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In mid-September, 36-year-old Joe DiAngelo, a former personal trainer and sports coach from Jersey City, is opening a unique, new gym in Tribeca with his business partner Alejandro Ferrari. Superstar Gym, located at 452 Washington St. between Watts and Desbrosses Streets, will feature intensive personal training programs alongside high-tech machines. DiAngelo spoke to the Downtown Express about why he believes his European methods and equipment will make a big impact Downtown.
BY SAM SPOKONY | How long have you been in this field as a business owner?
For the last seven years, I’ve owned a personal training company called the Workout Loft. We’re able to transform people within eight weeks — even somebody who is really flabby and out of shape can leave our training sessions with a six pack.
Will this be the first gym you’ve ever opened?
The Workout Loft currently has a small space at 146 W. 23rd St., but Superstar Gym will be a brand new business, and, yes, it will be the first gym I’ve been a part of. At the Workout Loft, it’s mostly just based on holding one-on-one sessions with our personal trainers.
What made you take the next step?
The personal training business started growing at a rapid pace, because nobody even compares to us when it comes to getting results in the shortest possible time. So since we now have so many clients, I talked to Alejandro and we decided it was worth it to start our own gym. We also decided to team up with some Italian gyms, which feature state-of-the-art equipment designs, in order to combine their machines with our methods and the experience of our trainers.
What makes your training methods distinctive?
We customize a unique workout program for each client. It starts with high-tech equipment that’s used to do a body assessment, which shows us the composition of your body, your muscle mass and other vital statistics about the best ways for you to exercise. And based on that, we create a nutrition program that is customized for your personal fitness goal. So whether you want to lose weight, build muscle or focus on areas like your arms or thighs, we build every single step around what you want to achieve.
Will everyone who comes to Superstar Gym be assigned a personal trainer?
They can choose to enter a customized, one-on-one program, but anyone who comes here will also be able get a membership and just use the machines by themselves. It will cost $75-100 for hour-long personal training sessions, depending on the workout level, and memberships will cost $100 per month.
Do you plan to open more gyms in the future?
Well, we’re going to be a boutique gym. We’re not focused on trying to become one of those big franchises, but rather we’re focused on creating a unique user experience, which will allow people to get incredible results by using equipment that’s never been seen before in the U.S.
What’s an example of your gym’s equipment that will be new to Americans?
A very exciting piece is one that was designed by the Italian trainer Vincenzo Canali, who has worked with Olympic champion athletes throughout Europe. It allows you to do the same workouts as other multi-purpose machines, but the seat moves along with your body in order to keep your spine perfectly aligned in a healthy posture. It also provides a unique leverage system that you can use to customize the level of resistance throughout a wide range of weights, based on your own body weight.
When it comes to personal fitness, how do you think Americans differ from Europeans?
European clients are more focused on demanding results. I think Americans just tend to follow the crowd. They generally go to a certain gym because of how it advertises its celebrity clients, regardless of the results they’re actually getting. We want to change that experience and outlook. We might have high-profile clients, but we want people to be completely focused on achieving their own goals.