Blares of music echo throughout the Harris Sports Performance building as members enter through the silver steel door. Familiar with the daily bootcamp routine, they huddle around owner Nicholas Harris, prepared to stretch before the intense workout.
Harris’ tenacious voice magnifies as he briefs his clients on the selected workout, pumping up the team.
“Whatever your 100% looks like, give it!” he says. “Like always, we are here to work hard and give our best, so let’s get it!”
As an athlete with a history in basketball, football, and boxing, Harris opened Harris Sports Performance (HSP) in Brownsville, Tennessee, in October 2015.
“I train all of my clients as if they are athletes,” he says. “This type of training is way more effective because the class aspect of it adds accountability to the experience and pushes clients to return regularly and do their best to get great results.”
Harris has always had a passion for helping people, so fitness training was a natural way to combine his passions.
“I started training three clients from the trunk of my car. I created non-traditional workouts and took them to the football stadium here in Brownsville,” he explains. “People started watching and showed interest, and from there my clientele grew to where I was able to lease my first building.”
Harris was ecstatic to see his vision transpire to what he always dreamed of, but his ambition kept pushing him to help more people with their fitness journey. He took his business a step further by investing in social media, showing videos and photos of his clients’ transformations, and soon enough, more folks were walking through his doors, eager to learn from Harris.
Three years into the business, Harris knew it was time for him to expand to a bigger building.
“I was fortunate to meet owner of Pedals, Lisa Carlton, who allowed me to share and lease a bigger space so I can incorporate more visions I had for my business,” he says. “I’m so grateful that she entrusted me and saw my vision as well.”
In October 2018, Nicholas received an opportunity to take over the other shared portion of Pedals. Within a couple of months, he purchased the entire building that covers over 4,000 square feet.
“I am blessed beyond measure,” he says with a smile. “With the expansion, I now have seven different fitness programs to offer clients and ten amazingly talented instructors. Together we are destined to make a difference.”
Pedals offers indoor cycling and bag classes for groups, and all of HSP’s spin and boxing classes are superb cardiovascular workouts that create resistance to help burn fat and shape your body while having a fun in a party-like atmosphere.
“My journey with fitness started at HSP about two-and-a-half years ago and it has been challenging,” says trainer Shaketa Hall. “It is most definitely a process that you will have to prepare your mind for. I always say determination and dedication are the key, and you have to trust the process. . . . Like Nicholas always says, ‘Give me 1%, and I will earn the other 99%.’ Take it one day at a time, be what you want to be in fitness, and it will come through your hard work.”
Harris has consolidated more fitness programs that consists of yoga, STEP, sports performance, and tone. To make things easier for HSP members, he also established an app that lists times and dates for each class, and members can shop a wide range of Onward Athletic products and HSP apparel at the gym.
There are also a host of events at HSP & Pedals to blend fun into the workouts. The most recent and sold-out event was Punches & Wine Down with special guest DJ Walton. Walton is an international boxing coach and founder Onward Athletics who played Adonis Creed’s sparring partner in the movie Creed II. This annual event includes boxing techniques and a mini bootcamp, following by a social networking event filled for local entrepreneurs, providing a new and exciting way for the community to join forces.
“My motivation comes from constant results, good reports from the doctor, and feeling good about myself,” says trainer Latoya Currie. “That pushes me to keep working out. I have days that I just don’t want to, but [Harris] pushes all of his clients and lets them know that they, too, can achieve all goals.”
After all these years of success, Harris still is seeking new ways to bring awareness to the public on the importance of self-care and fitness.
“People should not fear working out,” he says. “It all starts with goals and giving your personal best and not worrying about feeling intimidated by others. We have to learn how to become comfortable by being uncomfortable and reaping the great rewards and healthy benefits that comes along with it. I am here to make sure goals are achieved if you allow me to do so.”
Asanta Brooks is an author and freelance writer. Her passion for writing stemmed from creating and illustrating comic strips as a child, which lead to her becoming involved with the high school paper and excelling as a feature writer for her college paper. She resides in Jackson with her adorably energetic four-year-old son, Alex.
Photography courtesy of Harris Sports Performance. Portrait by Andrew Sims.