Jamie Scott Fitness brings wellness, personalized training to Columbia

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It’s 6:25 a.m. in the Cross Hill business district. A morning fitness class has 20 minutes left before the workout ends. Sweat drips off the brows of the participants — males, mostly in their 40s and 50s, between sets of squats, lunges and bicep curls.

“50 seconds … 30 seconds … ,” the instructor says.

Bottles of water are refreshing for the guys as they take mini breaks between the intense exercise.

This is a typical morning for Jamie Scott Fitness, a budding health and wellness center in the Columbia area.

Jamie Scott, a 34-year-old Mullins native, embarked on his fitness career after a four-year career as a strong safety with the University of South Carolina football team in the early 2000s. He then started training the football team at the Hammond School. Soon after he was asked to develop an in-house fitness and wellness program for the Washington, D.C. office of commercial real estate developer EDENS.

Scott worked at a couple of gyms in the Millwood neighborhood, conducting personal training sessions before opening his first studio in Rosewood in 2009. Four years later, Jamie relocated to the Cross Hill location, developing a growing clientele committed to his form of fitness.

“My clients, they know they’re getting the best in the world,” Scott said.

Scott’s personal philosophy toward health and wellness is simple: education first, then develop a successful to plan to achieve the client’s goals.

“You look at what the population needs, then you build a wellness component,” he said.

His gym offers a variety of classes made up of nutrition and cooking, barre, cardio and weight training.

Scott’s gym is tucked behind Whole Foods Market, but it bursts with bright colors and large exercise spaces. Dumbbells, plyo boxes, medicine balls and indoor cycles line the walls of the studio and main training area.

Scott prides himself on searching for the best equipment and fitness trends that he can adapt to his programs. Jamie Scott Fitness features TRX suspension cables, a live heart monitor for group workouts and wall yoga, a twist on the traditional poses using ropes.

“That’s a benefit of not being a franchise,” said General Manager Darby Graham. “We really can do what we want to do for our clients and that’s rare.”

The unique mix of group fitness and personal training classes has attracted a wide clientele. From moms to CEOs, Scott has built a customer base looking for a quick but intense workout.

“I’ve worked out on my own, but I haven’t been able to push myself as much as they do and know the equipment to use,” said Robert Ellis, a local pediatric dentist.

Ellis, who started in October after he learned about the gym from his sister, commends Scott on tailoring training specific to the needs of each client. Ellis, for example, sits in a stooped position because of his occupation.

“He knows posture is my issue, so he does stuff to strengthen my core and back,” Ellis said. “Jamie Scott is the man.”

Scott recently was honored by the city of Columbia as a winner of the Office of Business Opportunities Business Spotlight program. He will receive a free scholarship to the NxLevel Micro Entrepreneur Business Class for the next year and will be able to take advantage of free marketing opportunities like commercials or a display placed on Main Street courtesy of the Office of Business Opportunities.

Scott recently received a proclamation from the city for his business success at the city’s National Small Business Week conference.

“It makes me feel good that people recognize what we do here,” Scott said.

Scott, like many business owners, hopes to get a jolt in his business this fall once the new housing development, The Hub, opens on Main Street. His newest location on Lady Street is called SWEAT and offers a full-body indoor cycling workout.

“Cycling is the number one exercise in the world. It’s the number one exercise for college students,” Scott said. “It really was a no-brainer.”

The 1,900-square-foot space already has 40 participants signed up with three classes a day. Scott hopes to get up to 30 classes a week.

“We’re expecting this place to erupt,” he said.

Scott says he plans to open a third location by the end of the year but says he still is looking at places. For now, he looks forward to motivating others to get inspired and feel better about themselves. It’s a message he expects his trainers to commit to each time they step into the gym.

“You have to bring energy,” Scott said. “You have to go from instructor to motivator.”

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