Philly Phitness provides not only a space to receive one-on-one training sessions but a place for trainers to establish their businesses by being an alternative to franchised gyms. Perry O’Hearn is the owner of the unconventional gym, located at 130 S. 17th St., and he has taken an unconventional path to achieve his goals.
O’Hearn received his bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering but it took a major motorcycle accident for the former engineer to realize his unhappiness with his career choices.
“When I was 22, I was in a pretty severe motorcycle accident,” said O’Hearn. “I was lucky enough to walk away but it left me with the realization life is too fragile and short to continue along a path that doesn’t leave you fulfilled and happy.”
O’Hearn’s gamble has paid dividends as Philly Phitness continues to grow economically and socially. His approach to personal training has led the gym rapid success.
“I believe one-on-one training is the optimum way to approach fitness” said O’Hearn. “Our gym is an approximately 2,000-square-foot facility and we have a maximum of five people working at one time, all with their own trainers. This allows for sessions to maintain privacy and clients to feel comfortable, unlike the overcrowded corporate gyms.”
Philly Phitness employs a plethora of highly-qualified trainers who are establishing their own businesses.
“I view each of my clients like a puzzle,” said trainer Patrick Henigan, owner of Recovery Fitness, . “Each one is unique, each needing the correct pieces to be put in place to reach their full potential.”
Henigan and other Philly Phitness trainers are examples of O’Hearns business model in practice.
“My business model has two main goals,” said O’Hearn. “The first goal is to provide a space where clients can receive highy quality personal training sessions in a quiet, private and exclusive environment. The second is to help trainers grow and establish their businesses. Gyms poorly compensate, leaving trainers to train in people’s homes and struggle to provide quality sessions due to lack of equipment.”
O’Hearn’s path has been one that not many have traveled. However, electrical engineering was not fulfilling his life and O’Hearn feels the most important thing is happiness.
“If you are truly unhappy, it will wear you down in the long run,” said O’Hearn. “Happiness is the only true currency.”
– Text and images by Vicki Kistler and Jake Cleary.