Brian Cole Personal Training Associates

40 Years

Brian Cole, owner of Personal Training Associates, in front of his office on City Center Boulevard.

Current address: 738 City Center Blvd, Newport News, VA 23606

Contact and title: Brian Cole, owner

Product or service: Personal training

Year business was established: Brian Cole started personal training part-time 40 years ago before forming the business in the mid ’90s, although he can’t believe it’s more than 20 years. “And that’s all I’m ever going to do,” Cole says, “If 20 years isn’t enough to give somebody confidence, then I don’t know what is.”

Reason for locating in Oyster Point: “It’s centrally located,” Cole explains, “A lot of people are right here, and I bought the building before the road cut all the way through, so I thought it would end up being a good thoroughfare.”

Significant milestones: The first milestone was opening the first location in Hilton. The next was bringing on other trainers, nurturing them and watching them grow and become better and better at what they do. “But I don’t think of it that way because it’s so ongoing,” Cole says, “it’s more process-oriented rather than goal-oriented, and that’s how we train our clients too.”

A significant story: “When I started, I never saw us working with seniors, but we have a lot of clients who are seniors. I had a client who was 84 years old, and she had to miss the following week to play bridge, and I said, ‘You know I always thought I would play bridge, but I don’t know now.’ It was quiet and then she said, ‘Well you’re not dead yet! Who’s inspiring who here?’” Cole laughs, “It is great to work with somebody in his or her late 70s or early 80s who is fit and wants to stay that way. You take your hat off to them.”

Why has your Oyster Point location been beneficial to your growth? The business has had several locations, including Virginia Beach when Cole first opened. After opening in Oyster Point, business boomed. He now has two locations: Port Warwick and City Center Boulevard.

Plans for future growth: “When I started, I thought I would work with someone for a few months and then push them out of the nest,” Cole says. “I’ve found that because I change everything as someone progresses, it’s more of an ongoing process. That’s how it expanded—no one wanted to get out of the nest. I have clients who have been with me 20 years. Every time I’ve opened a new location, it’s because of demand. We have six trainers, and we’re booked. Do I expand again? We’ll see.”

Closing comments: “How many people get to do what they love? I feel pretty fortunate,” Cole reflects. “It’s our clients. They all want to improve and are willing to do something about it—you just get to work with the best people in the world.”

Aubrey Kincaid
About Aubrey Kincaid 11 Articles
Aubrey Kosa graduated from Christopher Newport University (CNU) in May 2016, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. While at CNU, Aubrey’s favorite project was Documentary Storytelling, which involved telling the stories of the elderly members in the Newport News community through prose and audio segments.

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