The West Sides First CrossFit Gym

CrossFit Northlake West may be the newest Charlotte gym, but it already has a history and well established roots in the fitness community. 

Its owners, Jason and Amy Bright, have led physically active lives. Amy was the youngest of three athletic girls and was always keeping up with her older sisters in sports and in play. Jason participated in a variety of sports and satisfied his competitiveness on the football field in college. 

Jason often considered a future in health and fitness and wanted to own a gym. He struggled with how to create his vision of a place where like-minded people could train and reach their goals and where he could coach and compete at a high level. 

The Brights worked out in commercial gyms. Amy described it as routine, redundant, and stale. They discovered bootcamp classes and were motivated by the group environment, but still felt something was missing. A local mom’s group provided the missing piece and forged a friendship that would ultimately change everyone’s view on fitness and the future of the Brights. 

In this mom’s group, Amy connected with Jessica Pinkerton. Jessica and her husband, Steve, had recently opened CrossFit Vitality in Concord and invited the Brights for a workout. Jason’s introduction to CrossFit was a benchmark workout called “Fran”. Jason doubted if the CrossFit workouts could give him the same gut wrenching feeling he’d had in the locker room before Saturday football games. After “Fran” he found himself lying on his back trying desperately to breath. He couldn’t help but wonder what the physical results would’ve been had he and his team mates received this type of training while playing football.

Amy too was skeptical about CrossFit and thought the workouts were too short to possibly lead to any kind of results. In June of 2010, Amy tried it and was immediately hooked. The variety kept her excited and she loved the competition feel at each class. 

Both of them fell in love with the community at Vitality. It was like an instant family and a place that inspired the couple. Jason was attracted to the positive encouragement he received during each and every workout. He wanted to recreate this for others searching for a “home” to achieve their fitness goals. The Brights began dreaming of opening their own box and sharing the sport of CrossFit with others.

Jason’s job in sales relocated the family to Alabama in 2011. CrossFit Mobile embraced the Brights much like their Vitality community. Jason and Amy gained experience as coaches and it became clear that owning a CrossFit gym was where their hearts were leading them. 

In 2012, Steve Pinkerton called the Brights with an opportunity to build their own gym and community and return to Charlotte. They jumped at the chance and CrossFit Northlake opened in October of that same year.

Pinkerton helped the Brights establish financing, location, construction plans, and equipment needs and provided them with invaluable advice – his own experiences. With this solid foundation, the Brights launched a grass roots marketing campaign and their business grew.

Even with the success of CrossFit, Jason knew he wanted to engage more people and expose them to the benefits of health and fitness. CrossFit Northlake expanded their space and began offering more programs. Amy developed Northlake Bootcamp for those wanting less barbell work and as a gradual introduction to CrossFit for newcomers. They partnered up with Ultimate Athlete and provided youth sports performance training under the leadership of its owner, Jeremy Martin. They offered yoga and endurance classes to round out their program.

Fitness is ever evolving and CrossFit Northlake rebranded its bootcamp in 2018. Northlake Elements sets itself apart from other bootcamp programs by focusing on foundational movements, mobility, and injury prevention. Elements classes still provide athletes with a total body workout that is fun and functional and it’s suitable for all ages and fitness levels. Northlake is now able to offer something for everyone and appeal to its members through all stages of their lives – prenatal, postpartum, injury and illness recovery, and event training. 

Jason is like a proud papa when he looks at his community. It’s filled with college students, established professionals, and retirees. There are members just starting out on their fitness journey, some finding their way back, and others testing their potential. Side by side, all moving when he says, “3, 2, 1, Go!” A place where the cheers are the loudest for the last one working and a round of fist bumps and high fives for all when the workout is over. 

In 2019, Jason was ready to take his business to the next level and be a leader in the Charlotte fitness community. He partnered up with Adam Wilson, longtime friend and college teammate, and built another facility, CrossFit Northlake West. Jason is also establishing QC Fit. QC Fit aims to remove the stigma of CrossFit and focus on what makes CrossFit so effective: its results, its community, and its quality coaches. Jason understands that “Fran” isn’t for everyone, but functional movements led by qualified and enthusiastic coaches in a supportive environment can change lives. 

CrossFit Northlake West

CrossFit Northlake West will not only be a gym, but have retail space in the building. Jason’s philosophy is to bring people a variety of fitness offerings and be a reputable resource for the community in many ways. Whether you start your day or end your day at Northlake West, Jason’s goal is to make it the best part of your day.


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