Meet The Owner

GrindTime Fitness was started 5 years ago by John Houston Smith. The gym model he created was based upon the need that he visualized in the fitness industry. Most gyms were full of machines and trainers but no one there to help with the nutritional side. So like many others, he struggled to find healthy options to couple with his training regimen. So he started a gym that provides unlimited training at a low cost, customized meal plans, and even added an on staff chef to help with meal prep for his members.

The handprint concept at GrindTime is the fun part. When you walk in you’ll see various handprints on the gym walls. The white handprints signify members who have lost up to 15 pounds. These members are usually the ones who just needed to “tone up”. The blue handprints represent members who have lost between 20 and 49 pounds. Lastly, the red handprints signify members who have lost 50 pounds and above. Every quarter John hosts a graduation to celebrate and honor those who stuck it out and achieved their goal.  

John’s appearance often confuses people because he has the build and presence of someone who may be mean, loud, and unaccepting. Don’t let the tattoos fool you. His approach is the exact opposite. He focuses on delivering overwhelming intentional kindness. He’s responsible for over 20,000 pounds of weight loss over the past 5 years that he’s been a trainer hence his nickname “The Fat Doctor”.

John knows EVERY SINGLE CLIENT by name. He uses a personal touch here at GrindTime so that members know that they are more than just a number or a dollar sign. John will challenge you to become the best version of yourself for yourself, He’ll even make you laugh while doing so.


GrindTime Fitness is a personal training facility that offers group training as well as one on one training. GrindTime Fitness also provides meal plans and meal prep to help those who find healthy eating to be a challenge.

GrindTime Fitness is a gym that aims to help encourage people to have a better quality of life through physical activity, encouragement, dedication, and healthy eating guidance.

We have a heart for the people we serve. Our ultimate goal is to help get Detroit healthy again. This is the gym where excuses are put away, limitations are broken, and physical results are achieved.

-John Smith