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Recognizing 100 CEOs & C-level Executives

Jonathan Cerf

CEO & Founder

Core Progression Elite Personal Training

Location: Denver, CO

Founded: 2008

Industry: Fitness


Jonathan Cerf graduated from Baylor University, moved back to Colorado and got a job at 24 Hour Fitness. It was supposed to be a stopgap job before he enrolled in dental school in Boulder. While at that fitness job, though, he saw a demand for a different kind of training, one that was more personalized. That was the impetus for him to launch Core Progression in 2008.

“Core Progression is the ultimate personal training experience in a boutique fitness setting,” the company said. “We give our clients a 360-degree approach to their health and wellness by focusing on nutrition, weight training, supplementation, physical therapy and chiropractic. We believe that everyone should have the chance to change their life through exercise.”

Cerf opened his first location, living in the space above the retail location. “The biggest risk I took was when I opened my first location,” Cerf said. “At the time it was investing almost all the resources I had and fully committing to a space for the company. I was 25 years old, and I knew that if it didn’t take that risk I would never fully know how well this concept would do. Since then, I have had much larger financial risks, but I am operating from a much different position.”

Within three months, Core outgrew its one location and Cerf expanded into the space next door. After one year, the company moved to a much larger location down the street. Core then opened its second location in 2012 and continued to focus on refining its business model. Today, Core Progression has seven locations in the Denver metro area and one location in Austin, Texas, and it has helped transform the lives of thousands of people.

In the next five years, Cerf expects to expand Core to 50 locations in Colorado, Texas, Arizona, Florida, Tennessee, Georgia and the Carolinas. He anticipates the company growing to 75 employees and 45 independent contractors with revenues that exceed $30 million. Core plans to acquire 15 more properties over the next five years.

“This will allow us to create more jobs and help thousands of individuals experience getting healthy and transforming their lives with exercise,” Cerf said. “Continuing to create jobs and give people a chance to experience the ultimate training experience is why we exist. Health and wellness will continue to be a priority, and I want to be leading that charge across the country with Core Progression locations dotting the landscape.”

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Jonathan is an avid golfer and traveler, he loves to explore new countries and cities and has a passion for adventure and great food.


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