Johnathon Q. Brooks had been on a journey. He began his soul searching to try and glean his overall purpose through books. He said his top two books were "The Secret," by Rhonda Byrne and "48 Days To The Work You Love," by Dan Miller.
These self-exploration books guided him to narrow his list down.
“‘The Secret’ was the most powerful book I've read. It allowed me to pray on another level. What you think about the most or focus on the most becomes reality," said Brooks.
Brooks’ fitness journey started with athletics. Athletics has always been his passion. He was involved in football, basketball and track. He planned to focus on track while in college.
Brooks attended Florida State University with an interest in exercise science and pre-medicine. Unfortunately, during his freshman year Brooks injured his ACL, PCL, meniscus and had to go through reconstructive surgery. He then decided to let athletics go in college.
In the midst of trying to decide on his career Brooks focused on the lifestyle that a career would bring. He questioned the life outside that specific career and how the job affected one’s lifestyle. With his interest in medicine, Brooks spoke to and shadowed a couple of doctors, discovering that he wasn't a big fan of their lifestyle.
Before graduating FSU in 2012 Brooks changed his major to family and child science psychology. After graduating he worked at Tallahassee Memorial’s mental health center.
During this time Brooks was living in his "camper van,” which allowed him to save and read many books. He was eating better because he simplified everything around him. He said that those nights in the van were when he had the greatest ideas because there wasn't much going on around him. In the hospital he taught a class called "brain gym,” which he enjoyed. The class involved physical and cognitive games for his patients who all had different levels of mental illness. Through this class he grew closer with his patients and that gave him a new perspective on a possible career.
Brooks quit his job at the hospital and began researching fitness programs using his psychology field to find out different results that would be more effective whether it was in group workouts or one-on-one personal training. In the process Brooks discovered his ideal lifestyle.
He started his first boot camp about three years ago in a neighboring gym. He didn't have much but $100 to begin with.
He made about 1,000 brochures and started to hand them out wherever he went. Brooks also contacted everyone in his phone introducing his new project.
He started with 22 people. In eight weeks it turned into 44 people, then 60, and then 80 people. In eight months there were more than 100 people joining the fitness program and the number kept increasing.
It was time to branch out and move into his own space.
"We saw how good John was with setting up a weight loss program. My wife and I decided to move with him to keep our progress going. I've seen weight loss, muscle gain and I have gotten stronger. Running a lot helped my endurance and I would absolutely recommend John," said Byron Roiser.
John Q's fitness studio is located at 1303 S. Monroe St. This building became Brooks’ home and he made major sacrifices to avoid loans or business debts. Brooks moved into his gym with an air mattress and mini fridge. He was willing to minimize his cost of living to put all the money coming in into the business. He believed six months staying at the gym was minuscule to what the future holds.
During that time he read many entrepreneurial books repeatedly. He learned to fix the building when it came to plumbing, putting bricks in the wall, painting, bathroom, installing water fountains and more. If he didn't know he would reach out to clients, Google, YouTube, Pinterest or spend a day at Home Depot. He saved thousands of dollars in construction work in his building.
Living in his building allowed him to work overtime and the gym grew at a faster rate than an average gym.
The New You Fitness Studio is part of the Cascades project. So there will be new renovations coming after the year of 2020.
His goal is to keep the diversity in his original building, keep his core clientele, stay affordable and maintain more than one demographic.
Brooks had to remain unselfish and made sure he stayed focused on the bigger picture.
He eliminated all distractions and any negative energy around him. He knew that surrounding himself with only positivity can allow him to get where he needed to go.
Brooks was known to kick people out of his gym if they brought any type of negativity. He doesn't even like people talking bad about themselves because it could rub off on him. He mastered his frequency to only allow people on the same path and obtained the same positivity around him. Otherwise, he is willing to cut anyone off.
This career is not just about fitness for Brooks. It's about a person's overall wellbeing, practicing a disciplined lifestyle and opening the door to other aspects of life such as mental health, relationships and emotions. He has built a strong team which includes grads from FAMU and FSU.
The gym now holds spin classes, yoga, Zumba, boot camp, chair classes and more. He works with other trainers sharing his knowledge and encourages them to know your craft.
"Being diagnosed with high blood pressure made me join the gym. He has helped me conditioning wise and my blood pressure has gone down. He has changed the whole look and feel of my body. I am very happy with my results," said Al Arnold.
The New You Fitness Studio is usually open from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday. For more information, call 850-765-5608.