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Vancouver-based personal training firm to sweat it out on CBC's Dragons' Den another time

Vancouver-based personal training firm to sweat it out on CBC's Dragons' Den another timeScreen grabs from an episode of Dragon’s Den in which failed pitches are offered a second chance. Vancouver’s Dan Mezheritsky was invited back for a second chance at pitching his company Fitness on the Go, a mobile fitness system. Mezheritsky is pictured in grey, while trainer Janine Horsley is pictured in the middle. One of the dragons, Michael Wekerle, is pictured attempting one of the workouts. | Photograph by: (SUBMITTED) , .

The founder of a Vancouver-based personal training firm will get another chance to spar with CBC’s “Dragons” for big money.

Dan Mezheritsky, who was 21 when he founded Fitness on the Go in 2005, has been given a second opportunity to expand his in-home training firm with an appearance this Wednesday on the popular CBC reality show Dragons’ Den.

On the show, entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to the show’s business-savvy “Dragons” in hopes of an investment.

Mezheritsky said that during season 4, a Dragon offered him $250,000 for a 70 per cent cut of Fitness on the Go, but he didn’t take the deal.

Now, six seasons later, Mezheritsky’s back with a new approach to the business and nearly $4 million in sales in 2015.

He hopes the Dragons will help him expand into the U.S.

Mezheritsky said he changed his business model four years ago after realizing trainers and clients were striking up side deals that cut Fitness on the Go out of the equation.

There wasn’t much the firm could do to stop that, so he decided to focus on giving trainers more autonomy — and more cash.

Now, Fitness on the Go has 14 franchise partners, as far east as Montreal, and more than 130 certified trainers across Canada.

The firm provides the “back end” for trainers’ businesses, Mezheritsky said.

Each trainer is essentially an independent contractor who pays $400 to work with Fitness on the Go, he said.

“I would say that the biggest benefit for them is really the business coaching,” Mezheritsky said.

“We give a lot of guidance for them in terms of how to get involved in he community, what to say, who to talk to and how to build their business; at the same time, how to best continue with their customers.”

Trainers use the firm’s proprietary software to connect with clients and provide them with customized, in-home workouts.

The firm began its southern push in September with a franchise in Los Angeles. There are also trainers operating in Seattle, Denver and Nashville.

Mezheritsky wasn’t able to share much about the upcoming episode — it was pre-recorded and airs Jan. 6 — but said the Dragons didn’t cut him any slack his second time around.

“I felt more comfortable beforehand and then as soon as you walk down those stairs, and it’s a completely new panel ... it wasn’t any easier and they certainly drilled me,” he said with a chuckle.

Mezheritsky said he hopes to become a Dragon in another seven years.

But did they strike a deal this time? His lips are sealed until after his segment airs Wednesday.

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