To say that the fitness market in Charlotte is saturated is an understatement. How many fitness studios, personal trainers, classes, etc. are surrounding the Charlotte, NC community? Well, I gave up counting on Google at 60…and that was just using a 15-mile search radius around uptown. That means that 60+ small and large fitness businesses are competing on a daily basis (literally) to earn your services. However, this doesn’t mean that finding the ideal fit for accomplishing your fitness goals should take a large amount of trial and error assisted by a burdening financial commitment. Finding the right place to call “home” is actually a lot easier than you think. You just need to know what to look for.

Charlotte has a lot of great resources and they can be difficult to navigate through. Here are a few things to look out for as you get started in your search for the right fitness-fit:



Or, a “way of life”. Culture is the mood that surrounds you, the environment in which you operate in, and the vibes that you feel. At least, that’s my definition. I’m a big believer in that culture can play a major role in overall success. Example: You walk into the gym at 6am for your morning personal training appointment. The front desk employee greets you by your name, asks how your family is doing, and then jokes about the “pain” that lies ahead. As you walk on to the gym floor you notice that everyone around you is focused on their daily workout while still maintaining a welcoming and polite attitude. No intimidation or noisy grunts, no one standing around playing on their iPhone, but more-so, a team locker room-like approach with the feeling of comfort and inspiration. Your personal trainer arrives and asks you how you’re feeling today, how you felt after the previous workout, and if you’re ready to begin the day’s session. You begin the program and ultimately finish with a smile and few sweat marks (or like 100 if you’re like me and sweat everywhere). Sounds nice right? That’s the culture you can excel in. That’s the feeling you want to experience in your fitness facility.


Plain and simple: is your newly made fitness program a custom, well rounded plan created by a qualified fitness professional that you know and trust? Or, is it a third party template handed down from corporate headquarters 700 miles away? You’d be surprised how many programs fall into the template category. Gym’s love “simple”, especially the chains and franchises. Mostly, because “simple” carries an easy program implementation tag and a lower liability risk. Not to say that there’s MUCH wrong with the template approach in terms of exercise. However, if your goal is to focus on YOU then why would you want to continuously take part in the same program as the other 30 (different) people around you are doing? That doesn’t seem very “customized” to me. I mean, you wouldn’t want your doctor to give you the exact same “21 day fix online superextremewhateverelse program” as he did for the patient before you (even though you had symptoms of the flu and the patient before you had a broken toe), right? Exactly. My advice on this is to think about your workout template as a complimentary benefit to your personal program. Kind of like a side dish is to an entree.

HOT TAKE: Programming should be a prescription. A qualified professional should assess where you are now, where you want to be, and discuss the best route for success as well as the potential barriers that may come in play along that route. From there, the professional should perform an initial evaluation to determine where to start you off in your program. Once those steps are completed, a 100% customized program should be created and ready to roll out.


Don’t always assume that the price tag matches the value of the service. Especially in the fitness industry. Throughout my 12 year career in the fitness industry I’ve seen both sides and everything in between. Side 1: a non-certified personal trainer who charges $150 / hour because of his 2+ years bodybuilding experience and good looks. Side 2: A certified and degreed professional with 10+ years experience in a clinical setting who charges $30 / hour because he knows that most people who actually need personal training can’t afford those $150 / hour rates. In my opinion, there is no perimeters on value. It all comes down to what you believe is “true”. Are you getting your money’s worth? Are you happy with the results? Or, are there better options out there for you to explore? These are just some of the questions to consider when thinking about “value”. Remember to also consider the long-term effects. My advice: Think of value as a return on investment rather than a one-time purchase.


We just celebrated our grand opening on Saturday (YAY!). At this point you’re most likely thinking “why in the world is this guy still going through this if the area is so saturated?” Well, simple, I love what I do and I truly believe that New Era Performance is unique and is exactly what Charlotte needs; something new and innovative with a face that’s unfamiliar. Not only do we feature the 3 factors above, but we also feature a wide variety of program options that’s fit for literally anyone and everyone. We don’t want to be a fad facility, we want to be Charlotte’s go-to trusted resource for everything fitness, performance, and nutrition related. If at least, we’re hoping to be your first thought when you’re considering options.

Having doubts still? Stop in and check us out. We’d be happy to have you come in and experience the movement for yourself. Coffee on me! 

Cheers to the future!

AUTHOR: Daniel Riggi, MS, CSCS, CPT

Photo by: @Unclejut