The unconventional transformation of entrepreneur Cory Waller: A story of radical change and success

Welcome to The Roadmap on, where we bring you the inspiring stories of entrepreneurs and business leaders. Today, host Lee Heisman sits down with Cory Waller, the mastermind behind the transformative Cory Waller Way. Waller shares his unique journey from military service to fitness entrepreneurship, revealing how his innovative boot camp philosophy has not just changed, but transformed the lives of many. 

Key Takeaways 

1. Cory Waller’s passion for fitness began in childhood, inspired by TV wrestlers such as Rick Flair and Tony Atlas. Intrigued by their physique, Cory requested weights instead of toys at a young age. This early interest in fitness set the stage for his future career as he aimed to comprehend and imitate the physical abilities he admired on television.

2. Waller emphasized the vital link between wellness, mental agility, and achieving goals while serving as an infantry medic in the military. He firsthand observed how proper nutrition, sleep, and hydration were crucial for physical performance during demanding tasks such as 25-mile road marches. This comprehensive approach to health became a fundamental aspect of his fitness philosophy, highlighting the significance of overall well-being.

3. A fortuitous encounter with Steve Uriah in Buckhead, Atlanta, altered Cory’s career path. Inspired by Uriah’s success in personal training, Cory realized that he could transform his passion for fitness into a lucrative career. He left his part-time job and pursued personal training full-time, eventually opening one of Atlanta’s first personal training studios. This pivotal moment underscored the potential of aligning one’s career with personal passions.

4. Furthermore, Walker introduced the boot camp concept to Buckhead, merging military discipline with civilian fitness. His boot camps gained popularity for their unconventional approach, incorporating outdoor workouts with minimal amenities. To maintain engagement, Cory implemented innovative incentives, including high-end rewards, to motivate participants. This approach retained clients and yielded impressive results, demonstrating the effectiveness and appeal of reward-based fitness programs.

5. However, Walker’s boot camps attracted mostly female clients, prompting him to acknowledge the distinct dynamics of female group fitness. He observed a strong sense of community and support among the women, which drove their participation and success. Leveraging his wife’s fitness journey, Cory tailored his programs to address the specific needs and challenges women encounter. This strategy fostered a supportive environment where participants motivated each other and felt connected, emphasizing the power of community in fitness.

"Bring me your jeans, I'll get you in them in eight weeks." - Cory Waller