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Meet Chris Johnson of Boston Strength & Conditioning in Newton

Today we’d like to introduce you to Chris Johnson.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Self-improvement and striving towards excellence has been my passion since I was a child. It only makes sense that when I grew up I would venture into coaching. Coaching allows me to share my passion, knowledge, and experience with people looking to improve their life.

While in college, I created a brand ‘Improve with Chris’. Improve with Chris is more than personal and sport training services, but lifestyle coaching. On top of my degree in sports science and collegiate coaching experience, I have a masters degree in management, a commission in the Army National Guard, authored one book with a second scheduled for publication in 2018, and am almost finished with my doctorate in sports management and leadership. I inject my experience and knowledge in leadership into every training session, hoping that I can positively influence my athletes in ways beyond sports.

As my career advanced, I decided my brand Improve with Chris was not enough and I decided to go into business with a friend. We started off as a couple of friends with a desire to open a strength and conditioning studio. After finding space in the Newton, we completely gutted a room and turned it into our “Freedom Cave.” After painting the walls red, white, and blue, we proudly hung a massive US Flag from the ceiling and military branch flags on the walls. I then left for Fort Jackson South Carolina while my business partner Charles Baker and a third partner who is no longer with us stayed behind and worked on the finishing touches of our studio. Upon returning to Boston, we opened the doors in April 2015 and have been working with clients from all backgrounds ever since.

Has it been a smooth road?
Starting a small business always has its learning curve. Fortunately, we had a small studio in Wellesley first that we were subleasing before expanding in Newton, but things really got tricky with my Army National Guard schedule. I had to leave for training on a few occasions and some clients left during those periods. Luckily, I am fortunate to have amazing people backing me that understand I’m not away on vacation, but rather military training and understand there are times when I must be gone. These are the people I want to work with and I am so grateful to have them in my life.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Boston Strength & Conditioning story. Tell us more about the business.
Boston Strength and Conditioning is about earning freedom in life through discipline in the gym. When people are dedicated to their fitness goals, it opens up a realm of possibilities. College scholarships, long hikes, more sleep, looking better in your clothes, lifting more weight, and increased libido, are all benefits of disciple at the gym that grant you freedom in choosing how you live your life. This is how I see fitness and why I am proud to help others improve.

My next step is becoming more involved in the community. I recently joined a board of young entrepreneurs who are combining their skills to provide fundraising for families in need of housing while their child receives cancer treatment. I am excited to become involved in this new chapter. I am also lecturing at a local college and hope to teach at more schools soon.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
I have a unique background in my field. Within the next few months, I will hopefully complete my doctorate in sports management and leadership. This background has granted me access into the tech startup world and I have advised a couple of Boston based startups regarding social fitness and wearable technologies. Without getting into detail with what my clients are doing, I see tremendous growth in the next few years regarding fitness technology if it is done properly.

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