While studying business, Matthew Thibodeaux played football at McNeese University at Lake Charles. Like many other college students, Thibodeaux found himself in need of a job with flexible hours, thus he began working under a personal trainer at Unique Fitness near McNeese. After graduation, Thibodeaux pursued certification as a personal trainer and opened his own place; a 10 x 10 room in his house. “It’s something I love to do,” Thibodeaux said, “I love being a part of people’s fitness. I love changing their lifestyle.”
This past April, Thibodeaux opened HIIT FIT Central on Sullivan Road with his mother Theresa Thibodeaux. Nestled in the shopping center behind Sullivan’s Hardware and RV Cams Inc., HIIT FIT Central provides a convenient location, especially to those on their way home from work in Baton Rouge via the Central Thruway. With Matthew’s background in business and Theresa’s expertise in real estate and accounting, the mother and son duo are ready to tackle fitness in Central.
The twenty-three year old former football player claims his personality and drive distinguish him from other gyms and personal trainers. For Matthew, the full and personalized fitness experience is vital not only for the success of his business, but also for the success of his clients. He uses online fitness programs and apps, such as Trainerize and Evolution Nutrition. “They can see their progress as they go,” he said, “those results are your motivation. The accountability is what’s going to help people out.”Evolution Nutrition app creates personalized nutrition plans that provide designated lists of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats tailored not only to the client's dietary needs, but also to their taste buds. “I make sure I take care of the all around experience, not just when somebody walks in this door, works out, and leaves," Matthew said.
While some may be skeptical to the idea of a personal trainer or a gym class setting, Thibodeaux asserts that the level of encouragement created in a group working together is priceless. “My background is in football," he said, "When I had ten guys around me telling me to get that last rep up, I got it up.” More than the personal trainer, the active encouragement from a ‘teammate’ motivates all class members.
He also expressed the importance of providing a safe and encouraging place for women to work out. “I cater to women because whenever they go into a gym they don’t want a bunch of people just hounding them and watching them work out. They really get a benefit seeing other women work out. It’s a team atmosphere. I’ll have two or three ladies who are really into it, really set on changing their life style,” Matthew said, “and if they see a lady who skips a rep or they see it’s too light for them… they’ll be like no, you can do this!”
To introduce weight lifting, Matthew likes to use the DisruptiveStrong Bag, a new fitness product recently launched by another Central resident, Todd Bossier. The DisruptiveStrong Bag is a weight changing mechanism that can range from 10-110 pounds through the use of interchangeable filler bags. With over 700 different exercises, the DisruptiveStrong Bag strengthens the body through various exercises of real world motion. “It’s functional training,” Matthew said, “This kind of stuff, you’re using balance muscles you’ve never used before.” The interchangeable weight allows him to train clients/athletes of varying skill level simultaneously. Because the DisruptiveStrong Bag caters to each individual skill set and strength, a group is still able to work out together and cultivate that atmosphere of encouragement and team spirit.
In the future, Matthew would like to expand into kid’s fitness and athletic training. “I see a huge market and benefit for kid’s fun fitness around here,” he noted, “especially for kids who are really wanting to up their game right before they get to high school. It would really build their confidence up.”
HIIT FIT Central offers one-on-one personal training sessions as well as 7-8 a.m. boot camp classes. As HIIT FIT Central expands, Matthew hopes to hire another personal trainer.
Click here to visit HIIT FIT Central’s Facebook page.