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Meet Scott Southworth of Catalyst Personal Training in Museum District

Today we’d like to introduce you to Scott Southworth.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Scott. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
We started Catalyst to get away from Big Box gyms and the aggressive, sales driven, and deceitful side of the fitness industry. The daily grind of trying to force people into contracts they didn’t want or need was emotionally draining. It was the opposite of what we wanted out of life and so we left to make something more fulfilling, a place where we helped friends discover themselves and take control of their physical health. Over the past five years, we built Catalyst on the key principles of transparency and honesty. We wanted Catalyst to be a place where business didn’t get in the way of our work so we got rid of the contracts, pushy sales, and quotas.

Personally, I’ve been with Catalyst since just about the very beginning and I’ve watched this place grow. Every day poses new challenges and opportunities when I am so closely involved in the lives of the people I work with. I walk into work excited to help people I’ve known for years grow physically and mentally. For many of our clients, Catalyst is a sanctuary where they can escape from the stress that life brings. It is a place where they can step outside their struggles and gain a sense of perspective, a place where they are reminded just how strong they are.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Small business is never easy. About half of all small businesses fail within five years of their creation so hitting our fifth anniversary this year was a big milestone for us. It’s something we earned though. Early on in our first two or three years there were some really rough patches around the holidays especially. Our client base was small and having three or four people out of town really put a dent in our bottom line. In my first year with Catalyst, I was actually living out of my car because we couldn’t make rent on both the studio and pay me enough to afford rent on my apartment. Thankfully, that was our lowest point and it has been mostly uphill from there. We still encounter the normal hurdles of life, but compared to that first year everything seems much simpler.

Catalyst Personal Training – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
It is our mission at Catalyst to make fitness accessible to everyone. We want to make things easier. Right now, there is so much misinformation out there in the fitness industry and it gets confusing. You have celebrities, coworkers, and family members saying “juice cleanses will cure cancer” or “carbs will kill you” or “you just need to take the stairs at work to lose 50 pounds”. There are some many voices competing for attention that it’s impossible to know who to trust without making it a full-time job which is exactly what we do.

It isn’t the sexiest of missions, be we want to be a trustworthy voice that looks critically at the fitness world and presents the truth to our clients. We want to share our knowledge of how your body works so that you can make better decisions for yourself. There is no magic pill or secret ritual from an undiscovered mountain tribe that will bring the results you are looking for. It’s hard work, consistency, and an understanding of yourself that delivers results.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
Proudest moment is always an interesting one. Every day brings its share of victories and defeats. For me the one that comes to mind right now is a recent breakthrough I had with a client looking to lose weight. She had been trying to lose weight for years and working with me for a few months and still wasn’t seeing results despite it sounding like she was doing all the right things. It was a struggle for me because I’m normally very successful in this area. We tried everything from food journaling to meal planning to macro counting. I eventually ended up in her kitchen on a Sunday night watching her cook every meal for the week and finally saw the problem. She was under the impression calories in olive oil evaporated when you cooked with it so she used it quite liberally. It was something so simple to me, but not to her. I was able to turn it into a teaching moment about fats and oils in general. Just like that the pounds started to fall off and she was at her target weight in about a month after over a year of unsuccessfully trying.

There are a couple reasons this one is special to me. The first thing is that it challenged me as a trainer. I was forced to take responsibility for a problem that wasn’t entirely my fault and approach it in a new way which made me grow as a trainer. Second, seeing that “aha” moment she had and seeing her excitement as the pounds started dropping was amazing. The reason I’m in this job is for moments like that and working harder than normal for this one made it so much more valuable.


  • $500 – 8 Sessions (~$63/each)
  • $650 – 12 Sessions (~$54/each)
  • $750 – Unlimited Sessions

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