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  • The Core9 training model is functional in nature, based on military training. (Supplied)
Friends Craig and Jason have used their military and athletic pasts to bring fitness to the world. Now their business, Core9 is being franchised across the country.
By
LIN EVLIN, Presented by
LIN EVLIN

Source:
SBS Small Business Secrets
19 Oct - 9:45 AM  UPDATED 23 Oct - 10:34 AM

Craig and Jason are keeping fit thanks to their military and athletic pasts.  

Jason spent 15 years in the Navy, including two tours in Iraq and Somalia, before he and Craig became small business operators of fitness gym, Core9 in 2013.

Australia’s gym market is one of the world’s most saturated and returns about $2 billion in revenue annually according to industry research group, IBISWorld.   

The Core9 training model is functional in nature, each session includes 9 stations and people are guided by a personal trainer.

Jason says the workouts are influenced by his military past.

“The whole circuit itself is actually inspired by military training, due to the fact that it's got the lanes,” he says.

“So if you've got 200 men on an oval, you can't just have them standing anywhere.”

After Jason left the Defence force in 2015, he struggled to adjust back to everyday life.

“I think the biggest difficulty for myself, for15 years I was there, day in, day out - you know where you are, you know what you're doing,” he says.

“Your routines are structured, you're with your mates all the time and then all of a sudden when you’re in the outside world, you've got nothing.

“Your routines are structured, you're with your mates all the time and then all of a sudden when you’re in the outside world, you've got nothing".

“So you got to sort of try and re-build that.”

A turning point for Jason was joining forces with Craig. 

Together they opened the first Core9 gym in Manly, in Sydney’s northern beaches but encountered difficulties.

“So we've learned everything what not to do, and now we know everything, what to do,” says Craig.

“Our first ever Core9, we made the gym first and then pulled the front door out, (but) what we didn't know back then was the pre-sale,” adds Jason.

“So no paying clients before the first door opened.”

“We were walking down the streets with Santa hats on because it was coming up to Christmas, handing out flyers, working late at night.”

Through their business success, Craig and Jason hope to help veterans transition from the Defence force to another career.  

“From man management to just the hard working chuck your sleeves up, they get in there and they work their ass off,” says Jason.

“I think any military personnel is a perfect employee for any business owner.”

“I think any military personnel is a perfect employee for any business owner.”

“We want to bring them in to help them transition from the military into a successful business.”

The pair is driven to see the impact of their fitness routines on peoples' lives. 

Jason explains, "It’s really touching when we do get back in the clubs and we just talk to the current clients, current members.”

“Some of them open up to you and they’re so grateful, and it changes your life because you change theirs.”

Watch the full episode