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Updated: March 7, 2022 On the Record

On the Record: Fitness entrepreneur Anthony Oglesby goes ‘all out’ in Augusta

Anthony Oglesby on workout equipment in the gym Photo / Jim Neuger Anthony Oglesby, owner of All Out Fitness, at his newly opened club in Augusta

Anthony Oglesby is a serial entrepreneur who recently opened All Out Fitness in Augusta’s Turnpike Mall, his second fitness club location after Penacook, N.H. Mainebiz caught up with the Brooklyn, N.Y., native to find out more about the business and his growth plans.

Mainebiz: Why open your first Maine gym in Augusta?

Anthony Oglesby: Augusta is extremely underserved, and people don’t look at it like Portland. The first time I visited downtown Augusta and started walking around, I thought, ‘This is beautiful, and this is going to be next Portsmouth [N.H.].’ It’s a city that’s trending upwards with a lot of culture and it’s a great fit for All Out Fitness. With Portland, everybody goes there but nobody lives there because it’s too expensive. I’m originally from New York, so I know all about that.

MB: Why open in a mall with so many vacancies?

AO: I prefer empty plazas because the parking is great and I bring the clients, so my traffic count will help bring more businesses to the area. I also got a 17,300-square-foot space for a very attractive rental price, as opposed to triple the amount other landlords are charging in busy plazas.

MB: How did you get into the fitness field?

AO: A friend of mine who’s a pro golfer introduced me to the founder of Planet Fitness, who gave me a job after I graduated from Plymouth State University. I started working for him for $8 an hour at a gym in Concord [N.H.], but quickly decided I could do more with my college degree. I ended up getting a small ownership in a Planet Fitness franchise, working my way up to regional manager and owner of locations across several states. I left Planet Fitness when the franchise was sold to a venture capital group and started All Out Fitness in 2017.

MB: What has it been like building a brand from scratch?

AO: The difficulty came from being the only person making all the decisions and having to do all the little things you don’t pay attention to when part of a group. I had to take on every role from the logo to the name to the mission — all of which I wasn’t prepared to do, but I knew I had to. I opened my first location in Penacook in 2017 as an independent business, so it’s not a franchise.

MB: What else can you share about your business model?

AO: Looking at CrossFit and Orangetheory Fitness, I found that what was helping them grow was the camaraderie with both staff members and customers — you need to be more than a number, you need to be more than a checking account, so that’s what we try to create at All Out Fitness.

MB: And how do you create that camaraderie?

AO: You get to know everybody who comes in, you get to know the neighborhood, you see people at the local restaurants, and you get to know your members.

MB: You offer monthly rates of $19.99 and $39.99, the latter of which includes unlimited haircuts and manicures. Why?

AO: Just like a barber shop is a place where people love to socialize, we’re trying to create the same atmosphere at our clubs. It allows you time to relax and take care of your mental health.

MB: Did you encounter any hiring problems in today’s tight labor market?

AO: I interviewed 45 and narrowed it down to my best 25, so I had no problem. We’re currently at 13 and I’m looking to hire two more, and eventually be at 20 to 24 employees. I’m paying way above minimum wage, and I’m also going with no manager to look over people’s shoulders. People need to take pride in what they’re doing, so why not split that salary among employees?

MB: What are your long-term plans for the business?

AO: I’m starting construction of my third club, in New Milford, Conn., and I will go anywhere where there’s opportunity. Maybe I can eventually have three or four in Maine, but probably no more than that. I want to grow, but I also don’t want to lose my focus, which is making people healthy and empowering them to be successful.

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