University of Vermont

College of
Agriculture and Life Sciences

Department of Plant and Soil Science

He Also Says: "Alright, Alright, Alright...Just Keep Living"

'Hardest Working Player' as Kid and Now: Body Builder, Nutritionist, Entrepreneur

James Henley '04 leveraged his nutrition and food sciences degree to grow a business, publish a book, develop nutritional supplements and a line of clothing, jump on the lecture circuit and test new ideas.

Growing up in Middlebury, James Henley started playing ice hockey in fifth grade. By high school, he won Middlebury’s Douglas Finny Award. It’s the one for the “hardest working player.” And that pretty much was prophecy.

By then he also earned his first-degree black belt Shotokan karate. And by his first year in college, he was wearing a second-degree black belt.

Goal oriented, driven to achieve, hard working, high energy. These seem to be core values for James Henley of Burlington.

He brought those attributes with him when he transferred to the University of Vermont after his sophomore year at Western State College in Colorado. He earned his bachelor’s degree in nutrition and food science from UVM in 2004.

His advisor Professor Stephen Pintauro calls him, “highly motivated and confident individual who was intent on charting his own career path.”

A year later, while a freelance fitness trainer in Burlington, Henley published and sold copies of a groundbreaking nutrition lab manual for Gold’s Gym. This manual has been said to revolutionize Gold’s Gym’s approach to nutrition, and increase its success.

By 2006, just two year’s out of college he launched his own nutrition and physical training studio, Body Resolution in South Burlington.

On site Body Resolution offers classes, personal training, physical therapy, massage therapy, nutrition counseling and baseline concussion testing.

And on the road Henley conducts corporate wellness programs to local businesses such as GE Healthcare and BioTek, he makes house calls to clients and he is a frequent motivational speaker, tallying more than 160 wellness lectures over the years.

With marketing savvy, he repeatedly grows the business in scope and size.

Within the first three years, he added his own lines of supplements and fitness apparel. He added a smoothie drinks bar to the studio.

In 2011, he self-published Road to Resolution: A Nutritional Guide, which sells for $41 a copy.

He gives back to his alma mater; He has taught wellness classes at UVM and offers internships to UVM and Champlain College students.

His brick-and-mortar business has grown to 25-employees strong, working in a space that has tripled in size to serve nearly 1,300 clients visiting 2,200 times a month.

And there’s no end in sight.

He’s testing a fitness app. he created for iPads and iPhones. Henley is getting ready to expand Body Resolution yet again – to open a second location in Burlington in fall.

Henley draws on skills and education from all aspects of his life and his own wellspring of talents to help people live more fully through exercise, nutrition and whole body attention. As one client wrote, “I have reclaimed my future, and I have Body Resolutions, and myself to thank for that. I urge everyone to consider this: Being well and fit is not limited to those who are young, strong, and already in good shape. This experience has changed my life and my future.”

"James Henley also has a strong and healthy future in store, this we know," said Tom Vogelmann, Dean of UVM's College of Agriculture and Lifes Sciences on May 10 as he presented him with the College's New Achiever Award during ceremonies at the annual alumni and friends dinner. The event drew some 175 people – with a big cheering section of Henley's colleagues, friends and family as well as those of other winners: Outstanding Senior Hillary Laggis, New Achiever Shaun Gilpin, Robert O. Sinclair Cup winner the late Stew Gibson and Outstanding Alumni Louise Calderwood, Carol Kohn and James Anderson.

In accepting the award, Henley said he wished that everyone who put him on that stage could be standing alongside him: "Body Resolution staff, clients, family, past professors (including Todd Pritchard who taught me how to brew my own beer."

He credits his rapid success to four things he says he lives by:

  • "No regrets
  • Leave every interaction better than when I went into it
  • Make sure I leave Body Resolution as a legacy and
  • Follow the path God put me on."

And Henley left his audience laughing with the words of recent 2014 Acadamy Award winner for best actor Matthew McConaughey,

“to that I say alright, alright, alright; to that I say just keep on living.”