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Fitting the vision of clients

Jackson Bell

Once in training to become a professional chef and now a personal

trainer who teaches fitness professionally, Kirk Watt’s approach to

his work might, at times, seem to clash.

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He offers a food menu to clients while they are busy sweating off

calories.

“I’m not a dietician,” said the co-owner and director of fitness

operations at nVISIONuFIT. “But when it comes to recommending the

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necessary food that people need, I can help.”

Opening the fitness center last year, with the intent of using the

facility as a chance to focus on one-on-one workout sessions, Connie

Watkins -- the other owner, chief executive and Watt’s girlfriend --

said their emphasis is more on personal training than general

membership.

That lack of quality often found in the personnel and equipment at

the larger, chain fitness centers was the main inspiration for Watt

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and Watkins to open nVISIONuFIT.

“As a trainer, I was going to other locations and gyms and I got

tired of taking my clients into places that were not well

maintained,” he said. “It didn’t make sense to me to take them into

substandard places and charge them the rates that I did.”

The fitness center, Watkins said, provides three functions. Its

primary focus is providing workout sessions with personal trainers

for $50 to $70 a visit. He also rents out the center to other

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personal trainers for $10 a session or a flat rate of $600 per month.

And, finally, patrons can enroll in what he calls the “client

maintenance program,” which, for $65 per month, he lets them exercise

under light supervision with him always available for help.

This closely monitored approach -- he even has video surveillance

in his office to keep an eye on clients when immersed in

administration work -- has resulted in no injuries related to

equipment misuse or inappropriate exercise regimens, he said.

But for the 14-year veteran who was once active in bodybuilding

and martial-arts competitions, the emphasis is on giving clients

their money’s worth. To return that good faith, the center charges

them on a monthly basis and without requiring a contract.

“It’s a risky thing for a [fitness center], but, on the same

token, it establishes trust with the clients,” Watkins said. “People

go through different phases in their life -- one month something

might be going on that makes them unable to come in.”

What many clients are attracted to, however, are the intimate

surroundings.

“I like that it is not a massive, anonymous gym where you work out

with 200 people at a time,” said North Hollywood resident Sebastian

Calvo, who has been exercising at nVISIONuFIT for two months. “I’ve

been working out for 10 years and I prefer a small gym such as this

one, where there are familiar faces and people refer to you by your

first name.”

Watt said he also trains John Burroughs High School athletes

during a 12-week, two-hour course that meets on Saturdays. He plans

to branch out to other schools in the future.


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