The formula of the unstoppable
● By J. Chambless
Stacey Cutler, the owner of Fit Body Boot Camp in Chadds Ford. (Photo by Jie Deng)
By Richard L. Gaw
It is a rainy Friday morning at Fit
Body Boot Camp in Chadds Ford, and owner Stacey Cutler's dream is
whipping itself into a laughing frenzy of energy and movement, to the
point where the workout mat is like a dance floor.
Fitness instructor Jack Sweeney is a drill sergeant with a smile, leading the way in a class so diverse in age and body type that its members resemble a sweaty and happy United Nations of fitness.
Cutler's other dream is seen in the form of men and women from every station in life who have been tossed together in a mutual admiration community, and between Sweeney's encouragement and hands reaching out for other hands, the 30-minute workout has generated enough positive energy to launch the entire facility into the stratosphere. And that's just the way that Cutler planned it, and soon, without warning and just for fun, Cutler joins the class, jumping and jiving with the bend of joyous arms, outstretched.
To understand how these two dreams dovetailed into a successful fitness facility -- how Cutler and her 11-member staff have come to help thousands of people -- it is essential to leap back 11 years ago, to when Cutler began working at a mall.
After graduating from West Chester University in 2000 with a degree in exercise science and a minor in nutrition, Cutler began her professional career at “big-box” fitness centers, but by 2006, she had left the world of fitness and even stopped her normally regimented workout routine. She took a job at a mall, and during the many slow times she experienced at her job, she began to imagine what she wanted to do in her life: To create and operate an intimate space for people whose steps toward changing their lives were tiny.
“I wanted to open a facility where people would not be intimidated, where there was a sense of lifting each other up, rather than knocking people down,” she said. “I wanted to open a small, safe place where personal journeys could begin.
“Working at those large, impersonal fitness centers taught me that while I wanted to help change people's lives, I wanted to help them change not only physically, but give them the freedom to discover who they are deep inside. I knew it wasn't going to be achieved standing in a mall. I knew I had to take a risk.”
In 2007, Cutler opened Fit For Life in an intimate, 500-square-foot space in Chadds Ford, and after two years, she expanded her business by moving to a studio on Ridge Road. During that time, she began to study the mission of the Fit Body Boot Camp, and in 2016, she opened her own franchise in Chadds Ford.
“I loved everything about their vision, their core values, and their belief in the community of fitness,” Cutler said. “In the end, it's not about what you look like or how much weight you lose, it's about feeling unstoppable. If you take action in changing your mind and make small changes in your life, you will see results.”
At its programming core, Fit Body Boot Camp is known for its 30-minute workout, in conjunction with its Unstoppable Fitness Formula, which provide fitness and fat loss workouts in a fun, high-intensity group training workout program. The Formula was designed to not only burn fat and calories while working out, but to create an “after-burn” effect. This after-burn increases metabolism for up to an additional 21 hours after a workout, and helps to create a tighter waist, toned arms, and leaner legs.
“It digs into the intensity of a workout rather than the duration of one, and it allows people to get results more quickly,” Cutler said. “It's great for people who are pressed for time. Your heart rate is getting higher and burn more calories after the workout is over.”
The Chadds Ford location is one of hundreds of Fit Body Boot Camp locations worldwide, whose mission is focused on a "2020 vision," which is to expose and engage 20 percent of the world's population to a healthy and fit lifestyle by the year 2020.
At Chadds Ford Fit Boot Camp, the word "Unstoppable" has come to take on an array of meanings far beyond its relation to a fitness formula. The word is seen on T-shirts, is printed on the facility's walls, and has become for many clients, an active verb they apply to their own journeys.
It rarely starts out that way, said fitness instructor Nimpa Bosch.
“Initially, people come in with an idea to lose inches and a few pounds, but what happens is that their mindset changes, and then being at Fit Body Boot Camp slowly becomes a change in their lifestyle,” she said. “Over time, they're seeing results, but it becomes less important than having this experience that allows them to change their life.
“Stacey has created this community that people want to be a part of,” Bosch added. “They get great results, they achieve their goals, but it's the community that becomes most important to them. We are all encouraging each other to achieve dreams.”
“Hundreds and hundreds of people come in, and I always ask them, 'What brought you here?' I would say that 99 percent of them say that they want to lose weight, whether they're 90 pounds or 200 pounds,” Cutler said. "But what I enforce is that it's really not about pounds. It's about achieving your challenges. It becomes a sense of empowerment over their own lives, a sense of belief.
“We change people's lives … not just what they look like.”
To contact Staff Writer Richard L.
Gaw, email firstname.lastname@example.org.