Having a ‘BLAST’: Why one of the nation’s top emerging boutique studios chooses to ‘elevate their workout’ with the Incline Trainer
Everything is personal when it comes to BLAST. The reason the company was created is personal, the motivation is personal, and the relationship between their instructors and clients is always personal. So when Atlanta’s fastest-growing fitness solution was looking for that one key piece of fitness equipment that would make their BLAST offering unique, they came to Freemotion and fell in love with the Incline Trainer.
With a busy career, two kids and zero time, BLAST founder Missi Wolf was inspired to make a change in her life, and other lives. After experiencing an interval workout during a trip to Los Angeles, Missi’s inner entrepreneur ignited.
Before that particular gym visit, Missi was spending almost three hours at the gym: an hour on cardio, an hour on strength training and an hour stretching. And for a woman who already was short on time and energy, that routine felt more like a burden than a calorie burn.
After LA, Missi went back to Atlanta, looking for a similar interval workout in her neighborhood. But when she discovered there wasn’t one, Missi saw an opportunity. “I started to think about what I loved about the interval workout in LA, and what I could do to perfect it,” Missi said. She went back to school to study the human body, physiology and kinesiology. She surrounded herself with the experts in the fitness industry and got to work.
In 2008 BLAST (Balanced Levels of Aerobic and Strength Training) was born. A unique fitness experience where members could get a high quality, interval workout without blowing their budget or their free time.
Now that the BLAST vision was constructed, Missi sought out fitness companies with workout tools that brought her vision to life. When she came across the Incline Trainer by Freemotion, she knew she had found her game-changer. “We were one of the first boutique studios to have the Incline Trainer,” Missi said. “It was (and still is) the most superior incline trainer on the market.” She purchased Incline Trainers for her first studio in Atlanta because they were the only machines that rose to a 30% incline and had a top speed of 12 MPH.
BLAST’s dynamic intervals combined with floor strength-training is the secret sauce that caters to every age, gender and fitness level to deliver clients the results they want. The Freemotion Incline Trainer arms Missi and her team of instructors with reliability and a solid foundation.
"What [Freemotion] can do is amazing and they are just getting started. I am excited about the partnership, and possibilities, we have with Freemotion."
– Missi Wolf, CEO / President
In 2010 Missi met Bri Sexton, a highly-educated, high-energy fitness expert with multiple certifications, who was excited about creating a new way for people to feel amazing. Bri was brought on to the BLAST team as the COO and Fitness Director. She was also an avid supporter of the Incline Trainer and began tailoring the BLAST workouts to complement the increase in incline and speed capabilities. “So many machines don’t go past that 15% incline so people using those machines are missing out on such a training opportunity,” said Bri. “The incline takes the pressure off a speed-based workout and creates a high cardio workout, without the high impact of a traditional treadmill.”
The size of the Incline Trainer and its sturdy construction, are just two of the reasons why BLAST chose it to be a key component in its successful formula exercise regime.
“The Incline Trainer doesn’t shake or rattle. You can add speed to it then introduce the incline to make the experience personal,” said Missi. “From a studio owner’s standpoint, the Incline Trainer walking deck doesn’t wear unevenly; this deck was designed for capacity. We run it all day and into the night and it stands up to the test of time.”
Bri says that BLAST members touch and use every single button and “perk” onboard the Incline Trainer. “Even when we work with professional athletes, they are amazed by the Incline Trainer’s training capacity,” said Bri. These athletes find themselves winded, whipped and rewarded by the time they step off the Incline Trainer and walk out of BLAST’s doors. “Our clients love the Incline Trainer so much, they’re always asking us how they can buy one; they want one at home!” said Bri.
Because BLAST is all about personal results, they were thrilled to work directly with Freemotion to develop the latest version of the Incline Trainer. “I was invited out to ICON’s headquarters and they had me test the new Incline Trainer,” Bri said. “I told them what I thought could be improved, what I loved, what I thought they should add. And they listened to me.”
The Freemotion Research and Development (R&D) team worked with BLAST to create the Incline Trainer specifically tailored to meet the needs of boutique studios, like BLAST.
“Every interaction we’ve had with Freemotion has been amazing,” said Missi. “From our Territory Manager, to customer support – even the tech crew that comes out to maintain our Incline Trainers to make sure they are running smoothly. They are all very responsive, everyone is nice. They treat us like we are their only customer, and that feels great and personal.”
When it comes to the partnership between BLAST and Freemotion, Missi says she feels like they are just scratching the surface. “At BLAST, we pride ourselves on setting the gold standard when it comes to creating a one of a kind workout experience. With incline training, metabolic testing and nutrition, we are creating something that’s just on the verge of getting huge. I feel the same way about Freemotion. What they can do is amazing and they are just getting started. I am excited about the partnership, and possibilities, we have with Freemotion.”
With two popular locations in Atlanta, one in DC, expansion into New York in 2018 and 15 to 20 new studios set to open nationwide, BLAST (and Freemotion) are names you will start seeing a lot more.