Today we’d like to introduce you to Corey Critell.

Hi Corey, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?

I grew up as an overweight child who was constantly picked on for being a little nerdy and un-athletic. In 6th grade, I was cut from my middle school football team and was told by my coach I would never be big enough, strong enough or fast enough to play football at any level. Little did I know that conversation would turn into a lifelong pursuit to become the best version of myself in every aspect of my life, especially fitness and athletics. The next day I decided it was time for a change and created an at-home exercise routine that I did every single night before bed which ultimately led to my flabs turning to abs all by nothing but discipline and commitment.

By 9th grade, I was playing on the varsity football team, by 11th grade had won the 110% award for work ethic and by senior year, I was a Division 1 prospect for football and track and field at nearly any college I wanted to go to. Needless to say, Corey Critell was no longer that 6th grader with low self-esteem, I was now becoming who I would be for the rest of my life. I won my pro card in bodybuilding by 23 and started my own personal training business by 25. Simply put, what I understood was that if I could do it, then anybody can do it! Not just that but I needed to figure out a way to put myself in a position to help people do just that. When I was 21 years old, I dropped out of college after junior year and told myself I would own a gym one day. Had no idea how I was going to make that happen but I knew that if I was going to bet on anybody controlling the success of my life, then I wanted to bet on myself and nobody else.

By the time I was 30 years old, that dream finally became a reality with PHIT! PHIT stands for Prioritizing Health & Inspiring Transformation and we are here to do just that! There have been many ups and downs along the way to include losing a 7 figure personal training business to COVID last year. Life will always give us adversity and that we can not control but the difference between those people that make it and those that don’t is what you do with the things you can control when faced with adversity. I very easily could’ve gave up at any point since the beginning of this process but giving up has never been by nature. Giving up is easy but what happens when giving up is not an option. For me, I would never want to be on my death bed and look back at my life to think, “Damn, if I would’ve worked just a little bit harder, then I could’ve accomplished…” On the surface, we look like just another fitness center but if you look a little further, you’ll find that PHIT is here to transform as many lives as we can. Fitness changed my life forever and I would love nothing more than to help everyone else do the same thing!

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?

I don’t think any business venture is a smooth road, if so it is far and few between. One of the biggest struggles I’ve had to overcome was being separated from my daughter. With my training business, I had contracts with several gyms across the southeast and at times would have to move to work the business Monday-Friday. I drove back nearly every weekend to spend the weekends with her but the time I missed being involved in school or other activities Monday-Friday I can not get back. The goal was always to grow that business large enough to have the funds for my own facility, which we have now accomplished but it did not come without sacrifice.

The second biggest struggle would definitely be the COVID pandemic. When gyms were shut down last year, my personal training business, 180 Training, came to a screeching halt. I fought as best as I could to stay afloat with several things, from PPP funding to trying a transition to online training for my staff of 25-30 trainers but was not able to make it through. Fortunately, I was able to close on a Small Business Loan for our fitness center a week prior to the breakout of COVID news but plans for that facility were much different than what we were actually able to create. Some people call that luck, I call that God. Instead of sitting back and accepting failure, I spent my time focusing on how to better equip my new venture, to withstand adversity. That is what actually inspired the idea for PHIT. Our initial idea was to open a fitness center called 180 Fitness and operate like everyone else. After watching what happened to all the other fitness centers last year due to circumstances outside their control, I knew we needed to open a facility that was different than what anybody else has ever done, so I decided to focus on that and things I could control rather than what I couldn’t. Yes, PHIT is a gym but it’s so much more than that. PHIT is a brand. PHIT is the only company in the industry that is here to assist in every avenue of fitness, from Personal Training to meal prep to supplements to apparel, etc. We are the only facility that you can go to to get all of your fitness needs.

The way I see it is if our customer trusts PHIT to help them with one thing, there is no reason why we can’t help them with all their fitness needs. We are a one-stop shop for all things fitness. If another situation happens outside our control, our facility may close but we will still be able to assist with every other avenue of fitness to make sure people don’t put their health on the back burner, especially when poor health is a big cause for the reason we are in the situation we are in in the first place! In summary, there will always be things happen that we can not control but the key is to do the best with what you can control and trust God that all things will work out in his favor. What’s meant to be will be but it’s up to you to control the path so you end up at your desired destination.

Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about PHIT?

PHIT stands for Prioritizing Health and Inspiring Transformation. Our facility is here to be a one-stop-shop for all your fitness needs. If you need a place to exercise, you won’t find a better atmosphere. If you need guidance with your workouts, we offer unlimited personal training. If you need assistance with your diet, we make food for you. If you need products you can trust, our supplements are products I stand by. If you want to stay up to date on fashionable fitness apparel, we got your swag too!

So maybe we end on discussing what matters most to you and why?

What matters most to the PHITPHAM and myself is to make sure every one of our customers gets a great experience every time. When you walk into our facility or purchase any of our products or services, we simply want to improve your quality of life in every aspect. When you walk in our facility, we will great you by your first name and will make sure you have all the help you need to live a happy, healthy life.

Contact Info:


Corey Critell


My passion for fitness began after watching my mom go through her own 100lb+ weight loss journey. Watching her find confidence in herself through fitness helped me to do the same. When I was in 8th grade, I was cut from my middle school football team and decided I needed to take control of my life. I began a nightly routine of pushups, situps and squats that I did religiously for years. By the time I graduated high school, I had several division 1 scholarship offers across the US for football. The most important lesson I learned during that time was that you can either be a product of your environment or create your own environment. Fitness gave me a newfound confidence in myself that I could achieve anything, and I simply want other people to experience the same thing. Fitness will change your life if you let it!

Araksi Critell

Digital Marketing Manager

My passion for fitness began as a young adult when my sister bought me a gym membership. Little did my sister know that gift would turn into a career and a passion that would ultimately redirect the course of my life. I am a registered nurse and a competitive bodybuilder. After moving to Georgia from California, I chose to leave the nursing field to join my husband, Corey, in a business with the mission to Inspire Transformation through fitness.

Tyler Blaylock

General Manager

The reason I got into fitness is to have the opportunity to change someone’s life. When you can help someone change their life in one way, it will reflect in other areas of their life. I have seen this with working with real clients at PHIT, like Anthony. Anthony was someone who needed help in fitness to gain confidence professionally and personally. That discipline and confidence he gained carried over into other areas of his life, leading him to strive for even greater goals outside the gym (Inspire Transformation). I look forward to continued growth at PHIT under positive leadership where I get to be involved in a company who truly has an impact on people's lives.

Ellie Klarl

Operations Manager

My first time with a gym membership started like many people: not knowing what to do and ending up on the treadmill for most of the workout. I was fortunate enough to have my brother encourage me to venture to the weights and teach me the benefits of strength-training from the beginning. My foundation in fitness began with bodybuilding, which taught me a lot about discipline. Fast forward a few years, and I was faced with health challenges of my own. Fitness, health, and functionality took on a whole new meaning for me, as I was challenged to grow in my knowledge and perspective. Fitness gives me a quality of life that doctors didn't know was possible. I am passionate about being an example in the fitness industry and chose this career path to stay true to my values and help others find their own joy in movement.

Bree Thornton

Assistant General Manager

I was an athlete for the majority of my life, and my coaches had a tremendous impact on my life. They saw a light that I didn't see in myself and pushed me to be my best every single day. Their confidence in me ultimately led me to wanting to do the same for others. I enjoy encouraging people to push past their comfort zones because without that extra push, you may never realize what you're truly capable of!

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