Sam Mugavero, Ph. D. – Owner/Coach


A two-sport athlete in college, Sam continued to foster his passion for fitness while working on his doctorate at the University of South Carolina. After completing his degree in 2007, he moved to Atlanta with his wife and spent 5 years teaching science and coaching tennis while spending his early mornings and evenings instructing fitness and strength training. While a teacher, Sam started an employee fitness program for faculty and staff at Woodward Academy and simultaneously formed the Smugs Fitness Outdoor Fitness Program in Barrett Park (College Park, GA).

Sam has since opened the Smugs Fitness Lab in the Historic Kirkwood Neighborhood and works with individuals and small groups to achieve their health and fitness goals. Sam’s coaching provides people with the tools they need to move, feel and look their best! In addition to personal training and small groups, Sam works with companies large and small to help develop and maintain corporate wellness programs for their employees.

When not in the Smugs Fitness Lab, Sam drinks coffee (a lot of coffee) and spends time with his wife (Kristy) and daughters (Lilly and Clara).

StrongFirst, SFG2; USA Weightlifting, Level 1; CPR/AED

2016 Hylete FitPro of the Year – Finalist

Kory Nichols, General Manager / Head Coach


Kory is an American College of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer.  Before pursing a career in health and fitness, Kory worked in various finance roles at several large Atlanta companies while completing her MBA. She is also a mother of two and understands the demands of family and career and the need to fit exercise and movement into a busy schedule. In addition to her ACSM certification, Kory maintains the following certifications:

StrongFirst, SFG1 / SFL; USA Powerlifting, Club Coach; FMSC; ACSM-CPT; CPR/AED

Nick Barbas, CSCS – Coach


After researching strength training, conditioning, and motor learning in preparation for an international martial arts tournament, Nick went to study Kinesiology at the University of North Georgia. Throughout his education, Nick worked as a personal and group trainer. Following the completion of his B.S. in Kinesiology, Nick moved to Atlanta to begin personal training full time.

Nick emphasizes a balanced approach to health and wellness through gradual, sustainable changes. His experience with martial arts guided Nick to focus on teaching clients to move safely and effectively while developing strength and decreasing movement-related pain. Nick’s goal is to equip clients to take control of their health and training. In the words of Socrates: “No [human] has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for a [human] to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which [their] body is capable.” 

Outside the gym, Nick enjoys food (especially pastries; he makes really good cinnamon donuts), board games with his wife, and sci-fi/fantasy books and movies.