Digital Properties Manager
Over the last 25 years, Loudoun’s explosive growth has been fueled in large part by people from outside of the county moving here for work opportunities and a high quality of life.
Chris Merritt was one such person, who moved here from Pennsylvania in May of 2010 to start his career as a trainer at a local gym. After struggling to find the right combination of role and responsibilities, he realized that the missing piece was working for the right boss.
So he decided to become his own.
“Based on all the experiences of the last seven years, I came to the conclusion that I’d only really be happy if I opened my own gym,” Merritt said. “And what better place to do it than Loudoun County, Virginia?”
In October of 2011, he opened Beyond Strength Performance NOVA, a humble 1,100 square-foot facility with a staff of one. Today, his vision has blossomed into a 5,000 square-foot facility, employing five full-time, salaried trainers.
His mission for clients is simple: “We are here to put you in the best position possible to transform and achieve your goals.”
Sticking to fundamentals has been key to his success.
“I started out just wanting a place to train people the way I thought it should be done, and today it’s about so much more,” he said. “I never envisioned the hundreds and hundreds of people that we would impact, the employees that we would provide for, being a father, and all of the craziness of growing up a business owner.
“It’s been soooo much better than I imagined.”
Beyond Strength Performance NOVA took over our @loudounbiz Instagram account between March 13-17 and showed that fitness goes hand-in-hand with business success.
Here are the posts from their @loudounbiz takeover:
What’s up, Loudoun County?! My name is Chris Merritt and I am the founder of Beyond Strength Performance NOVA (@bspnova). We’re a training facility with a simple but unrelenting cause: We are here to put you in the best position possible to transform and achieve your goals. We’ve called Loudoun County home since October of 2011, and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else (seriously, I don’t want to open another gym 😂)! We are located on Ridgetop Circle by @ridgetopcoffee (another awesome Loudoun staple). With that being said, this business would be nothing without our amazing staff (love you Todd, Geoff, Megs, and Jon!) and members (too many to list—but love you all too)! We’re pumped to unveil a little more about Loudoun’s “Different” Gym over the next 5 days, and we welcome any and all questions! #bspnova #loudounsdifferentgym #transformation #community #quality #loudouncounty #loveloudoun #smallbusiness #strengthandconditioning #gym #loudounpossible
[***#workforcewednesday***] Our @bspnova employees are just one of the reasons that we are Loudoun’s “Different” Gym—they’re out of this world!! Seriously, here’s what one of our members had to say recently: “One of the biggest motivating factors for me (that I absolutely never would have expected prior to joining BSP) is the personal relationships I've developed. When I feel like garbage and don't feel like working out at all, I still get excited to come in, because I know that I'll get to see a bunch of hilarious people that brighten the heck out of my miserable day. There's no way to put a price tag on that, and it can't be overstated how valuable it is.” And with more than 50 years combined coaching experience between just 5 people, we’ve got the knowledge AND experience on-hand. Further, we look out for each other. Everyone is salaried with unlimited paid time off. Yes, you read that right. As long as you work out coverage for your hours, you’re free to take off whenever you’d like. And no, no one has EVER taken advantage of that. In fact, we’ve had to force big Geoff to take a vacation! Meet The Team: Todd- Coach and head of staff development and internships (also became an owner this year!) ——————————— Geoff- Coach, program design and our resident paramedic ——————————— Jon- Coach and CEO (that’s chief entertainment officer) ——————————— Megs- Coach, program design, head of Strength Camp, lover of all dogs 🐶🐕, and our resident artist (but nothing involving grammar/spelling) ——————————— Lindsey- Oversees our books, keeping us 👌🏼 with the IRS ——————————— Chris (yours truly)- Founder, Coach, head of program design and new member on-boarding. ——————————— Come on by, we’d love to meet YOU if we haven’t already! #bspnova #loudounsdifferentgym #transformation #community #quality #loudouncounty #loveloudoun #loudounpossible #strengthandconditioning #gym #smallbusiness
Let’s do a little #throwbackthursday history of @bspnova in Loudoun County, with a simple lesson built in. ——————————— To start we’ll go all the way back to October of 2011 where we began in an 1,100sqft space (see first 3 pics) that was in the back of @disciplemma, located on Maries Road across from the Claude Moore Park Nature Center . We maximized that original space over the course of 5 years, waiting until we absolutely needed more room before moving. ——————————— In October of 2016 we moved to Ridgetop Circle, upping our personal square footage to about 4,000sqft of training space (pics 4-8), and still share common areas with Disciple MMA (10,200sqft altogether). ——————————— We’ve had significant growth, month over month, year after year, and it’s no accident… While it wasn’t an overnight transition, the systems we developed in 1,100sqft allowed us to handle the growth that has come with all this new space (read: risk). ——————————— I truly believe our success stems from starting small. Had we not worked out our kinks and developed our systems in that original, tiny, low-overhead space, we wouldn’t be making this post today, because we probably wouldn’t have survived in a bigger space like we have now… ——————————— Which leads to the lesson for any future hopeful business owners: start as small as possible, and at the same time operate your business like a big company. Create clarity on who you are, who your serve, what you stand for, where you’re headed, individual roles and expectations, and communicate, communicate, communicate… If you’d like more info on how to get started, I can’t recommend the books “Traction” and “Get a Grip” enough!! —————————— And, as always, if we can ever be of any help, let us know!!! —————————— #bspnova #loudounsdifferentgym #transformation #community #quality #loudouncounty #loveloudoun #loudounpossible #strengthandconditioning #gym #smallbusiness
In yesterday’s post we mentioned two of the most influential books we’ve ever read for our business: “Traction” and “Get a Grip.” One of the concepts introduced in those books is the idea of recognizing and developing your Three Uniques… ———— At @bspnova our Three Uniques are Transformation, Community, and Quality. ———— Transformation: Transformations happen on multiple levels—physical, mental, and performance. We’ve got the wherewithal—from our systems, education, and experience—to help folks get from point A to point B. And one of the biggest advantages we have is our use of what’s called semi-private personal training. Think the completely individualized approach of personal training, but carried out in a community setting. Even our group training, which traditionally means one-size-fits-all, utilizes an individualized approach when it comes to assessing individuals and putting them in the best positions to be successful. Our coaches are able to educate folks to thrive in the gym and beyond, and have a great time doing it. Which leads me to our second Unique… ———— Community: In short, we offer an environment where people can workout around other people that are fun to be around and supportive. In fact, we bet they’ll become like a second family. We have fun OUTSIDE the gym with monthly social events like happy hours, bowling, cookouts, baking competitions, etc… And when it comes to training it always seemed to us that gyms either offered a high quality training experience in a low-energy training environment, or an awesome, high-energy training experience with little care for quality of movement. Which leads me to our third Unique… ———— Quality: We maintain a high quality environment—be it quality of human interaction, exercise form, or the condition of the training space itself. In fact, we teach our systems as educators for Equinox Fitness Clubs, as well as through Strength Faction, an online education platform used by coaches all over the world. ———— Have you developed your Three Uniques? If so, share them in the comments! And if not, hopefully this helped to spark some thought… and as always, let us know if we can be of any help!
Loudoun County, it’s Chris Merritt of @bspnova checking in for one last post of our IG takeover, and I want to take this opportunity to give a little #shoutoutsaturday. ————————— We’ve been sharing common space with @disciplemma for going on seven years now! As you can see from the video, there’s just one wall dividing our spaces. And, like us, they’ve seen phenomenal growth as a small business in Loudoun County! ————————— That shoutout is just as much to Disciple’s success as it is to the opportunities that Loudoun presents small businesses as a whole. There are SO MANY PEOPLE here, and it’s only growing larger. I did not grow up in Virginia, and further, I only moved here 17 months before opening @bspnova. In other words, I didn’t get to build a thriving business due to knowing everyone in town, but rather that Loudoun County residents welcomed and supported a quality product with open arms. I am so thankful to have wound up settling here in 2010, and I can’t wait to see what more the future has in store!! ————————— P.S. The attached video is of @bspnova winding down for the day, and @disciplemma just getting under way with a massive Muay Thai seminar! ————————— #bspnova #loudounsdifferentgym #transformation #community #quality #loudouncounty #loveloudoun #loudounpossible #strengthandconditioning #gym