Local Fitness Check-in: Clay Fitness and Nutrition

Posted on September 27, 2013 by


© Clay FitnessCharlottesville loves itself some fitness, and thankfully we’re spoiled in this town with a plethora of options to chose from. Clay Fitness and Nutrition is totally different than anything I had tried in the past, which for the most part was the typical gym memberships. It’s given me a new perspective on how to work towards solid and healthy fitness  goals, and how to measure it in more ways than just 1 or 2 numbers, like weight or BMI.

“Clay is not a gym in the traditional sense of the word”

I had the chance to interview  Hyam Hosny, the founder and owner of Clay Fitness and Nutrition and get the full story! Find out more about their new community class series, what’s involved in a fitness assessment, how you can join and more.

How is Clay fitness different from a “normal gym”?

Clay is not a gym in the traditional sense of the word. We do not believe that gym memberships work for most people. People need guidance, accountability, coaching, and support. Statistics show that more than 70% of gym memberships are held by people who do not attend. We believe that is because people need an appointment or a class to attend, and a coach who is waiting for them with a plan. Clay provides personal training in a one-on-one setting, and in small groups as well as small classes that people can register for seasonally (rather than open-ended with no beginning or end date). We believe in assessments at the beginning and end of each season to further help clients celebrate their success and identify their next goal.

© Clay Fitness

How did you come up with the name “Clay”

When I was overweight, and out of shape, I remember feeling like I wished that someone could take my body (like molding Clay) and bring it back to the shape it was in prior to my weight gain.  After the weight came off and exercise was no longer such a painful process, I started to think of the parallel experience that happens for people inside their mind when they lose weight.  The transformation isn’t just physical, it’s emotional, and cerebral as they gain confidence to take on social challenges, work challenges, physical challenges and more.  The idea that we are malleable like Clay.

What is a fitness assessment like at Clay and what are the benefits?

Fitness assessment include checking weight, body composition (percent of body fat as compared to muscle and bone), a cardiovascular assessment test using a heart rate monitor and a muscular assessment across all major muscle groups.
Where did you get the idea for Clay Fitness, and how long has it taken for this dream to become a reality? I was an athlete in high school and college growing up with gymnastics, track, and dance. After getting married and having children, I gained a lot of weight and struggled to reclaim my athletic body. The process I went through to regain my fitness inspired me to want to help others reclaim, find, and hone their fitness. The process was a process of weight loss, and fitness gains, but moreover it was a process of regaining confidence, and feeling like I was willing to take more challenges in life. I left the corporate world to pursue a nutrition degree, and multiple certifications across different theories in training.

© Clay FitnessWhat is your education and training background and how did it lead you in this direction?

I am a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (and Columbia Teachers College in NYC). I am a certified personal trainer through ACE (American Council on Exercise), and I hold certifications in TRX, Spinning, and have done coursework around many topics in physical therapy and orthopedic health.

Did you grow up in Charlottesville? What are your favorite things about living here?

I grew up in Burke, Va, a small suburb outside of the Washington D.C. area. My husband, two kids and I moved here about 4 years ago leaving behind my business (also called Clay Fitness + Nutrition) in D.C. after my husband accepted a transfer. I have loved living in Charlottesville for the small town feel, and big city thinking. I enjoy being able to get somewhere quickly without the traffic of D.C., and love the mountains, the farmers markets, the local food community, the energy that UVA brings, as well as great schools and sports opportunities for my kids.

How can someone who’s never been to clay try it out, see if it fits them and their fitness needs?

We provide complementary movement screenings for all new clients. This means we spend some time learning about your fitness goals, exercise history, limitations around fitness, and history of any injuries. Next we go through a series of exercises to determine strengths, and weaknesses before coming up with a plan that allows a client to get where they want to go around their fitness. This sometimes includes exploration into their nutrition. We create a plan (classes or personal training as well as possibly nutrition counseling) based on that clients fitness, time available, and how much money that person can spend to get to their goal. We pride ourselves on being able to help ANYONE achieve their goals, and have recently created community classes and some free training to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to benefit from what we do.

© Clay Fitness

What are you most excited about for Clay Fitness this coming year?

I am most excited about seeing our community classes become more developed as well as growing our evening class population to reach more people. I am excited about seeing our ‘Change your Fitness, Change your Life’ contest winner, Aimee Carter continue gaining fitness, and demonstrating to our followers that ANYone can make a lifestyle out of becoming fit.