If you walk into the lobby of Tulsa Fitness Systems, you will see in big letters on the wall, “Fit is not a destination, it is a way of life.”.

That is the life that Clint and Kara Howard have lived since they met at the University of Oklahoma in the early 2000’s.

Clint and Kara opened Tulsa Fitness Systems in January of 2011 with the hope of attracting a client base that desired to improve their fitness and health through physical training.

“Our goal is to train with a purpose,” Clint said. “We train in a system style, which is why we chose to have Tulsa Fitness Systems in our name. We don’t just show up and do hard workouts. Everything we do has a purpose. We set goals and we work to achieve them through our training sessions.”

Tulsa Fitness Systems is located at 8624 S. Peoria Avenue in Tulsa. They have the capability of doing inside and outside workouts, but that wasn’t always the case for the Howards.

Clint and Kara graduated from OU, opened their first business in Norman and got married all in 2004 and after a year of running a successful personal training business, the couple decided to move to south Tulsa.

Kara was born and raised in south Tulsa and attended Jenks Public Schools, where she graduated high school. Her family was here, and she and Clint decided this is where they wanted their home to be.

Once they moved back, Kara began working as a pharmacist, while Clint opened a personal training studio in Bixby and still managed his studio in Norman. Clint would drive to Norman once a week and make sure his business was running the way he wanted it.

After his Bixby location was doing well, he decided to open another studio in south Tulsa. Several clients he had in his Norman location approached him about buying him out, so he could focus on his Tulsa-area locations.

Clint took the opportunity and sold his Norman studio.

In January of 2009, Clint saw an opportunity to take advantage of the new “group training” dynamic that was sweeping across the nation. He started a women-only outdoor boot camp that met at 97th and Riverside.

Clint and Kara Howard have turned Tulsa Fitness Systems into one of the premier training facilities in the state. Photo/Courtesy

The boot camp started with 10 women in January and grew to 160 women by May of 2009. Clint ran the boot camp for two years and then decided it was time to look for a facility, as the weather elements were starting to take their toll on the group.

“There was only so much you could do outside,” Clint said. “We were always fighting the weather conditions. At that time, I was starting to train some high school athletic teams in the area and I was ready to sell the (personal training) studio and focus on the boot camp and find us a facility we could use and call our own.”

That is when Clint found the facility they are in today with Tulsa Fitness Systems. He said they did not have much equipment, but they were able to get some equipment to start out and kept adding more as they grew.

Tulsa Fitness Systems started with just women training, but several of the clients asked Clint if their husbands could come. Clint decided he would open several of his sessions up to men and make them co-ed. He said his fear was he didn’t know how the women who trained with him would react to having men in the room with them.

After several years, Clint realized the men and women got along well and decided to make all of his sessions at Tulsa Fitness Systems co-ed.

“We just wanted to create a family-friendly environment,” Clint said. “We have a specific type of client we want training with us. We want to work hard and train hard, but don’t want to create a competition against one another. We want people to enjoy being around each other and working hard to achieve their personal goals.”

Another difference Tulsa Fitness Systems provides from other fitness facilities is the style in which they train.

“We don’t want our clients to deal with an injury,” Clint said. “That is not what we are about. We want people to feel better about themselves when they train here, not feel worse because they are injured. Our workouts are designed for the total body and the different plains of movement.”

Clint said he spent a lot of time in college because he loved to learn, but he is always educating himself on the new and upcoming things in fitness.

“I study more now than I did in college,” Clint said. “I try to stay on top of everything because you never settle, you can always do better.”

On top of training his clients at Tulsa Fitness Systems, Clint also trains the boys and girls golf teams at Jenks High School, as well as the Jenks High School wrestling team.

“Our goal is to get the people who train with us to look better, feel better and move better,” Clint said.

Kara is also a big part of Tulsa Fitness Systems. She will train sometimes, but she handles the business side of the operation and the marketing for the business.

Clint said the goal is to keep growing.

“We want to keep growing and improving. I love to train and I love to help people.”

Kyle Salomon

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