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How it all started

How it all started



For the past seven years I have had the pleasure of working in the fitness industry at multiple fitness clubs (franchise and independent) in East Tennessee, West Tennessee, and in Tampa Florida. During that time I have seen a fair share of great changes that happen to people when they surround themselves with a community and exercise. Sure, seeing a change physically from exercising is always great but I almost enjoy seeing the positive change in their mental state even more.


While I was working at a fitness club in Tampa I realized pilots, flight attendants, and traveling doctors/nurses were spending A LOT of money of day passes/guest passes for only 2-3 hours in that fitness club. By the time they paid for two or three passes they have already paid more than a monthly membership. This problem stuck with me for a while but after Covid-19 hit this problem was the last thing on my mind.


Fast forward a couple of months, gyms have been reopened, and I was blessed to be working at two gyms at the same time! While on break a member came to me and started talking about a dating site and the horrible time he had on that date. After I stopped laughing the thought hit me; What if there were a dating site that matched “lifters”? But hmmmm… what would I call it? I got it Swolemates! Yup, Fitness Compass was almost Swolemates.


That idea started out as a joke but the problem of expensive passes and playing match maker for lifters stuck with me. It then became “How could I pair everyone up with a fitness club that best suits their skill level and style?” The answer: THROUGH DAY/GUEST PASSES! Make it easier for people to access passes quickly and easily by giving them the option of buying them ONLINE! BOOM! Now I was hooked and couldn’t go a minute without thinking about what I needed to do to get it all started!


Step one: find a market to promote to. What about corporate fitness clubs? No, that would take too long for a final decision to make it back down to me. Independently owned clubs? BINGO! They outnumber chain gyms 4:1 most of the time, even in small cities. Plus, I can find and talk to the owner at the club during the week most of the time!


Just after one month of this idea I took a leap of faith to step down from both jobs and started working for myself. On September 21st 2020, Fitness Compass LLC became a reality and as of 12/30/20 we have: 9 different fitness clubs in located in two states and six different cities, an online coach, a sponsored athlete, and four partnering businesses!

Fitness Compass LLC (formerly known as Swolemates) was started with the sole purpose of bringing the fitness community closer together and thanks to all of the people who have supported and believed in this company from the beginning, we are doing just that.


Clayton Hardin B.S, CPT

Owner- Fitness Compass LLC




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