For Vito La Fata, community, constant evolution and a science-based approach are key factors to a successful business.
Subject: Vito La Fata
Company: Fitness Evolution
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”
Keeping Up With the Genes’s. It is not hard to grasp Vito La Fata’s philosophy. With a business name like Fitness Evolution, La Fata believes that the world is in a constant state of progression, and those who do not conform to meet the changes will fall by the wayside—clients and trainers alike. La Fata injects this belief into everything he does, whether with clients or in his business or personal life. “Our business and life philosophies are centered around the concept of evolution,” he says. “We believe in fitness, business, relationships and life that are constantly evolving and moving forward. Nothing kills the body and life quicker than stagnation.”
From One to Many. At first, Fitness Evolution, in Southern California,focused attention on servicing the needs of the individual through one-on-one training and by ensuring that customers felt welcomed and comfortable within the facility. However, despite successes, training one client at a time didn’t seem to meet the needs of everyone who walked into the gym. La Fata decided that it was time to adapt. “Since the introduction of ‘Fitness Evolved,’ our small-group training program that caters to clients who want personal attention but also enjoy the camaraderie and cost-effectiveness of small groups, we have begun to realize how many more people we can reach.”
A Little Help From Friends. As the number of exercisers grows, so does the number of special considerations that trainers must face on a daily basis. Though he would love to tackle all fitness issues himself, La Fata recognizes that optimal health and fitness is best achieved by a team approach. “Part of our business plan is to realize that we can never change people’s health by ourselves,” he says. “We see [the array of health problems] more each day: people come to us with torn knees, bad backs, shoulder issues, weak and unstable ankles and hips and diabetes and other cardiovascular diseases. To provide solutions for all our clients’ needs, we must be part of a team.” That team consists of a network of nutrition companies, medical doctors, holistic health centers, spas and therapists, enabling us to offer clients a well-rounded system of experts and advisors for optimal service and care. “Our clients know that if we can’t answer a question, we know a health professional who can.”
The Three Pillars. Science rules at Fitness Evolution. La Fata employs science-based tools and techniques when working with clients. It starts with what he calls the “Three Pillars of Exercise:” stretching and flexibility; cardiovascular training; and resistance training. The pillars are amplified through the use of current technology. “How we provide these three pillars is what makes us unique. For strength and flexibility, we use the Body Map to assess muscle imbalance and to personalize a corrective strength program. For cardiovascular training, we use a metabolic testing system to build cardio and nutrition programs based on an individual’s true oxygen and carbon dioxide gas exhange.” La Fata believes that these tools allow him to create extremely personal and successful programs that add to each client’s experience. “We feel it is our responsibility to provide these programs and personalize them for everyone who walks through the door,” he states.
Future Fitness. At the end of the day, La Fata does his best to broaden his skills so that he can better serve his clientele and perhaps be an example of what he feels is truly important. “Our society needs a change in its health more than in its appearance. The health of this nation, not the beauty, is what is screaming out to us. It is our mission to help clients not only reach their fitness goals, but also to realize the value of a healthy, active lifestyle.”
Ryan Halvorson is the associate editor for IDEA and a certified personal trainer at Excel Sport and Therapy in La Jolla, California.