New Bedford-Based Agile Fitness Mobile Gym Brings Workout to You

NEW BEDFORD — After she and her husband had their daughter about a year ago, Ali McGrath wanted to get back into her running routine and add some strength training. But when it came to joining a gym or hiring a personal trainer, she had some reservations about traditional business models in the fitness industry.

“I was looking to get back into training and really wanted to lose the rest of my baby weight which I was finding hard to lose on my own, but given the current climate and having a small child at the home, I was nervous about going back to the gym,” she said.

A Princeton resident currently residing on Cape Cod for the summer, McGrath says she found her workout fix in Agile Fitness. Owned by New Bedford resident Jason Cotsoridis, the business – which began operating in March – offers the capabilities of a full-scale gym, but on wheels.

Entirely contained in a bespoke trailer designed to get to where clients are, the Agile Fitness Mobile Gym can be used with all of its panels open for an outdoor outdoor workout experience, or as a space enclosed with heat and air conditioning.

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“It’s been really good,” McGrath said, noting he started with Agile Fitness services in April. “I particularly like training outdoors, so that’s been a real plus for me. And I like the fact that I don’t have to worry about anything in terms of bringing in a trainer. home and not having all the equipment you expect me to have.”

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“I don’t know anyone who does that,” Cotsoridis said, noting that he’s come across similar gym companies with a mobility component, but, to his knowledge, none are as versatile as Agile Fitness.

But before starting a family, moving to New Bedford and embarking on a journey to be an innovator in the fitness industry, Cotsoridis says he had long assumed the career aspect of his life was about trace.

“I had only been a teacher my whole life,” Cotsoridis said of his educational background at Ella T. Grasso Southeastern Technical High School in Groton, Connecticut, where he taught United States history, introduction to law and also coached for 20 years. “I got my job right out of college and figured I was going to be a career teacher like they used to – back when old school teachers got jobs, including stayed for 40 years, got the gold watch and retired.

“And that was going to be me; that was going to be my story.”

Jason Cotsoridis, owner of Agile Fitness, sits on an adjustable weight bench inside his mobile gym that he drives to clients for a personalized workout.

But after he married his wife, Christina – a New Bedford city worker – and the birth of their now 2-year-old son Magnus, a confluence of circumstances led the couple to move from Charlestown, Rhode Island, to Whaling City. , where Agile Fitness was born.

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“When COVID hit, my son was still a newborn and it wasn’t a safe situation for my family, so I knew I needed a new career,” Cotsoridis said, noting that his charge course at the time had him teaching nearly 200 students. “And with my wife’s job, there was a residency requirement in place for her to live in New Bedford, so we landed here.”

As for career change considerations, Cotsoridis said his thought process is moving towards his side gigs as a personal trainer and karate instructor, as well as a coach. However, not being fully satisfied with the idea of ​​merging on another path, he instead decided to create his own.

“During the pandemic, a lot of personal trainers were going into people’s driveways, working in people’s garages and trying to figure out a way to make it work, and I just felt like I could do better,” said he declared. “So my wife and I sat down and started talking about things like, what does this mean? What does this look like? And then this concept was born.”

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“It was terrifying – absolutely terrifying,” Cotsoridis said of the decision to go into entrepreneurship. But now, after about five months in the business, he says following his vision seems to be paying off, as the momentum around Agile Fitness builds and his vision evolves.

Since its inception, Cotsoridis says Agile Fitness has opened up an additional realm of opportunity by working with companies to make employees feel – and perform – at their best.

“I branched out, worked with companies and HR departments in various companies to bring them things like HIIT (high intensity interval training) classes, half hour cardio workouts, yoga in the morning, and things like that,” he says, noting that training opportunities in these types of arrangements are usually offered at commercial venues in the morning before work, during lunch break, or right after the day. of work.

And, thanks to an endorsement from health insurance company Blue Cross Blue Shield, those who take advantage of these opportunities often do so at no cost.

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“It’s a way of trying to keep their members healthy and out of the doctor’s office, so they’re really pushing for a healthier lifestyle and reimbursing companies or individuals who work out,” Cotsoridis said. , noting that exercise has been proven to boost energy levels early in the morning, as well as alleviate the infamous 2-hour workday crash after lunch. “This research has become so widely accepted that companies are even doing things like offering their staff the opportunity to train on their lunch break and take an extra 15 minutes to clean up and have a snack before returning to their shifts. work.”

Side view of Agile Fitness mobile gym.

When it comes to challenges to its business model, Cotsoridis says the biggest relate to transporting the 16,000-pound trailer and the additional 4,200 pounds of gym equipment it contains.

“Petrol prices have been one of the biggest challenges for this business – and I have to drive very slowly,” he said, noting that he had to buy a new van that was more powerful than the previous one. to tow the trailer. “I have a client in Canton – that’s as far north as I go – and I go as far west as Swansea.”

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As for the outlook for Agile Fitness, Cotsoridis says he can see a potential future that includes additional trainers on staff and perhaps even more trailers parked in different locations. But these hopes for business growth aren’t just for the good of the company.

“If there’s an event happening on Saturday afternoon, and it’s family time that I’ve already spent, I now have a tough choice to make: do I do something thing to move the business forward, or do I focus on what’s most important – staying home with the family?” says Cotsoridis. “So with more staff, those decisions become easier, then – provided everything is working – there may be additional slots with other trailers.”

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In the meantime, Cotsoridis says he feels lucky to have moved to New Bedford for the start of Agile Fitness. “When I quit my job, my wife’s residency was starting in six months, so we quickly grabbed this place and moved to New Bedford and it was all positive,” he said, noting having benefited from resources businesses in the city like Groundworks and EforAll. “I wasn’t aware of the giant renaissance that New Bedford was going through, but…the whole town has such energy – you just feel in the air that there are things happening and changing and moving.”

As for McGrath – who, like Cotsoridis, also has a professional education background – she says she hopes to work out a deal that will allow her to continue training with Agile Fitness even after her return to Princeton. for fall. “It worked really well for us,” she said. “I don’t see myself going back to a standard gym.”

To learn more about Agile Fitness, visit www.agilehealthandfitness.com.