Cynthia Williams is well acquainted with a “runner’s high,” that feeling of pushing her body out of comfort into strength. But if there’s one thing that makes the Louisville fitness devotee more alive than her own workout, it’s the thrill of motivating others to get fit.
Last May, she launched a business that’s the first of its kind in Louisville. But it isn’t a new gym or studio.
Williams, who previously worked as an occupational therapist in transitional care, has also been a certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor for 13 years. She still trains clients in the studio she’s set up in her home. But the new business isn’t an expansion of her personal training work—it’s a projection of her personality.
“I like to jump around and do different things and be different places,” she says. “I don’t like being confined to a single space all the time.”
502 Fit Pass is a web-based monthly membership program that gives you access to 47 gyms and studios across Louisville.
So instead of being limited to the options at one gym, you can switch up your routine, explore all kinds of exercise and broaden your fitness horizons. For example, you might participate in a boot camp on Monday, box on Tuesday, interval train on Wednesday, spin on Thursday and do yoga on Friday. There’s also an “open gym” option when you want to work out on your own instead of participating in a class.
“It keeps you from getting bored,” says Williams. “It keeps you from burning out. It prevents the plateau because you’re not doing the same class day in and day out.”
502 Fit Pass is convenient for people who want to explore Louisville’s many gyms, or for couples who are best served at different gyms but still want to work out together from time to time. It’s also a money-saver for runners and cyclists who want to participate in a class once a week without having to purchase a gym membership.
Rates range from $55 to $130 monthly, depending on the number of classes you want to join. There’s no annual contract; you can start or end your membership at any time you wish.
Williams is quick to point out that it takes more than a regular workout to maximize your physical fitness.
“Wellness is not a six-pack,” she says. “Wellness is feeling good, being healthy.”
502 Fit Pass also comes with a few perks, including discounts on healthy meals and special rates at local places that provide wellness services, such as salt baths.
Williams modeled 502 Fit Pass largely after Class Pass, a monthly membership program in America’s largest cities. She took the strengths of Class Pass and adapted the model for a mid-sized metropolitan area.
But it took much perseverance and many long days to make it real. Williams spread the word on social media and set up a booth at every health fair and festival she could. She held meeting after meeting with owners of local gyms, explaining that they had nothing to lose and much to gain in becoming a Fit Pass “Fit Spot.”
After all, the gyms get paid by Fit Pass for opening their doors to members. The program also draws new potential members into gyms and helps them fill spots in their classes.
Indeed, Williams has steadily been signing on more gyms. Before the end of the year, she plans to get another Fit Pass program up and running in Lexington. Later on, she’ll start another in Northern Kentucky, and eventually spread out beyond Kentucky.
“I love my job,” Williams says. “Each day, I wake up and I’m like, ‘OK, this is what I get to do.’ Yes, it may be hard. Yes, it may take a lot of time and perseverance and commitment … but I enjoy it.” VT
For more information, including a list of available classes and participating gyms, or to sign up, visit 502fitpass.com. Additional information is available at facebook.com/502fitpass. You can reach Williams by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.