Physical Therapy to Fitness, a Natural Progression

It’s been six years since my wife and I started our own PT clinic. During that time we’ve expanded to a 12,500 square foot facility with a cutting edge functional training gym and a physical therapy clinic. We run both the fitness and therapy business together and see fitness as a natural progression for our patients.

We have always pushed our patients to become more resilient through therapeutic exercise. We wanted to help them rehab enough to avoid going out and getting reinsured after discharge, so we emphasized exercise progressions based on a three phase model: Phase 1 diminish pain, Phase 2 Restore motion and stability, Phase 3 restore high level function and build resiliency.

As our patients made progress through this system, many of them fell in love with exercise. They felt, better, moved better, and started looking better. Many of our patients reported weight loss just from doing PT 2-3 x per week. They asked to continue to exercise in our clinic once they had been discharged from PT. It never occurred to us to add a fitness service to our business, but we saw the demand and felt that we needed to make it work.

We cared so much about our patients, and didn’t want them to go to a big box gym, not know what to do, and get injured. Many of them could not afford one on one personal training, and even if they could, we didn’t have someone we trusted to take a former patient safely through a fitness program. We had heard horror stories form our existing patients about the quality, safety, and level of personal training service available in our market, so we decided to create our own.

We solved the price issue by offering semi-private personal training. Members share the cost of the coaching and programming. They get coached through their individualized workouts each session, and get progressed to a new program every 6 weeks. Members pay as little as $149 per month for unlimited training. 4 sessions per week breaks down to under $10 per session.

Therapists that discharge a patient, can offer a trial of our gym and help create the fitness plan with our coaching staff. In order to make a smooth transition, many of the therapeutic exercises from the PT program, are carried over into the gym and gradually progressed.

Seeing our patients continue with our fitness program has added so much joy to my life as an owner and clinician. I work as a PT as well as a fitness coach and love both. It’s amazing that many of the 197 current members have been with us for years. I still coach my very first patient that began treatment with me in January of 2103. It’s an amazing experience to really get to know your patients and build true friendships.

If you are thinking of starting or further developing a fitness division of your PT business, let me know if you have any questions. I’d be happy to help.


Want to get started now… in just 14 days you will successfully get in better shape and acquire all the tools you need to take back your fitness.