Frame, Inspire, Transform
Located inside of a no-nonsense-looking building at 217 Schneider Street SE in North Canton, F.I.T. Co. occupies 4,000 square feet of space.
Founder Auston Papay said that he and his wife, Molly, opened F.I.T. Co. in August.
F.I.T. Co., he said, stands for Frame, Inspire and Transform.
“ ‘Frame,’ because we see the body as building blocks,” he said. “ ‘Inspire’ because we want to inspire our clients and ‘transform’ for the result of the work.”
A native of Sharon, Pennsylvania, Papay arrived in Northeast Ohio by way of an athletic scholarship from the University of Akron, where he was an NCAA Division I All-American in the shot put, discus and javelin throw. His record still stands.
When plans to open a gym with his best friend went awry, Papay forged ahead.
“I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit,” he said, noting that he and his wife also own a candle company.
Compass Candles are hand-poured and made from all-natural soy wax.
“It’s helped to fund some of the gym,” Papay remarked.
Papay describes F.I.T. Co. as a “throwback” gym.
“It’s like an old-school, dungeon style, private gym,” he said with a smile.
F.I.T. Co. features elements of the old and new, from equipment used in CrossFit training, to old-fashioned weights and dumbbells, ropes, Olympic bars, punching and speed bags and exercise machines. One element new to gyms, Papay said, is a 100-foot strip of artificial turf.
A 24-hour facility, members enter F.I.T. Co. through an electronic fingerprint system.
Papay noted that about 80 percent of F.I.T. Co.’s membership lives within a 1.5-mile radius of the gym. Most business, he said, is through word-of-mouth.
General membership at F.I.T. Co. is $28 a month for a 12-month contract (add $20 per family member); $31 a month for a six-month contract and $35 for a month-to-month membership. Membership for personal trainers is $400, which includes unlimited visits with clients. F.I.T. Co. does not charge a start-up or additional annual fees beyond membership.
“I never liked it when it happened to me, so I won’t do it to other people,” Papay said. “We’re aiming for a family atmosphere.”
Papay said the gym is sponsoring a team to compete in a Spartan Race in June. He also plans to start training local athletes in the discus and shot put. A second-generation athlete, Papay’s father, Al, was a member of the University of Pittsburgh football team that won the NCAA Division I national championship in 1976.
Papay credits his wife, a native of Louisville whom he met in college, with the gym’s success.
“It wouldn’t have been possible without her,” he said. “She’s the organized one.”
To learn more or to schedule a tour, call 234-262-1293 or visit fitco247.com.