We caught up with the brilliant and insightful Manning Sumner a few weeks ago and have shared our conversation below.
Manning, thanks for taking the time to share your stories with us today Folks often look at a successful business and imagine it was an overnight success, but from what we’ve seen this is often far from the truth. We’d love to hear your scaling up story – walk us through how you grew over time – what were some of the big things you had to do to grow and what was that scaling up journey like?
I opened in 2008 at a dead end street next to crack houses, homeless & hookers. The original concept was to train my private high end clients in this 2,000 sq ft warehouse with 4-5 other trainers doing the same. First two years was a real struggle finding hard working trainers and the high end clientele willing to come to at the time a shady neighborhood & street. I went through 19 employees & 2 business partners in those first two years. I then pivoted to combining mixed martial arts with my strength & conditioning programs & boot camp classes. Although I enjoyed it and loved the community it wasn’t profitable. Then one day the light bulb truly went off in my head I was training one of my NFL clients with one of my overweight female clients at the same time putting them through the same workout adjusting the weight accordingly. This was when OTF & Barry’s was becoming popular and I was like I could create my own version and really scale this. I immediately got rid of all MMA completely remodeled the entire gym set up & implemented my new business strategy. I created systems & finally hired the right people to help me grow the vision. It still took another 5 years of perfecting P.I.T. our trademarked Partner Interval Training system and we finally duplicated it and added a second location. Fast forward to 2022 surviving the pandemic we now have 6 locations, opening a brand new headquarters in Wynwood, opened an apparel line, opening a Beverage company this year and looking to take the brand to a billion dollar evaluation.
Great, appreciate you sharing that with us. Before we ask you to share more of your insights, can you take a moment to introduce yourself and how you got to where you are today to our readers
I lettered as a linebacker at Auburn University and graduated in Exercise Science. I started training
guys on my team my junior year and after a career ending injury I decided to focus on strength & conditioning. I was an assistant strength coach at Samford University and had an opportunity to move to Miami as a body double in Bad Boys 2. Once in Miami I quickly became one of the most influential trainers and became
a catalyst for change in the fitness industry.
Built a leading fitness brand recognized in Miami’s best in 2022.
We currently have 6 locations in Dade & Broward counties and are opening a new headquarters in Wynwood. I personally design all the gyms & apparel.
Appeared on numerous podcasts for fitness and motivational speaking.
Personally overseen the training and rehabilitation programs for some of the globes most recognizable professional athletes.
Launching our own Beverage company in 2022.
NO DAYS OFF our trademarked motto
is never taking a day off on you. Its a commitment to becoming your best self.
Let’s talk about resilience next – do you have a story you can share with us?
10 months after opening my first gym the entire gym flooded, every employee quit and I had to make a decision panic or pivot. I immediately pivoted, planned & solved the problem.
Any advice for managing a team?
It starts with you but it’s not about you. If you are not practicing what you preach no one is going to follow. Lead by example. Pour into those around you. Put your team in a position to win. Give them the tools they need for success. Ultimately it will be up to them but you should know you did everything in your power to give them the best opportunity to succeed.
- Website: www.LegacyFit.com
- Instagram: @manningsumner
- Twitter: @nodaysoff