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Jesse James Leyva | President & Founder | Outlaw FitCamp Franchise

Jesse James Leyva: Redesigning Group Fitness

Physical Fitness, Intellectual Sharpness, and Mental Toughness play significant role in the success of any individual. Healthy individuals are the need of any society for sustainable and productive output, as they have the ability to contribute dynamically and for a longer period of time. The leaders who facilitate in developing the physical fitness of people are the most essential pillars of society. Jesse James Leyva is one such Fitness and Lifestyle consulting expert who is contributing to the Fitness of people through Outlaw FitCamp.

It all started 20 years ago when Jesse searched for a workout facility where people felt at home—regardless of age, shape, size, or fitness goals. As he could not find one in his area, he created the one. With his passion, discipline, hard work and love for fitness, he has built Outlaw FitCamp into a successful franchise.

The Franchise Universe caught up with Jesse James Leyva to shed light on his journey and his contribution to the physical health of people through Outlaw FitCamp Franchise.

Below are the highlights of the interview:

Give us a brief overview of your position at Outlaw FitCamp and your journey since inception.

My position is the President/Founder of Outlaw FitCamp Franchise. I started this fitness franchise based off a trend I was seeing in the fitness franchise industry that was largely focusing on group fitness only, bypassing the entire market of people who could possibly need more attention than they would receive from a group fitness environment. Obese, depressed, diabetic, high blood pressure, just to name a few conditions that would normally intimidate or detract one from entering most group fitness franchise models. Having spent over twenty years as a personal trainer and working with thousands of clients out of Jesse James Fit, I knew there was a need for both group training and individual training options. So, I mixed a few ingredients up, and stirred that for a few years. Still wasn’t feeling it, so made a few more adjustments with the ingredients and came up with our Outlaw FitCamp Brand and launched our first Outlaw location in 2014. FitCamp is our group training which consists of 30-minute functional interval training in a group setting and 30-minute personal training, all under one roof, helping a larger demographic of clientele find their fit.

What is your opinion on the advancements for wellness and fitness services to improve the offerings with newer technological developments, especially when it comes to building a population of healthy individuals?

I like the diversity amongst the competing brand services, rowing, yoga, cardio based and boxing style trends. They help people find their desired fit, so that’s a win. Where I feel our industry is trending poorly is the automation of fitness (too much technology). Technology is great, as it help track trends, stats, etc. But far too often it also leads people to depend on an item or object vs themselves. Its human nature for most to place blame on an item or a person before looking in the mirror. Also, it could be intimidating for newcomers to compete with advanced current members such as a scoreboard etc. We work really hard to make Outlaw FitCamp inclusive and build a member-based culture where people are the motivators, encouragers and accountability partners not a machine. Nothing is more motivating than a “where have you been” phone call from a workout buddy or trainer you see often at the gym, a watch just isn’t the same.

And how are you strategizing Outlaw FitCamp’s operations for that future?

That’s an easy one. I redesigned our whole brand and workout template during covid. I didn’t want our franchises to open, doing the same group thing, rotate and cross contaminate. So we spent weeks redesigning the FitCamp layout, and then went to one of my corporate locations and tore it apart and reassembled it with my new crazy vision. It was something completely different than anything in the group fitness space and was widely accepted by our franchisees during a soft run invitation of owners and employees. All franchisees agreed to go for the redesign rush ordered the new needed equipment and our team within two weeks redesigned all locations to the new format. It’s here to stay for good. Us, franchisees and the customers absolutely love it. We also used our covid closure to fine tune our franchise infrastructure and Tiffany, our CEO and our team worked relentlessly to fine tune our ops manual, franchisee website for training and documents as well as additional software updates to make our company more efficient.

If given a chance, what is the one thing that you would change about fitness, to live an active life for the rest of life worldwide.

If I could somehow rid the world of the get results “overnight” stigma I would do that. If we could somehow get people to understand that they only get 1 body, and that they should cherish it and learn about it as much as possible. Helping others to understand you and your body are the greatest investment, an ongoing project, a vehicle that should be well maintained and not wait until it has broken down to try and fix it.

What is your idea of Corporate Social Responsibility?

To continually raise the bar with important worldly topics a company can contribute to, such as improved cleaning and sanitation practices and customer experience. Also, being environmentally aware by making choices that have a positive effect on our environment long term and not a negative one. Making company decisions that go far beyond the boardroom and do something good for the world, people, environment, whatever positive that can be left behind or improve something because that company existed.

As an established Fitness leader, what would be your advice to the budding healthcare leaders aspiring to venture into the wellness and fitness and franchise Industry?

Find a fit that you are passionate about and a brand that you can see yourself with in the years to come.

How do you envision on sustaining your holistic care competency in a cutthroat and volatile world of franchise? 

I have learned over the years that I have no competition and that I am my only competition. I need to bring my A game to the table, day after day. Every year, I and our team need to better our product and customer & employee experience. People don’t understand that we are our worst enemy sometimes and we need to get out of our own heads and comfort zones in order to be successful. My focus is on building and improving my team so we can provide the best experience within our space, people and relationships matter.

Where do you see your franchise in the next five years?

We have 7 locations currently after the covid shutdown, but I’d like to see us nationwide in the next 8 to 12 months. From there it’s a matter of growing intelligently and making sure we can service our franchisees with the level they deserve without compromising quality. So that’s a tough one, but I see our brand in the 100’s + by year 5 if all goes well as planned.