Circle Of Inspiration // Carl Givens

Carl Givens is the owner of GIVEN100, a booming gym in St. Louis MO, and is a source of inspiration and motivation for the athletes he coaches in strength & conditioning. We met up with Carl at his gym for a workout and to talk about his journey. 

You coach kids, how important is it to instill confidence in them at a young age?

I believe in giving everyone the best version of themselves. What does the best version of YOU look like?

If you play basketball, if you can't shoot, what can we do to get your points up? What can we do to get you on the floor?

It’s my job to find that and maximize your potential.


Everyone has a turning point. When did you personally flip that switch and say "I’m pursuing what I'm passionate about"?

I have always looked at the end goal, and worked backwards.

In the beginning, I would work out with clients at a park. I always knew I wanted my own gym, but I knew it wasn’t going to be in the time frame I originally thought. The better I got at training, the more clients I could bring in.

The biggest thing with this is the market. People don’t tell you about marketing and how you can get people to come to YOUR gym. People don’t tell you about price points - that’s for me to find out. If I want to charge $50 to train, I’m gonna lose a lot of my customers. If I’m charging $10, now I’m losing the coaching time that I want to give. I have to choose my price point accordingly.

At the end of the day, once you build your business the way you want, people will sell it for you. All I had to do is light the fire and let it go from there.

What is your personal inspiration?

I hate losing. Before being successful, you have an ego of all the accomplishments before. When you go into owning your own business, to be successful over time, you’re gonna have to have to lose the ego.

If you can’t adjust and deal with what’s in front of you, then you don't grow.

I remember when I was charging $35 a session. I realized that the amount of clients I had weren’t growing, so I looked at lowering my price point a bit. I could bring more people in that could motivate each other with my coaching.

You’ve become better at self assessment from owning your own business?

Yes, I kept a good group of people around me.

If you have a group of people around you who ask you "What’s next? Where we going? How can we get there? Let’s celebrate the success, but let’s also keep grinding." It’s part of the culture. It’s like, alright let’s enjoy it for a second, but don’t forget the goal.

I like it when a year or two later, someone comes up to me and says "oh you did that shit!" It’s like Will Smith said, "I'm just laying one brick a day. I’m gonna lay that brick as best as I can for that day, come back the next day and do it over and over. If I keep doing that, eventually I have a house." That’s what I’m doing.

Love the journey of following your heart and pursuing your passion. HOMS Spotlight Interview Series are part of the Circle of Inspiration artist community founded by Karl Schmitz. Find out more about Carl and his gym GIVEN100 @given100 and don’t forget to share YOUR story with #iwearmyHOMS.


  • Love it

  • That was a awesome interview

  • Coach Carl has worked with my teenage daughter for over a year now. She set some fitness and soccer goals and she has crushed those goals this year! And it’s all because of Coach Carl! He not only gets their bodies in shape, he instills self confidence and helps his athletes feel good about themselves. We love Coach Carl!!!

    Amy Steinhoff

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