The Dream

If you’ve always wanted to own a business or start a gym, just “build it and they will come.”

Just like Kevin Costner’s character in Field of Dreams, Les Whitley and Dave Ray had a vision - only theirs was a gym instead of a baseball diamond.

“The whole idea and concept came from our life’s passion – something we know we’ll never perfect – so in a sense, the pursuit of perfection is our lifelong dream,” Dave said. “We hope to continue to change people’s lives and wake up every day doing something we love. We learn something new about it everyday.”

“I can’t envision doing anything different,” Les said. “I’m fortunate to have this as my job.”

Les, Dave and one of their clients, Michael Cartwright, started Fit-Rx in Brentwood, Tennessee.

“Brentwood is an affluent area, and there are many corporate headquarters all within three miles of our gym,” Les said. “This makes it very convenient for our clients. Plus we couldn’t run through 500 clients a day, so we needed ones that could afford to pay for higher-end training.”

The Client

Fit-Rx attracts mostly 40 year-old executive males who are former college or high school athletes. They’ve had success in their business lives, but want to improve the quality of their lives by adding physical training back into the mix. Most want to lose weight, excel in athletic performance, or increase their strength and conditioning.

The athletic performance training is strength-based and is high school/college only with a very select group of athletes. Fit-Rx also trains professional athletes - primarily baseball - but their average clients “just want to look good naked.”

“Most of the clients that come to us aren’t intimidated by deadlifts or squats. Some may not do them very well, but…” joked Dave. “When we start training them, we hear a lot of comments like ‘this is how I used to train in high school.’”

The Equipment

Fit-Rx contains all EFS equipment. After asking Les and Dave why, I got a solid answer.

“We went with the best, if it’s good enough for Frey, Dave and Jim, our clients will be fine!” Les said.

Les and Dave decided that because of all the work that was put into their gym, they wanted quality. And to them, EFS made the best equipment.

“We always look for quality and attention to detail. The rack can accommodate someone that is short or tall.”

Les and Dave came to an EFS Fellowship meeting and had a chance to use some of the equipment. It didn’t take a lot of persuasion to get them to decide to purchase their equipment at EFS.

“The detail on the equipment just blew us away and we appreciate those little details every day,” Dave said. “It’s good to know our clients can drop equipment and it will still hold up over time.”

At Fit-Rx the favorite equipment appears to be the Prowler and the rack.

“I think anyone that owns a Prowler will tell you that they become famous very quickly,” Les said. “Our clients warn new ones about the Prowler, but they love them and always have great stories about the Prowler flu to share.”

The Research

“We pull information from a variety of sources, and seek out who we feel is the best in the industry in each niche,” Dave said. “It's our job to learn every day so we can take that information back to our clients.”

Les and Dave take their job as seriously as possible and do as much research as they can. Instead of watching Family Guy, they spend their Sunday nights watching guys squat on YouTube.

Here are their favorites at EFS: Jim and Dave for strength information, Alywn Cosgrove for fat loss, Justin Harris and Shelby Starnes for all of their nutritional information and Joe DeFranco is one of their best resources for sport specific training and programming.

Their core beliefs are in strength, conditioning, nutrition, mobility/flexibility, and corrective exercise. These are the topics they spend the most time researching. How much they study those areas depends on the needs of their clients. However, they feel these areas cover everything a client that wants to look good naked needs.

The Gym

The gym has a 3200 square-foot training area and 20 yards of turf. For the main equipment, it contains two Elite Collegiate racks and benches, and four Elite GHR’s. Fit-RX also has trap bars, fat bars, kettlebells, dumbells, rowing machines, a Tred Sled, three Prowlers, and medicine balls. Their primary offerings are small group (executive packages), ideal body program (everything they offer all in one package) and performance training.

The Future

Les and Dave have many dreams for the future. What limits them the most is space.

As far as equipment that would be able to fit in the facility, Les and Dave want to add a safety squat bar, reverse hyper and another rack or two. They also hope to host seminars and conferences.

Another big project is Michael’s idea of opening an in-patient treatment facility within the next two years. The facility will help people deal with obesity.

Michael was in the drug and alcohol treatment industry for over 15 years and wants to use that model to help others deal with weight and body composition issues. In this instance, the alcohol and drug treatment model would keep overweight people in a controlled environment. The environment empowers and encourages a healthy lifestyle change.

Many people come in the gym for an hour and then they aren’t seen again until 23 hours later when they come in for their next training session.

Those who participate in the program will live in an off-site area for a couple of months where they will be taught training methodologies, how to program their own diet and training, and how to successfully change their lifestyle. They will still come into Fit-Rx for their training. This will help them drop weight, and hopefully they will continue to utilize the habits they’ve learned in their everyday life.

The Reward

“When you have clients that thank us for what we do, it makes everything worth it,” Les said.

“Neither of us were good enough to play professional sports, so we live through others,” Dave said.


David Ray, M.S., is co-owner of Fit-Rx, located in Brentwood, Tennessee. He played baseball at Lyon College, where he also served as an assistant coach post-graduation. He has been in the health/fitness industry for over 8 years. Contact Dave at

Les Whitley, CSCS, is co-owner of Fit-Rx located in Brentwood, Tennessee. He is a former competitive powerlifter, strongman competitor and sponsored Scottish Highland Games Competitor. He has been in the health/fitness industry for over 16 years. Contact Les at

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