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FITLOSOPHIES: Insights From A Fitness Expert & Entrepreneur

Updated: Apr 7

Hello everyone, I’m Cody Johnson, the owner of Chapel Hill Training, and welcome to my latest (and maybe long overdue) blog series on understanding the complexities of small business ownership within the fitness world. With these upcoming posts, I hope to explore topics of interest to you and give some incredible insight into things I’ve learned upon my decade-long journey to owning a successful business in fitness–one of the most competitive industries in the nation. As a disclaimer–most everything explored here is based on my own personal thoughts, feelings, and takeaways. These are likely not novel ideas, but are pulled from many many years of trial and error, concepts from other individuals, and extrapolations from concepts of management. When needed, I will be sure to cite information that I see fit, but also feel free to criticize and/or send over relevant authors that may have god-fathered some of the things you may read here.

Some background information: I am

- 32 years old

- a college educated male (UNC-Chapel Hill; GO HEELS)

- adopted to a white family

- a twin

- a Black identifying, multi-racial man

- a DJ and music producer

- a former D-1 football player

- a high-functioning anxiety riddled human

- a progressive

From being an academic and sports all-star, to failing to make higher level sports programs, losing friends, being bullied for being an overweight adolescent, joining one of the most revered college athletic departments in the world, landing jobs, quitting jobs, going through financial hardship, losing my father during Covid, successfully navigating my business through a pandemic, I’ve found ways to use these milestones to create a philosophy for business that works, and truthfully, excels.

My approach to business has always been centered around one core tenant: A business is not an abstract organization, it’s the culmination of individuals (their backgrounds, wants, desires, needs, dislikes, resentments, habits, philosophies, and more) working together to achieve a unified vision of what it means to solve a problem. In a future article, we’ll explore this in more detail about how to reconcile the person vs. the employee (or the person vs. the boss) and what it means to look at someone through multiple lenses, as it pertains to business ownership and management. But for today, my point here is that it’s vital to me to understand who I am, and what I’ve been through, so that I can better understand HOW to own a business that doesn’t feel abstract, and that puts it’s employees in a position to feel like they are a part of the organization for more reasons than just having a job.

In the broadest sense I’ve succeeded through sheer stubbornness and fear of failure or giving-up. And looking back on that, that’s the culprit for most of my failures, or inability to hit the high expectations I’ve always given myself, in the timeframe that I desired, or the way that I originally intended. That young man's naivety has morphed into a slightly-older young man’s wisdom, and I can see a little more clearly the intrinsic characteristics for how I went from an intern to an executive by age 25, and thriving business owner by 30. But through all that tumultuousness, I’ve learned A TON, and I’m ready to share those with you.

Now you know who I am, but what is Chapel Hill Training? CHT is a small business located in a college town. It’s an organization made up of highly educated and motivated fitness professionals aiming to help guide people on their journey towards a healthier and happier life. Through science-backed approaches, our goals are always to strive to improve our clients lives, create an exceptional environment, and guide people into the fitness world from wherever they are at. From those looking to lose weight, those recovering from disease, surgeries, orthopedic issues, to those looking to improve sports performance, or those just needing a friendly guide, we aim to make exercise and health a core tenant of life in a way that reduces the unhelpful noise and pointedly guides people to the relevant information and steps to improve themselves. From the inside, we’re a team dedicated to improving our own lives and our clients’ lives while changing the industry standards for pay, work/life balance, and so much more.

If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading! Be sure to comment down below about your thoughts on this article and/or future topics you’d like me to cover. You can reach me at, and if you aren’t a current client or staff member but want to get involved, please feel free to check us out at!

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