Eric “Fitman” Brown, the owner and founder of the Fitman Performance and Physique Center in Roslyn, took home two second-place finishes this past weekend at the 2023 NGA Mr. Natural Philadelphia bodybuilding competition in Trevose. He medaled in Open Bodybuilding and in Open Classic Physique during his debut as a professional natural bodybuilder.
“It was a new experience being up there with some veteran professionals for the first time. This was a great challenge and there are few things in life that appeal to me more than a challenge,” he said. “There was some very tough competition. It was an honor to be on the same stage with my fellow pros.”
“That does not mean I’m happy with second place,” he said, laughing. “But like I tell my athletes, your winning and losing should be handled the same way, both with dignity and professionalism. There is no room for excuses, you just have to get better. You have to accept that sometimes in life you can be at your presumed best and still lose. But that loss should not end your journey.”
Eric’s journey to the professional natural bodybuilding podium includes a journey to owning and opening his own gym. His inspiration for what is now the Fitman Performance and Physique Center began in 2002 when he was a track and field student-athlete at East Stroudsburg University.
“We took a track and field trip for spring break to NC State, a D1 school. It still ranks as one of the greatest trips of my life as I got to briefly meet former Olympic gold medalist Marion Jones. We were able to train in their weight room, and I said to myself, ‘I have to have this at some point in life.’ That was the first time, at age 18 that I realized I’d love to own a gym,” Eric said.
He began personal training as a side hustle in 2009 at the Bally’s Total Fitness in Willow Grove and later transferred to the Bally’s in Cheltenham. At this point, things started taking off.
“I was unsuccessful as a trainer early on. I was not putting in the work on the business side to attract clients. When I got to Cheltenham I made a deal with myself that if I did not increase my clients by August of 2009, I would quit as a personal trainer. I put in some real work and the rest is history.”
“I became one of the top trainers in the area for getting results for clients. I started my own business
and went independent in 2010,” he said.
“The lesson to be learned here is that you cannot expect to have success when you are not putting in
the work. And sometimes, even if you are putting in the work, that success will not be instant. I worked
at multiple gyms on the road to getting my own gym. Success requires struggle.”
Eric parlayed his success as a personal trainer to a warehouse in Roslyn, which he secured by deposit in 2016.
In January 2017, the Fitman Performance and Physique Center was officially open for business.
“We had a phenomenal year in 2019. The gym was booming and I was training a great deal of high
school athletes and natural bodybuilders. Then in March 2020, the pandemic came and we got rocked.
We lost 80% of our clients within 2 weeks,” he said. “Once we got into the summer of 2021, things
started to bounce back. We’re back to being a great fitness community.”
While the area is saturated with gyms, Eric notes that what sets his Center apart is its focus on high
“Everybody is welcome at the Center, but the Center is not for everybody. My primary target clientele is
athletes, natural bodybuilders, and fitness enthusiasts. But you don’t have to be a pro athlete or want
to step on a bodybuilding stage to work with me. You could be that father who wants to get back into
shape to play sports with his kids or that bride who wants to look great for her wedding. You just need
to be focused on self-improvement. And I’ll be more than willing to work with you.”
The center also emphasizes a nutritional piece and a holistic program which teaches clients how to eat, what to eat, and more importantly, how much to eat.
“We try to help our clients make better decisions. Our lifeblood is accountability and consistency, and our calling card is patience. The results will come if you give them time. The body thrives on consistency with eating, sleeping, stress management, and then exercising,” he said.
For more on the Fitman Performance and Physique Center, which is located at 1518 Easton Road Unit #10, in Roslyn, you can visit his website at FitmanClassicBodybuilding.com. You can also call Fitman at
The Center at 267-460-1790 to set up a consultation.
You can also check out this video, “Fitman presents: The Journey to Opening My Gym”: