Years after Olympic athlete Bryan Clay stopped participating in competitions across the globe, he struggled to find a fitness regimen that fit his individualized goals.
“Most of what I saw was a one-size-fits-all model and what I mean by that is, you go into a group fitness setting and nobody would ask you what you’re goal was, or what you’re trying to accomplish,” says Clay, an American decathlon gold medalist of the 2008 Summer Olympics. “And I just didn’t like that. I felt like there needed to be something different.”
Clay found a solution in 2017 with Eat the Frog Fitness, a concept he created with Joe Culver, CEO of Thrive Community Fitness and TCF Franchising Inc., that merges the best aspects of personal training with the best aspects of group fitness into one entity. Since its inception less than two years ago, the company has grown immensely, with seven locations currently open and more than 40 studios in the works.
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On Dec. 5, the Ashburn location of Eat the Frog Fitness—owned and operated by longtime Ashburn residents Julie and Travis Green—celebrated its grand opening with swag bags, live music, food and spirits, and a special appearance from Clay and Culver too.
The Greens started their journey with Eat the Frog in October of last year when Julie was thinking about opening her own fitness studio after nearly 30 years in the industry, leading group exercise and personal training to clients throughout NoVA.
“One of the things that pushed me to it initially was the name, and then it was about the workouts offered,” says Julie. “I think it reaches a broad range of people and really truly is for the beginner to the elite athlete. The training gets results because it’s planned. You go in and get it done, and it really does offer visible results.”
At every Eat the Frog studio, the qualified coaches work with you to create a customized, eight-week training program that you put to practice in the small-sized group exercise classes, either in person or virtually. At the Ashburn location, members can choose from a variety of functional strength workouts that are low impact, but high intensity.
“Not being the fitness expert that my wife is, I had been looking for a fitness regimen that I can do,” says Travis. “I played football all my life but as I age, I need something new. I took the workout in Arizona and thought it was amazing, I could actually do the entire thing. It motivated me and I think that motivation will be useful in our area.”
Following the local studio’s soft opening in early November, the Greens had already accumulated nearly 300 members, and that number is continuing to grow at a steady pace. Part of the reason Eat the Frog is so attractive to many, according to Julie, is its general emphasis on community building through exercise.
“We wanted to give this neighborhood this specialized experience through fitness,” says Julie. “We really wanted to be within our community, bring jobs here, give back here and Eat the Frog let’s us do that.” // Eat the Frog Fitness: 43170 Southern Walk Plaza, Suite 104, Ashburn; membership and class prices vary