Just a Midtown Girl in a Fitness World
Blast CEO Missi Wolf is changing lives one workout at a time.
Looking at her, one would never guess that trim, 115-pound Midtown resident Missi Wolf was once obese. But prior to starting Blast in 2008, the former media buyer and marketing director had never exercised a day in her life.
“After I had my second child, I had high blood pressure and was at risk for a stroke and diabetes. I went on this two-year quest and ended up losing 100 pounds,” she says. “I was spending four hours a day working out and wanted a place to get my cardio, strength and resistance training and yoga done in an hour. I realized there was nothing out there that covered everything, so I gave it a shot.”
When Wolf first opened the doors to Blast, she offered three classes a day in Buckhead, then opened an Athens studio in 2011 and a Midtown location in 2014. “At one point I was teaching 25 classes a week,” she says. In the next three to five years, her team is poised to open 15 new studios nationwide.
“How we change people’s lives— there’s nothing else like it,” says Wolf, who herself exercises five to six times a week.
“It’s so empowering.” Read on to learn how Wolf stays successful, fit and healthy.
How has your role evolved since you launched Blast?
At first, I opened the doors at 5 a.m., checked everyone in, put out water and towels, taught the class, mopped the floors, did the marketing and followed up with clients. For the first three years, I had the calls forwarded to my cell phone. My kids, ages 8 and 10 when we opened, learned how to answer the phone—“Hi, this is Blast, how can we help you?” Now, I teach one class a week, but my role is really to get the right people on board and make sure we stay on track with the vision.
With so many new gyms popping up around town, how do you stay successful?
The way to stay relevant is by providing a stellar product and offering excellent customer service. We do one class every week for which everyone on staff donates their time, and clients pay $5 and we give the money from it to charity. Once a month, we host a free class for all the fitness instructors in the city.
What’s the biggest success story you’ve seen come out of Blast?
I have numerous clients who have lost upward of 100 pounds. I have tons of marathon runners or triathletes who have increased their personal records by leaps and bounds by incorporating Blast into their regimen. We have people who have been able to cut down or go off of their diabetic or blood pressure medicine.
What advice would you give to someone who’s never worked out and might be intimidated by Blast?
If you can walk, you can do Blast. You will always hear a runner, jogger and walker speed [called out]. The 206-pound, five-foot-tall Missi couldn’t walk without holding on to the treadmill’s railings. We have tons of people who do that, then three weeks later they’ve let go, then they move a little faster, then they’re jogging.
What are your favorite places to fuel your body before or after a workout?
My go-to is always one of Souper Jenny’s restaurants because I know that I’m getting everything organic, the most natural products you can have, and it is being made with love and care. I [also] love MetroFresh.
What do you do in your spare time?
I have a 17-year-old daughter who has been in alcohol and drug abuse recovery for 16 months, so I’m very involved in the addiction recovery community in Atlanta. I have a very cute boyfriend who is way younger. We’ve been together for three years. We do a lot of Piedmont Park, the BeltLine and going out to dinner.
What are your favorite local places to shop for workout gear?
I love my Lululemon. Their gear lasts forever.
STORY: Carly Cooper