Travis Gil is the founder of corporate wellness company Work Force Strong as well as founder and CEO of Fitness Artist, which has locations in Clifton Park, Loudonville and Saratoga Springs.
- How does Fitness Artist differ from other fitness studios?
From the moment you walk in the door of one of our studios, you’ll see that we aren’t like your traditional gym. You’ll notice a more spa-like atmosphere and an inviting environment that lends itself to both private and exclusive small group training. It’s this look and feel that sets us apart. Many of our clients take advantage of our personalized, one-on-one fitness and nutrition offerings, but they might also want their own personal gym space. We’re not just one giant, box gym. We’re more segmented. It’s not uncommon to have a client getting a massage in one room, a couple clients working with their body sculptors in separate rooms down the hall, and a class of six working out in our exclusive small group area. Clients with widely varying fitness goals can find what works for them, both mentally and physically, under one roof.
- How did owning a string of fitness studios come about for you?
I entered the fitness industry professionally in 2006. After graduating from Plattsburgh State University, I found myself waiting tables and acting on stage and in film, but I didn’t know where my life and career were headed. I started to think intensely on both what I was good at and what made me happy. I realized that helping others and working out were things I loved to do on a daily basis so I decided to jump into the world of personal training. I’ve worked in the Capital District for many years training everyone from seniors and stay at home parents to world-class athletes and body builders.
In February of 2010, with very little money and a huge dream, I decided to start up my own company. It has since grown to three locations in Saratoga, Clifton Park and Loudonville, and a Corporate Wellness company called Work Force Strong. This allows me the opportunity to change the lives of so many in so many positive ways.
- Where do you see the company moving from here?
I see Fitness Artist continuing to grow, not just in our client base, but in the amount of specialized services we are able to offer. It is my personal mission to create the best fitness studio on the planet and I won’t stop until we get there. Right now, we have 15 sculptors (trainers) across our three locations and each one has their own set of certifications and specific areas of expertise. We pair our clients with the trainer whose skill set best fits their goals – whether that be weight loss, body sculpting and strengthening, flexibility, injury recovery, or just overall health improvement. I’d like to continue to build and diversify in that sense.
I’m also continuing to build Work Force Strong. We’ve had success working with corporate clients and their employees. The more clients I work with, the more refined and in-depth the program has become so I’m excited for that to continue.
- Describe what the Work Force Strong program entails.
Work Force Strong is a program that aims to provide participants with the knowledge and ability necessary to reduce workplace injuries, implement healthy alternatives into their lives, and increase productivity. The overall goal here is to establish a healthy, productive workforce for our clients that can ultimately save money for the company.
My team and I visit the companies that we work with anywhere from two to four days a week usually, and lead specialized group fitness sessions. We’re very much focused on achieving tangible results so we evaluate each participant beforehand to gauge their baseline levels. At the midpoint and conclusion of the program, we measure again to quantify the progress they’ve made. Nearly all of the participants we work with see a boost in their strength, confidence, energy, flexibility and stamina. We also bring in a registered dietitian as part of the program to guide participants toward healthy choices in the kitchen.
- What’s been the biggest challenge in creating and growing Fitness Artist?
Starting a business is taking a big risk and there have been many ups and downs along the way. It’s always been a challenge to balance the business management side of things with my constant fitness coaching duties. We train our clients to keep a positive attitude and to always keep their goals in mind, even if the results don’t come right away. I’ve applied those virtues to being a business owner and it’s allowed me to succeed. In high school there was a running joke that if there was an award for “Most Likely to NOT Succeed,” I would’ve won. That’s one of my biggest driving forces. No matter what your past is, you always have the future to change it. I’m always looking for ways to evolve and get better–both personally and professionally–and that’s what I love about fitness. Fitness allows you to improve from within, giving you confidence, energy, and the drive to be better from the inside out.