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Weston Fitness Studio Defies Economy and Thrives

Downturn not a deterrent for owner of Boston Post Road facility, who says "people always need help" with their health.

Fitness trainer Mia Pye’s long career in the field of fitness is one she thinks of as a happy accident.

Raised in Littleton, Mass., Pye said she struggled in school and was unsure what direction her life would take until a stint working at a tanning studio in Boston led to job at a gym, resulting in a decades-long career in fitness that has included “climbing up the ranks in the Boston fitness community” and working in Los Angeles as a celebrity trainer, she said.

These days, Pye hones her craft at Body by Design on Boston Post Road in Weston, a by-appointment fitness studio she bought in 2009 after deciding it was time to go into business for herself. Since that time, she has accrued a “loyal client base” comprised of Weston residents as well as those who travel from nearby towns and some not so near, including Acton and Lowell.

“For those who travel (to Weston), it’s like a getaway,” she said. “The town is so pretty and people seem not to mind traveling here.”

While —Pye herself said it was “very scary” to buy a business in 2009—she said she knew it was time to move forward, down economy or not.

And while she acknowledged the difficulty in getting a new business up and running in such times, Pye said, “I have no regrets. I love what I do, I love coming into work every day, and people always need help with their health.”

It’s help they can get in a variety of ways at Body by Design, said Pye. In addition to studio appointments, fitness enthusiasts can schedule in-home visits with Pye, who said that she offers a sliding scale to make her gym accessible for those struggling to pay the going rate.

“I don’t turn anyone away,” she said.

Other key differences in her approach to fitness, she said, are the artistry and education she aims to bring to each client.

“I’m creative by nature, so I design workouts tailored to each individual. It’s actually a very artsy process for me,” she said. “People pick up on the fact that they’ll never know what to expect from workout to workout, and they like that.” 

What's more, she said, “After six months, clients know every muscle in their bodies, they know how to breathe correctly, they know the correct range of motion."

On a recent afternoon, client Sandy Nowlan came in for a session at Body by Design, first warming up on a treadmill before Pye demonstrated a variety of techniques, ensuring Nowlan was comfortable with each before moving on.

“Training is a sport and like any sport, there are certain fundamentals you need to master,” said Pye. “If you’re my client, I’m going to set you up so you understand what you’re doing and you don’t ever need a trainer again.”

Editor's note: Body by Design is the second of several small businesses that Weston Patch will profile this month. Look for the profiles on Monday afternoons.

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