The First Fitness Center
After about 3½ years as a personal trainer in the health club, Rocky really wanted to branch out so he could do the things that weren’t allowed in a big box gym — getting people outside and working out where they’re not allowed to go. So on March 18, 1996, on a Monday morning, Rocky opened his own studio with two business partners and one other personal trainer.
Rocky’s first fitness center was about 900 square feet and close to the ocean, maybe 300 yards from the beach. In addition to workouts insides the facility and group classes, Rocky offered a variety of things that he thought he could really expand upon — cooking classes with a chef that came in, running clinics, mountain biking, surf lessons, running down the beach, and clinics to get people ready for the Wharf to Wharf (a local road race that is held every July). There are stairs going down the cliff that leads to the beach so he incorporated those into the workout. With a harbor nearby, Rocky partnered with a company that rented dual-hulled rowboats and took clients out.
Through these innovated programs, Rocky taught his clients that they didn’t need to stay inside a gym. He showed them that there are other ways to get purposeful physical activity in your life rather than just counting repetitions inside a gym. It was the genesis of Rocky’s unique approach to personal fitness training. Although the majority of Rocky’s fitness training today is indoors, the interesting aspect of Rocky’s approach is that even inside the gym, even though there are indeed repetitions in many of the routines, clients find that they are not “just counting repetitions inside a gym” watching the clock creep along.
Over the next few years, Rocky focused on getting a stronger foothold on his methodology by learning more and more about posture, realignment and muscle balance and how it relates to exercise.