Reaching for Peak Condition
Jamie Scott challenges Columbia on health and fitness
Jamie Scott has parlayed his passion for healthy living into a city-wide brand, Jamie Scott Fitness, that includes a full-service gym, nutrition counseling, cooking lessons and meal labeling with local restaurants.
Jamie Scott began his career with a bang. The gunshot that started his victorious 1997 world championship Junior Olympic 100-meter race also ignited a passion for health and fitness – a passion that has made a tremendous mark on the Midlands community. That victory was the culmination of years of hard work for the Mullins, S.C. high-schooler, but it was also the beginning of his future as a heavily-recruited running back and a winner of football scholarships to both U.S.C. and South Carolina State University.
Today, Jamie is an astute entrepreneur and inspirational community figure. He credits his successes to his mentor, Pat Moore – his strength coach while with the Gamecocks – as well as his voracious approach to life’s opportunities and his enduring commitment to keeping his mind and body in peak condition to meet any challenges that come his way.
The latest expression of Jamie’s passion for healthy living is the launch of the new location for his gym, Jamie Scott Fitness, in the Cross Hill Market development opening in December. Jamie is thrilled about the expansion afforded by this move, which will allow for such innovative additions as a “yoga wall” for performing gravity-defying yoga poses and a barre for practicing a challenging blend of Pilates and ballet known as Booty Barre. These courses join a full-service weight and machine room and an ever-increasing roster of classes – from bodyCIRCUIT to STRENGTH – that provide such an engaging and effective workout that patrons are eager to prioritize gym time in their hectic schedules.
The emphasis on working out is one component in a constellation of daily healthful lifestyle choices that serve as the cornerstone of Jamie’s vision for his brand.
“We’re focused on wellness, not fitness,” Jamie says. “When a person comes to us, we perform assessments of their fitness levels in various regards, such as bone density readings and EKGs, and use these factors to tailor their workouts. They’ll know exactly how they need to train and what areas they need to work on.”
For example, Jamie may decide based on a client’s bone density results that he or she would benefit more from weight-bearing exercise than cycling. He also works with clients on their nutritional profiles as well, targeting not only their goals for muscle tone or weight gain, but also brainstorming with them on how to weave positive changes into a sustainable healthy lifestyle.
One of the hallmarks of the Jamie Scott Fitness brand is extending this idea of wellness as a lifestyle into the Midlands community at large. Jamie has adopted a unique approach he calls “meal labeling,” which involves working with some of his favorite local restaurants to recommend menu items that fit the profile of a healthful and satisfying option when dining out. The three places he is currently working with are Moe’s Grapevine, Zoe’s Kitchen and Devine Foods. One of his preferred dishes at Moe’s Grapevine is whole grain pasta with a piece of lightly blackened salmon and roasted vegetables, a meal that includes an ideal trifecta of whole grains, lean protein and vegetables.
Jamie came up with the idea for meal labeling when he found himself too busy to fix healthy meals between his demands as the nutritional counselor and head strength coach at Hammond School, founder of Jamie Scott Fitness and his myriad community commitments. He sought out the kind of dishes he needed to keep his own energy up and empty calorie intake down and found that the general public of Columbia could benefit by consuming restaurant meals using the same criteria he holds for himself. Jamie hopes to expand this non-profit endeavor to more local restaurants to help the city’s population incorporate a healthy lifestyle into their packed schedules.
Jamie also has a vision for collaborating with the forthcoming Whole Foods, his neighbor at Cross Hill Market. He plans to work with the acclaimed natural and organic grocery store to offer nutrition counseling, create sample menus, explore innovative food options and lead tours through the store to model positive shopping habits to clients. He also is developing plans to form an alliance with Columbia Cooks, another neighboring venture. Jamie is exuberant about the idea of customers being able to tend to their bodies by training in his gym, and then purchasing and learning to prepare meals through these two new resources. These newest manifestations of his ever-expanding brand complement his current endeavors: creating and implementing corporate fitness plans for companies locally and along the east coast, supporting the non-profit Mental Illness Recovery Center and transforming the athletic department at Hammond School.
Jamie joined the Hammond community in 2001 after earning a Masters in Education and an Education Specialist degree. He fondly recalls Hammond’s previous headmaster, Dr. Herb Barks, taking him under his wing. “I started out as a maintenance man at Hammond in January 2001. Dr. Barks saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself and asked me to run the weight room. This January, I will have been there for 10 years,” he reflects.
Jamie’s creative business mind and supportive, yet challenging, management and coaching style will serve him well as he uses Jamie Scott Fitness as a platform to extend his community spirit throughout Columbia.
JAMIE SCOTT’S TOP FIVE FITNESS TIPS
1. Cut out excess sodium and refined wheat/sugars. In practical terms, eradicate or limit soda, energy drinks, white bread, wheat, pasta and sugary cereal from your diet.
2. Pre-pack portioned items you can combine as small meals/snacks to eat throughout the day. Suggestions include as a container of baby tomatoes, Babybel cheeses, carrots, yogurt with granola or fruit. Have this readily available when you get hungry to avoid reaching for unhealthy snacks.
3. If you are bored by gym activities like the treadmill and bike, sign up for classes to get exercise in a small group environment.
4. Don’t totally deny yourself aspects of an unhealthy lifestyle, or view the odd indulgence as “cheating,” because this may cause your lifestyle overhaul to derail altogether. Instead allow yourself the occasional lazy day, ice cream, etc. Depriving yourself causes you to obsess about what you’re missing and is the difference between a diet and a lifestyle.
5. Make healthy eating and exercise into a ritual as embedded in your daily life as going to work and making dinner. If you view it as a given aspect of your day instead of something that you “squeeze in,” it becomes a priority.