This is a part of our Q+A series. Know someone we should interview? Nominate them here.
Profile: Jeff Liggon — co-owner of The Fit on Monroe — an esteemed trainer, strength coach + community supporter.
Join us for a conversation with a long-time Madisonian who’s spent over a decade building a neighborhood space honoring wellness and exercise science.
Q: Let’s start from the beginning.
A: I come from the tradition of athletics […] I played college football Division 1 and ran track and field. My degree and educational background is in exercise sciences and sociology […] Then I did a year of graduate studies at Tulane in Public Health and Health Administration with a concentration in nutrition.
Q: What were the post-graduate plans?
A: After having done that [school], I had some prospects. I worked out for the Chicago Bears and a couple other teams, a Canadian team, nothing happened. That turned into wanting to coach college football — so I got into strength and conditioning.
Q: With that goal in mind, what came next?
A: I became the coordinator of football strength conditioning at Northwestern University. A year later, Colorado offered me a position I couldn’t refuse — to just kind of run the football strength conditioning program. And, you know, basically be on the football staff.
Q: Tell me about the transition from college athletics to community fitness
A: So I was like, you know what? I really love training people. I’m gonna try to bring what I did in strength conditioning at Northwestern University and Colorado, into the lay person’s training world, right? And the Fit came out of that.
Q: And so The Fit was born, where did you pop up?
A: Originally, we were down the street in Mystery to Me — the bookstore. It was a great space for starting out. People came in, we started with small groups, we’re doing some personal training. And it just grew really, really quickly.
Q: What’s the M.O. for the gym?
A: We want to keep our classes and our training at a high level + high standard — we will never change that. Our standards are really, really high. But we do it especially because we have a certain commitment to not necessarily perfection, but technical accuracy.
Q: Where does the exercise science come into play?
A: We take [clients] through an assessment, and say you know you have an imbalance in your shoulder, right? And you have this hip issue, right? And your hamstrings are a little tight, right? So what we have to do now is get you to a place where we can balance those things out, and then we can get after it.
Q: What advice do you have for someone looking to venture into beginners fitness?
A: Resources are different now than they were years ago, because the internet exists. There are some very credible spaces online that people can go to to gain a better understanding of fitness and exercise. Broaden your scope + go to several different places to get a better sense of what is right and what is wrong. It’s almost like politics.
Q: Tell me about the writing on the walls
A: This is about goal setting. It could be meditating a few times a week, doing a pull up, reading 50 books. We are open to any goals so long as you are working towards something. It’s how we keep evolving.
Q: What’s next for The Fit?
A: We’ve got some stuff coming in the fall, we’re concentrating a lot on our semi-private training to get people into a space where they can focus more on their specific goals and wellness.