June 9, 2015 Fitness

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Kate Robertson is a features writer for Pretty Southern. Follow Kate on Twitter

Summer is coming, and that means swimsuit season is coming, too. Everyone wants to get in great shape to turn heads at the beach.


Joel (center) and his family celebrate Freedom Fit Gym’s grand opening!

For Joel McCauley, being fit and healthy isn’t just for summer. It’s an all-the-time routine and lifestyle. It’s this belief that lead Joel to open Freedom Fit Gym in Ashland, Va. He’s extremely excited about his small-business venture, and I’m so excited to share it with y’all here on Pretty Southern! After all, we do love our small businesses.

Joel is one of my close friends from college. He’s a certified personal trainer (CPT), and has wanted to open his own gym since he was a teenager. Helping people is in his blood. Operating his own gym gives Joel the opportunity to help people achieve their personal health and fitness goals and teach them about living healthfully. And going the small-business route lets him do it his way. He started working as a personal trainer just one month after graduating from college. He’s competed in baseball and track, and has also done bodybuilding competitions. All of his experience, combined with years of studies and research on the best methods, diets and healthful habits will help him help his clients at Freedom Fit Gym reach their goals.

“My hope is to create a space where people feel like they can come to better themselves,” Joel says. He wants Freedom Fit Gym to be a place “where people can come to make progress” toward their fitness goals and personal health.

ffgym-1At the gym, Joel offers open workout space with a wide variety of machines and equipment, personal training sessions and small-group bodyweight and powerlifting classes. In addition, he can craft custom nutrition plans to optimize clients’ diets for the best results.

Most of all, though, Joel knows that movement is a gift that should be celebrated. We are made to move, and Joel wants us to be able to celebrate our gifts to the best of our abilities, all year round.

“Now is the perfect time to get my dream started,” he says. “I can grow my business as long as people come to me.” And that’s just what we want, too!

Want to follow Joel’s journey and learn more about Freedom Fit Gym? He’s on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and has a website and blog!

All photos courtesy of Joel McCauley.

Kate RobertsonKate Robertson is a features writer for Pretty Southern and a Virginia Tech alumna. She also holds an M.A. in Interactive Media from Elon University.

Born in North Carolina and raised in Georgia, Kate hopes to further her career as a social media maven and kick-ass writer in the lovely southeast.

Follow Kate on Twitter @kate3robertson and check out her blog, A Thought and a Half.


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