Building a better body is much like building a business: both require targeted goals and unwavering dedication. Just ask Regis Diallo, founder of 1-800-Personal-Trainers. Fitness is a lifelong passion for Diallo, who grew up in France and Burkina Faso, where he says his uncle ran one of the country's only two gyms. After moving to New England for college, he launched his business with a little cash and a big idea. "I picked the name because it sounds like a big company," explains Diallo. "You might think there are 200 trainers; there are 10 of us!"
He's adding niche-market services — like boot camps and luxury condo-complex training — that he hopes will one day make 1-800 as ubiquitous as similar-sounding services for dentists and lawyers. But its commitment to individualized service is what sets it apart. Trainers are available for house calls from 5 am to midnight; they take clients grocery shopping and even help them overcome, ahem, unexpected hurdles.
"One client's mother was always feeding her couscous," recalls Diallo, whose clients start their day by texting him a snapshot of their scale. "I called her mom and said, 'If you feed her couscous again, I'm coming over there and working you out.' Within three months, I was training her, too!" That's how you bulk up: by flexing a little muscle.