Young Guns: Fitness entrepreneur Joshua Cameron punches life back into empty gyms

The former boxing champion co-founded LC Fitness Management in 2022

Growing up in Windsor, Ontario, Joshua Cameron dealt with bullies both at school and in the neighbourhood he lived in. Once, he says, he wrote on a piece of paper that he would someday move to Vancouver and start his own business. It took him 15 years to manifest that into reality, but in the meantime, he started and finished an entire career as a boxer.

Cameron’s first boxing tournament was the Ringside World Championship in Kansas City. “There were four different rings inside this hotel,” he describes, “with fights going on all day long for four days straight. I saw boxers from all over the world: Ireland, Kazakhstan, Mexico. The culture of boxing—I got to see the mecca of it. Every single state was there. It was amazing because when you’re from a small blue-collar town, you don’t come from much, you don’t really experience things like that.”

Cameron arrived at the venue as a 12-year-old kid from Canada, but he left it having won the U13 championship. That win changed his life, he says, and propelled him to take on boxing as a career.

For the next 14 years, he boxed professionally. Out of the 185 fights he fought in that time, he says he won 150. Then, with titles like “national champion” and “Olympic trials finalist” under his belt, he made that move to Vancouver to start his own business.

Cameron started teaching boxing on beaches, in parks and, eventually, at a garage in Kitsilano, but when COVID hit, he lost all his clients. Fortunately, he had also been working as a boxing coach at the Vancouver Club, where he met personal trainer, kinesiologist and future business partner Mike Lemme.

The pair ran the social club’s fitness centre together, and over the years they noticed a gap in the local fitness scene: gyms in commercial and residential buildings were not being used as much as they could be. “If I can build a business out of a garage,” says Cameron, “there’s no reason why trainers can’t build a business out of these underutilized gyms in Vancouver.”

So, Cameron and Lemme launched LC Fitness Management in October 2022 to connect clients with trainers and trainers with both clients and training sites. In a year, the co-founders brought three spaces and 10 fitness professionals (including personal trainers, kinesiologists and nutritionists) under the LC Fitness umbrella.

“When I first moved here, it would have been nice if there was an LC Fitness Management,” says Cameron. “I could have said, Hey guys, can I be on your team and you can send me places so I can meet clients? That’s what we do… we’re like a property management company, but for fitness.”

6 a.m.

Even with a newborn baby to keep him up at night, Cameron wakes up at 6 a.m. every morning. He meditates for 20 minutes then heads out with an apple to-go.

“Mike and I, we take turns going to the fitness facility at the Vancouver Club,” he says. On Lemme’s days, Cameron is out scouting new spaces and trainers to partner with. Burnaby’s Capitol Hill Athletics was one of the first facilities to partner with LC Fitness.

12 p.m.

Somewhat sticking to his half-Italian roots and old boxing diet, Cameron makes sure that most of his meals feature carbs and meats. He works out three times a week and volunteers at the North Vancouver-based Boys Club Network, where he talks about health and wellbeing and teaches youth boxing.

2 p.m.

In the latter half of the day, Cameron switches gears to work on another business that he’s building, this time with his barber of seven years, Judah Brown, who owns three barbershops in Vancouver.

“Boxer and the Barber is a men’s grooming company,” says Cameron, noting that the company is launching a line of grooming products that will include pomade and styling cream.

At the end of the day, Cameron says, he’s trying to promote health and wellness: “If you look good, you feel good; if you feel good, you look good, right?”