Local fitness studio is on the move


By Mathew Klickstein - [email protected]



DAYTON — Locally owned and operated Express Fitness Studio moved earlier this month from its 2047 Harshman Road location to 219 Woodman Drive, an expansion of sorts for founder and lead personal trainer/exercise class instructor Virgil Carter. Carter, 51, is a Dayton area native who has been running Express Fitness Studio almost entirely on his own — aside from a few temporary fellow instructors and assistants who have come and gone over the years — for nearly a decade now.

Buttressed by neighbor businesses Pettibone Coffee and Cricket Wireless and located just a couple miles from WPAFB, the larger Express Fitness Studio space is one Carter chose due to its attracting more foot traffic, being closer to the main road beyond its front doors, and the floor-to-ceiling storefront windows that allow for a warmer, more inviting atmosphere than his smaller, earlier establishment.

Carter’s extensive background in athletics — having been a basketball coach for both boys and girls for two decades, running his own AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) program for 11 years, and nearly playing professional baseball with the Cincinnati Reds in his younger days — led him to following an innate passion for training adults as of 2013.

“It just kind of started in a park,” Carter said. “I would go to a park, like Shiloh Park, and would train clients there starting at six in the morning. I did that for a few months, and as more and more people joined in, I realized I had a good thing going but needed an inside facility as it grew colder in the fall of that year.”

It was in Vandalia where Carter found a generous hosting organization that allowed him to use their facility for the better part of three years. Carter said that over the course of the time operating his signature fitness program, he knew he would eventually own his own studio where he could find the brand of entrepreneurial independence he had aspired toward for most of his life.

For five years, Carter ran his Express Fitness Studio at its Harshman Road space before he decided “it was time to start looking around for something different to get me a little closer to the street. Now I’m here on Woodman Drive, which is definitely closer to the road, which attracts more interest from those driving by. Plus, it’s about 300 to 400 square feet larger than my first space, which gives us more room to work in. I like the lighting, the space itself, and my neighbor businesses like the coffee shop and Cricket that are both always very busy and will hopefully spill over new clients to my studio, too.”

“I definitely enjoy coming to this facility,” said 42-year-old Huber Heights resident Jean Newby. A budget analyst at Wright-Patterson Airforce Base who has been a client of Express Fitness Studio since October, 2019, Newby gushed, “I like the new space. There’s more room, and it’s not that much of a commute difference from the old facility.”

“Mr. Carter is an excellent trainer and motivator,” Newby added. “I’ve experienced some notable differences in terms of my coming here as far as my physical and mental wellbeing. Working out has been a great hobby of mine, and since coming here, I’ve been able to challenge myself in more ways than I expected. Mr. Carter pushes you to show you your true potential, and I definitely encourage anyone interested to come here and check out Express Fitness Studio’s great environment.”

Carter claimed that a large element of his success is not only his deep personal passion for fitness and instructing others, but also the fact that he’s “always learning. The fitness world is always changing, and so that means I need to do and do do a lot of studying, which allows me to keep up-to-date on everything that’s going on and available in my industry.”

“This allows me to bring the best possible services to my clients who are ready to make changes to their own lives when it comes to health, fitness, and taking better care of themselves. Everybody’s body is different, so it’s a day-to-day study for me, and I enjoy being able to help all different kinds of people who come in here — different ages, different athletic abilities, people who haven’t worked out in years, people who are training for upcoming athletic events like marathons, or whatever they need to get the instruction from a trained professional who can help them achieve their individual goals. I really think this is what my calling is: to be a servant and helping other people through health and fitness.”

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By Mathew Klickstein

[email protected]

Contact Mathew Klickstein at 937-372-4444, ext. 2122.

Contact Mathew Klickstein at 937-372-4444, ext. 2122.