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Schooling Clients on Health and Fitness

Lauren Loper and her refurbished school bus help women learn what it takes to be fit.

Subject: Lauren Loper

Company: Your Mobile Gym

Location: Smyrna, Georgia

“The Wheels on the Bus . . .” There are many ways to make your services known in your local community. Some trainers use fliers; others choose print advertising. Lauren Loper, president and owner of Your Mobile Gym, gains exposure by driving around in a colorful school bus turned fitness facility on wheels. “I had a vision for a mobile gym about 7 years ago, but couldn’t figure out how to make the idea work,” she recalls. Eventually, Lauren came across a picture of a special bus for handicapped riders, and she had an epiphany. “That was it!” she says. “It took more than a year to find someone to convert it to my specs. I learned a lot about buses and generators!”

Ladies First. Your Mobile Gym is a business run by women for women. When Lauren first started her business, she knew that her skills were best applied to the female population. “Being a woman and realizing the importance and value of my role as a woman was the determining factor in choosing to work exclusively with women,” she adds. “Women wear so many hats, and it is our goal to help women create more balance in their lives through exercise and nutrition.”

Lauren concedes that there are considerations unique to women. “Women tend to be martyrs. They have been catapulted into multiple roles of varying responsibilities. This can make them too burned out to be able to [give themselves] what is vital for basic survival.” Such basics include sleep, nutrition, water and exercise, adds Lauren.

Hitting the Road. Before hopping on her fitness bus, Lauren was unsure about where to take her personal training career. She believes that a little help from a “higher power” guided her toward taking her talents on the road and inspired her to open her Bible to pages in the Old Testament. “It basically said that this was the last time [God] wanted to hear the same ol’ prayer from me. Either I go for it or I don’t.” So Lauren decided to get moving. She loves the mobile gym because “she does not have to lug any heavy or awkward equipment around. Clients love it because they don’t have to drive somewhere or worry about what they look like.”

The Personal Touch. Lauren and her team of personal trainers work hard to ensure that each client is treated as an individual. Your Mobile Gym implements a variety of methods to determine what type of program is in the best interest of each client, including questionnaires; cardiovascular system efficiency analysis; kinetic chain analysis; dietary analysis; and more. “We understand that every woman is different,” she says. “That’s why we take the time needed to get to know [our clients] and to make sure the right program is established to meet [their] needs.” Since the majority of Your Mobile Gym clientele tend to be a bit older, Lauren has found that this attention to detail is what sets her business apart from others. “Most—if not all—of our clients have existing conditions that could be made worse with exercise, so they really appreciate our care and knowledge in the way we train and serve them.”

Yield for the Open Road. Lauren has developed a business that is both unique and effective. Despite her successes, she warns those who wish to follow in her footsteps to exhibit caution instead of making hasty decisions. “Make sure you have a budget and a fair amount of cash to start,” she advises. “Don’t borrow too much or you’ll find yourself working
for someone else—the loan company!” Lauren also suggests getting an accountant or a business planner who is proficient with accounting software. “This will help make your ‘behind the scenes’ work flow so you can focus on training.”

Sidebar: Calling All Trainers

Do you own a business that breaks the mold? If so, e-mail [email protected] and let us know why you think your personal training business is unique.

Ryan Halvorson

Ryan Halvorson is an award-winning writer and editor, and IDEA's director of event programming.

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