Good news, everyone! Optimize Fitness & Performance was awarded a spot on Thumbtack’s “Best of 2015” award list. We’re honored to be the only personal trainer in Franklin to be selected for this award. You can see our award here (link opens in a new window).

There’s just one catch: we were named the “Best Cheap Personal Trainer” in Franklin.

That’s.. dubious, to say the least. We’d prefer “Best, Most Affordable Personal Trainer”. In fact, it’s our mission to provide affordable, high quality personal training and fitness coaching.

We set out to provide a different experience from day 1. We want to change the way that people think about personal training, fitness, and nutrition. In our opinion, most people are paying way too much for personal training. Even worse, many of them pay too much to work with an inexperienced, under-educated personal trainer.

When Devin Gray, our head coach & founder, started working at a local health club, he had a degree in exercise physiology, three years experience working with U.S. Army cadets, and the gold-standard certification in strength & conditioning. He was instructed to charge $80 per hour for a single session. If clients paid up-front for 24 sessions ($1,200) it was “only” $50 per session. Talk about sticker shock!

Soon after, a brand new personal trainer was hired with an entry-level certification and no experience. That new trainer also charged $50-80 per hour! This was the norm in the area, and many businesses charged even more.

Devin also noticed that most private, 1 on 1 personal training sessions were ineffective. Clients learned quickly in the beginning, but soon outgrew the need for a 1 on 1 personal trainer. It was common to see a training session that had more talking in it than working out!

Think about it – in most environments, students learn best in a small group or team-based atmosphere – even in professional sports teams, college classrooms, and advanced military training.

Finally, Devin was disturbed by the fear and the expectations that many people had of their personal trainer.

Is this what people think of when they think of a “great personal trainer”? We hope not.

Yelling, screaming, insulting, and demanding that people train through injuries and pain should be condemned, not primetime TV.

Unfortunately, this is what many have come to expect from TV and the media when it comes to personal training.

(A great personal trainer should “meet you where you’re at” and inspire you to do more.)

All of these observations led him to decide that private personal training not just overpriced, but also ineffective!

Devin opened Optimize Fitness & Performance shortly afterwards with the goal of providing affordable personal training – without sacrificing the quality of coaching or the results of his clients. He also wanted to provide a service where education and independence were key to the experience.

We believe we’ve accomplished each of those goals by providing semi-private personal training instead of private, 1 on 1 personal training. It’s more affordable, more effective, and more fun that private personal training.

In semi-private personal training, anywhere from 1 to 4 people work with a single coach. But – each person still has a 100% personalized program and receives individualized coaching. You still have all the benefits of a personal trainer, but it’s a fraction of the cost and the results are better.

Here are the top ten qualities that set us apart from the competition and made us one of Thumbtack’s “Best of 2015”.


  1. Our personal training is a fraction of the price: Our personal training sessions are just $35-40 per hour, not $50, $80, or even $100+ per hour.
  2. Fitness is a lifelong investment in your health. That’s why our clients pay us monthly, not upfront. Monthly payments are more affordable and fair for both our clients and our business.
  3. We reward you for commitment, not the size of your bank account: We discount sessions if you agree to train with us for 3+ months, not if you can afford to pay more up front.
  4. No secrets – every client gets a full program up front. It’s theirs to keep and it’s updated monthly. This way, clients “build their own fitness book” as they progress. This fosters independence and a deeper understanding of what really works for them.
  5. We’re patient, understanding, and have realistic expectations. Pop culture says that fitness must be insanely difficult. Every workout has to be the hardest of your life, right? Not here! We start small, start slow, and build up to great things.
  6. We know that less can be more: Many 1 on 1 personal trainers are guilty of over-coaching, cheerleading, or both. We know how to give the perfect cue at just the right time – and then let you do your thing!
  7. Our clients learn how to create healthy habits that last a lifetime. They break the cycle of yo-yo weight loss, fad diets, and extreme workouts that only leave them hurt and frustrated. We meet our clients where they’re at to provide simple, step-by-step instruction.
  8. We’re constantly learning and improving. Our coaches are constantly learning and refining through a mix of certifications, books, DVDs, and hands-on workshops.
  9. We work as a team with other health & wellness providers. Our clients don’t just get us – they get access to our full network of nutritionists, physical therapists, massage therapists, yoga instructors, and chiropractors.
  10. We’re personable. We don’t yell at, scream at, or belittle our clients; unlike a certain TV personal trainer. We know how to hold people accountable in a way that is motivating and uplifting, not crushing and embarrassing.

Don’t just take our word for it, see what our clients are saying!

Devin truly knows his stuff. He works with your goals and helps you reach them. Devin offers semi-private sessions which helps keep the costs down but still allows you to get a personalized, effective workout.”

Sarah S.

“Devin is super knowledgeable and very personable. His workout routines have been tailored to my goals and skill level, and he is a great motivator. Moreover, my hectic work schedule can conflict with my appointments, but Devin has always been accommodating and flexible with scheduling.

If you want great personalized training, you should be going to Optimize Fitness & Performance.”

Dean F.

“I have trained in many different gyms, large chain gyms as well as smaller private gyms, and I can honestly say that Devin is the most knowledgeable and dedicated trainer I have ever had.  Devin worked with me to help me come back from an injury that left me unable to work out for months.

All workouts are geared towards my individual fitness goals, and he goes above and beyond time spent in his facility, always providing helpful nutritional and training information constantly educating me.  Devin helped me get back on track to reach my fitness goals.”

Leslie M.

Even more reviews are available on our Yelp page. (Make sure you read the reviews that are “not recommended”!) And if you want to see our clients in action, check out the #shopFranklin Photo Spotlight of Optimize Fitness & Performance here.

We’re grateful for the support and kind words of our clients, and happy to have been able to provide a great experience to so many. It’s an honor to receive an award, even if we’re “cheap”.

If you’re interested in learning more about how we’re changing the way personal training is done, please sign up for our fitness newsletter. We’ll never send you spam. You’ll receive regular updates with our best fitness tips, nutrition advice, and information on upcoming events, special offers, or workshops.

Devin Gray

Devin Gray

NSCA-CSCS, FMSC, Pn1 Certified

Devin is the owner & head coach of Optimize Fitness & Performance. He is an exercise geek, with a long list of certifications and coursework for personal training, nutrition coaching, and injury post-rehabilitation. In his personal workouts, Devin combines gymnastics drills, free weights, and kettlebell exercises to stay fit.

You can e-mail Devin at