But the 63-year-old, whose father-in-law, Walter Boomershine, sold his 70-year-old Atlanta auto dealerships about 15 years ago, decided to change gears. After talking to his daughter, Braselton resident Katie Sanders, about the Exercise Coach, a Chicago-based fitness company, he chose to join in a plan to open eight locations in metro Atlanta over the next three to four years.
Robertson’s wife Tricia and Sanders’ husband Jason are co-owners. The Robertsons opened the first one, in Buckhead, in February, and the second, owned by the Sanderses and located in Johns Creek, is expected to open Monday.
“It was an opportunity to get in on the ground level of one of the most dynamic fitness franchises in the country,” Roberson said. “It’s expanding. It was a great opportunity. It was a great business model and they were willing to give our family the whole Atlanta territory.”
Sanders said the family had looked at 20 different franchises and was about to sign with one before talking to the Exercise Coach.
“Within five minutes of listening to the director of franchising with the Exercise Coach, I told Jason, ‘Hold the phone. Don’t talk to any more companies,’” she said.
What makes the Exercise Coach different is its approach.
“We’re a paradigm shift in exercising,” Robertson said. “Our whole concept is two workouts each week, 20 minutes each time. What makes us unique is we have specialized, patented computer equipment that no one else has. You can literally get in shape working out this way rather than working out the traditional way.”
Said Sanders, “In Atlanta personal trainers cost $600 to $1,000 a month but we cost a third of that. We also don’t have contracts. After an average nine workouts, our clients see an average of 30 percent increase in strength, which means an overall change in body composition.”
The co-owners said one reason they chose the Exercise Coach is they wanted to start a business that helped people improve their lives.
“We’re the first national franchise that offers personal trainers,” he said. “You never work out by yourself. You always have a personal trainer. … We have no contracts. What we offer is three free workouts. Our closing ratio is about 80 percent when people see it and feel it.
“I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been, and I promise you I never do more than the two workouts a week. … This is by appointment, and you make your appointment. You have accountability. If you have an appointment, chances are you’ll show up.”
The Robertsons will operate the franchises inside Interstate 285 and the Sanderses will run the ones outside it. The third and fourth locations likely will be in Vinings and north Fulton County, respectively, they said.
For more information visit www.exercisecoach.com.