Former professional baseball player and current gym owner, Adam Jacobs recently joined Bret Schanzenbach on the Carlsbad People, Purpose, and Impact Podcast.
Adam created Fortis Fitness & YOGALUX, a gym that combines hot yoga, cycling, TRX, group exercise classes, and personal training, so everyone can strengthen their physical and mental health. Together, they discuss how Adam founded Fortis Fitness, the various classes Adam and his team offer, and the ways they navigated during the COVID pandemic.
Fortis Fitness: A Well-Rounded Approach to Health & Wellness
Adam played baseball at Cornell University where he also received a business degree. He overcame several injuries and played professional baseball in Australia and Hawaii. However, after a few years, “the writing was on the wall,” and Adam knew his career was coming to an end due to his injuries. “I figured the best thing I could do was to combine my business acumen and my love for athletics and sports,” he says. “[I could] create a fitness facility that was different than what everyone else has ever done in the industry.”
This is what led him to found Fortis Fitness where clients can participate in cycling, TRX training, and more. “If you're only doing the same thing over and over, you're not going to get the results. You're not going to have that full experience that you want,” Adam asserts. This well-rounded philosophy informs everything that Fortis Fitness does—including the additional care they take with their clients.
Located in the Bressi Ranch area of Carlsbad, they serve a variety of people, but many of those who live in the surrounding neighborhoods are young families. In order to best serve their clients, Fortis Fitness offers childcare, so that busy parents can come in and workout, knowing their kids are being taken care of. The gym is special as it puts its clients’ needs first, so everyone can get healthier and reach their long-term goals through a variety of methods.
Fortis Fitness offers an excellent cycling studio, which is blacked out and has strobe lights that are synced to the music. “You can’t tell if you’re at a nightclub or if you’re in a cycle class,” Adam laughs. “What’s great is you’re motivated and feel the energy of everyone else around you, but you're not being judged. Like no one can see what you're doing… that great feeling just makes you work that much harder.”
The gym also has TRX classes. TRX is a system that utilizes your body weight and a series of straps that hang from an elevated surface. Depending on how close they are to the straps, people can make it as difficult or as easy as they wish. This makes it an excellent system at Fortis Fitness, where people from all backgrounds and with all levels of fitness can enjoy a class together.
Alongside group fitness classes, Fortis Fitness also offers personal training and semi-private training for people who want extra attention. Personal training is a one-on-one experience, whereas semi-private training is a session for a small group of up to 5 people. People can mix and match various classes and training offerings to implement a program that is well-rounded and meets their needs.
Navigating the COVID Pandemic with Virtual Classes & an Outdoor Gym
When COVID hit in 2020, Fortis Fitness shut down on March 16th. The next morning, on March 17th at 9 AM, they held their first virtual class. Ever since, they have offered a full schedule of virtual classes for free. “We knew people still needed to feel that sense of normalcy,” Adam says. “Maybe for one hour, you can forget that there's a pandemic going on. You can focus on yourself and then re-energize yourself to take care of other people.”
As things progressed during the pandemic, the Fortis Fitness team also built an outdoor facility in the parking lot with turf, tents, and gym equipment, so they could hold in-person classes. In fact, Adam notes that one of the benefits of COVID is that it accelerated the shift from big gyms and niche fitness boutiques to a middle space of personalized gyms and at-home programs. According to him, the rise of at-home workouts is not something to be worried about, because when people are interested in fitness and health, they will likely be more engaged in every aspect of the wellness industry. At-home workouts provide the gateway for people to become comfortable with exercising, so they are open to working out in a group—which can be even more enjoyable.
Incredibly, although they offered free virtual classes and served fewer clients during the pandemic, Adam and his management team still paid their employees and team members as if they were operating normally. “At that time, we had been open seven years and many of our team members had been with us since the beginning, or at least for a very long time. We were fortunate, and I was fortunate as an owner, to be in a position where we could be able to do that,” he explains.
Certainly, Fortis Fitness’ ability to pivot so quickly and so well during the pandemic is a credit to Adam’s leadership and his incredible team. Now, the gym is fully open and ready to help people strengthen their bodies and minds!
If you are interested in taking a class at Fortis Fitness, click on one of the links below.
Did you like what you heard? This show is produced by Imagine Podcasting dba Heard Not Seen Media, Inc. For more, visit Imagine Podcasting.