From Gridiron to Growing a Business: The Story Behind Allegiate Gym
By Meredith Simmons
If you visit Allegiate Gym in Redondo Beach, California, you might feel like you’ve entered the locker room of a sports team—and that’s just what Allegiate’s cofounders want.
Before opening Allegiate, the three co-founders met as members of the University of Southern California football program. Cody Romness and Steve Blackhart were players on the team, while Tim Caron was their strength and conditioning coach.
After leaving USC, the three ended up in separate states but found themselves missing the same thing: the camaraderie and training of college athletics. “We tried every fitness option out there, but we couldn’t connect with all-cardio-focused workouts,” Cody said.
Over time, they realized that they could build a gym, company, and culture that provided what they were missing. The three regrouped in California and Allegiate was born.
“We were seeking the camaraderie, the high-energy training style, and (most importantly) the results we were used to,” Cody said. “We were seeking something that didn’t exist, so we risked a lot to build it ourselves.”
For three first-time business owners, starting a new gym was intimidating. “When you start something new, you work so hard to get everything right from the naming of the company to the installation of the weight room to the free, trial sessions for potential members,” Cody said.
One of the most significant decisions the Allegiate team needed to make was how to build the community that the three founders were envisioning. “We know there are people out there that need a place to build athletic strength and fitness, train hard and do so with a group of buddies,” Cody said. “Finding the right caliber of people to train hard in our facility is probably the biggest challenge we’ve had so far.”
Despite this challenge, Allegiate has grown membership since opening in April 2017, a success that Cody sees as humbling.
“We grind for every win as a business owner, and when someone relates to what you’ve built and pays for it, it’s a rush,” Cody said.
To find and retain those new members, Allegiate relies on MINDBODY fitness software for everything from class registration to processing payments. “MINDBODY is our touch point for everything,” Cody said. “A lot of the blocking and tackling that you don’t always think about—MINDBODY helps us do it.”