Results are the true way to measure the success of a fitness program. But along with helping clients to accomplish their personal goals, Sean Sullivan, owner of Fitness Together, in Brecksville, believes his fitness center stands out from other facilities in another way.
“It’s our down-to-earth customer service,” Sean insists. “We greet our clients with a smile. As they walk in we hand them a towel and a bottle of water. We treat our clients like family.”
Glancing over at his cousin, Kevin, Sean pauses, then adds with a laugh, “Well, sometimes they are family.”
Kevin, a PGA golf pro and part owner of GolfTEC Brecksville, has lost almost 60 pounds* since joining Fitness Together about a year ago. Kevin says his relationship with Sean wasn’t the only reason he decided to join the facility.
“I had a lot of mutual clients come in and talk up Fitness Together,” Kevin says. “They are all pleased with their results and they love their personal trainers. They liked that Fitness Together tailors their workouts to their personal goals. It isn’t one size fits all.”
When the effects of age started to show in his golf game, Kevin decided it was time for some conditioning.
“I wasn’t having any health issues or anything, but I started to notice that my scores on the back nine were never as good as the front nine,” he recalls. “I realized the problem could be weight and fatigue. When your feet are aching at the end of a round, it’s time to do something about it. I decided to lose some weight and build some strength to see whether it would help, and it did. Before I was noticeably dragging halfway through a round. Now I feel like I can run five miles after I play 18 holes—and I am seeing better scores.”*
Having just turned 45 years old, Kevin realized he was sometimes competing with guys half his age.
“Nobody wants to see people hit the ball 50 yards past them,” he laughs. “It was time to start taking fitness more seriously.”
Part of Kevin’s personalized workout plan focuses on building strength in his shoulders and hips, which are vital for driving the ball.
“I was never big on weight training, even when I was younger,” Kevin says. “They tell you in golf to stay away from weights because tightening up can hurt your game. That myth has been proven wrong. I actually look forward to weight training now.”
That myth, Sean says, illustrates why it is so important to work with accredited personal trainers who understand exercise and how it works.
“It’s true that weights can make your muscles tight,” he acknowledges. “That’s why you need to do it properly. Our program is based on functional training. We don’t do anything that puts your body into a fixated position. It is all about movements that you use in everyday life. For golfers, we do weight exercises that incorporate twisting and swinging that help, rather than hinder, their games.”
Fitness Together has nine nationally accredited personal trainers and a licensed dietitian on staff. Working with personal trainers, Kevin says, provides motivation to push forward. That, he says, is another advantage of working out at Fitness Together.
“It’s easy to skip out on a group class,” he says. “But when you make an appointment with a personal trainer you are less likely to blow it off.”
Another myth busted at Fitness Together is that personal trainers are a luxury that only the wealthy can afford.
“A personal trainer is not only for celebrities and professional athletes,” Sean says. “Whether your goal is to lose weight, improve flexibility or muscle tone, or just work toward a healthier lifestyle, our job is to help you develop a customized workout plan and pair you up with a personal trainer who gives you the one-on-one attention that you don’t get in traditional workout facilities. What we want to do is empower people to make healthy lifestyle changes.”
After managing Fitness Together since it opened more than seven years ago, Sean purchased the business in October 2013, realizing his dream of owning his own fitness studio. A certified trainer through the National Personal Training Institute, Sean has extensive experience training a wide range of clients, including Miss Ohio 2006, figure champions of the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness, the Cleveland Cavs Dance Team, and recovering cancer patients from The Gathering Place.
He also was once one of the world’s top Irish step dancers.
“I have been involved in a lot of athletics, but I had never swung a golf club in my life until about a year ago,” he admits. “Now that I am a business owner I am asked to participate in golf outings and charity events. I had been shy to do it because I couldn’t play. I had clients who raved about GolfTEC. The thing they always talked about was the amazing technology. They record your swings and put them online so you can watch and break down your hand and body position and compare them to where they should be, so you always know what the next thing is you have to work on.”
Armed with newly honed golfing skills, Sean, the treasurer of the Brecksville Chamber of Commerce, says he is now able to get more involved in local events.
“Brecksville is a wonderful community to get involved in,” he says.