Catalyst Personal Training featured in The St Louis Business Journal

Updated: Jul 20

Catalyst St. Louis reconfigures fitness plan in the face of Covid-19

Enlarge Jim Adams is owner and personal trainer at Catalyst St. Louis in University City. By Vince Brennan  – Managing Editor, St. Louis Business Journal 5 hours ago Over more than 22 years in the fitness industry, Jim Adams has never done a workout as tough as the pandemic. As the owner of Catalyst St. Louis, a personal training and wellness company that uses a small group training model with personalized assessments, Adams changed his entire business plan as gyms were forced to close due to Covid-19 in March. “We saw people not coming in at the beginning and our numbers greatly dropped,” Adams said of the University City company that had $440,000 in 2019 revenue. “We felt that it was going to be longer than two weeks, but we also thought two months was ludicrous at the time.” With the gym closed and clients freezing or dropping their memberships, Adams and his team started hosting online fitness classes. What started as two classes a day six days a week on Zoom has expanded and helped the company keep clients moving — and paying.  “We kept a staff of four working eight hours a day across all services,” he said. In addition to the online component, Catalyst rolled out outdoor boot camps at its location as stay-at-home and social distancing regulations were relaxed in early June. The company also launched a podcast in March to keep clients connected and offer tips on fitness, nutrition and wellness. In the end, the podcast became a tool for building Catalyst’s online community. “We’ve done coffee and happy hours, and really, we’ve gotten to know our clients even better during all of this,” said Adams, who also said the company received a $41,000 Paycheck Protection Program loan from the federal government.  Last month, staff were put to work preparing for the gym to reopen with limited capacity and other safety measures in place. In addition, Adams started offering incentives such as unlimited personal training for the first month back or $100 in free supplements to attract clients back to the gym. RECOMMENDED HEALTH CARE Virus task force leader says action is needed to avoid another shutdown HEALTH CARE BJC shuffles leadership at group, hospital levels MANUFACTURING Illinois CEO found dead at his Ladue home Though gyms are now allowed to open, Adams is still feeling anxious about the business. “We recently sent out a survey to our clients and the overwhelming response was they (are comfortable) with the policies and procedures we have in place, but they still don’t feel safe due to the virus,” he said. “The market has changed. The barrier to get new clients in the door has never been higher.” During the height of the shutdown, Catalyst had 124 active members, down from 180 pre-Covid-19, Adams said. Since the gym reopened, about 50% of clients have returned to training in the facility, and about 50% are still training online, Adams said. All fitness companies are going to have a tough time getting back to pre-pandemic levels of prosperity. However, small-format gyms and personal training companies that already cap the number of people in classes are better positioned than large, corporate fitness companies, according to reports. After missing out on membership dues during the pandemic, chains 24 Hour Fitness Worldwide and Gold’s Gym International filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. And according to The Wall Street Journal, 37% of big-chain gyms tracked by Moody’s that had shut down due to the coronavirus have reopened as of early June. Personal trainers with smaller capacities have less restrictions to jump over in the reopening process. Because of that, Adams said companies like Catalyst are the best positioned for success in a post-Covid world. “Companies in the fitness industry that will thrive will be ones in the personal training space,” he said. Catalyst St. Louis — At a Glance Founded: April 2015 Headquarters: University City Leadership: Jim Adams, owner and personal trainer Employees: Six Revenue: $440,000 in 2019


8123 Delmar Boulevard,

University City, MO 63130

United States


6am – 7pm Weekdays
7am – 1pm Saturday

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