working so hard but getting nowhere.”
Champion and Conklin talked it over one day and decided to pursue a goal: they were going to open a fitness center together.
“Robert said, open it and I will run it,” said Champion. “So that’s what we did!”
As Champion describes it, Conklin took this challenge head on. “(Robert) did all the work, painting, cleaning, putting equipment together, contacting all the right people and still working out with me daily.”
Their creation—BLT Fitness and Nutrition—opened in August 2017 with three primary employees: Conklin, the manager, Kimler, the master trainer and Stanislav Chegaev, an additional personal trainer.
BLT Fitness and Nutrition is located in Cordova, Tennessee, a small town of roughly 12,000 citizens just east of Memphis.
The facility houses a wide variety of classes and instruction including one-on-one nutrition courses, weight training, boxing/jump rope/treadmill cardio classes, spin classes, CrossFit and much more.
“We have a variety of visitors ranging from people who are physically limited, along with athletes and everyone in-between,” said Champion.
Body-Solid worked with Champion, Conklin and BLT Fitness and Nutrition to outfit their brand-new facility.
“I worked with Bill Ciszewski (Body-Solid Commercial Sales Manager) and loved the personal one-on-one service, affordability, durability and wide variety we received with Body-Solid,” said Champion. “Also, the excellent customer service and the ability to suggest other product lines within Body-Solid that fit my needs.”
In the end, BLT Fitness and Nutrition added over 100 products from Body-Solid including an ESB150 Indoor Cycle, SCC1200G Cable Crossover, SPR1000BACK Power Rack, GLPH1100 Leg Press/Hack Squat, GPR370 Multi-Press Station, GCEC340 Leg Curl/Leg Extension, GS348Q Smith Machine, SLM300G Lat Machine as well as a number of dumbbells, weight plates, bars, accessories and attachments.
What does the future hold for Champion, Conklin, Kimler and BLT Fitness and Nutrition?
When my current club has reached it’s potential, I am opening a big box fitness and nutrition center with the ability to franchise additional clubs,” said Champion. “But the key is to do it without sacrificing my number one goal: change lives all over the world.”
You can follow Champion’s journey and Better Life Fitness and Nutrition on Facebook at facebook.com/BLTFitnessAndNutrition, on Instagram at instagram.com/bltfitnessandnutrition and online at bltfitnessandnutrition.com.
To learn more about Body-Solid and Body-Solid Commercial Sales, visit bodysolid.com/markets.