Gym Of The Month: Platinum Fitness!

So many modern gyms toe the corporate line, but Platinum Fitness is all about the locals, the neighborhood and of course, the iron!

Name Of Gym: Platinum Fitness
Owner: David Pomponio
Address: 700-1 Union Parkway Ronkonkoma NY, 11779
# Of Members: 2,500
Sq Ft: 28,000
Website: www.platinumfitnessronkonkoma.com
Phone: 631-737-4653
Hours Of Operation: Mon-Thurs: 5am-11pm, Fri: 5am-10pm, Sat: 7am-8pm, Sun: 8am-pm
Trainers On Staff: 10

Q
How did the gym start and why did you decide to begin (or work within) the gym business?

In 1981, a friend asked me to be his partner in a fitness center.

Can you give us a description on what went into opening your awesome establishment?

The business started in a 5,500 square foot basement. In 1993, I moved to the current location.

The building was built in 9 weeks and the whole moving process was done in one short weekend.

While it was very exciting, it was also completely overwhelming.

What makes your gym different?

One factor that makes my gym different is that I have roots in this neighborhood. This is my hometown and I taught in the local school district for 30 years.

Also, we have a huge selection of equipment. We are not locked in to any one company. Because of this, we can buy the best machines from all different companies so that our members can achieve the best results. We try to bring new equipment into the gym annually.

What sort of people do you attract into your gym?

The gym attracts locals from the area, everyone knows everyone. No attitudes, friendly atmosphere, and because of this our members spread the word of our good reputation.

What inspires people to train at your facility?

The fact that we've been in business for 30 years and we're friendly with the community, people feel comfortable coming into the gym. Also, we offer many specials and always try our best to accommodate our members.

This is a neighborhood gym, locally-owned and operated. David has owned the gym for 30 years already!
This is a neighborhood gym, locally-owned and operated. David has owned the gym for 30 years already!

Do you have any top trainers and why are they so good?
  • Kenny Neilson is a personal trainer who has been working for my gym for the past 17 years. He is a loyal employee and very welcoming to members and new staff.
  • Marybeth Seeback is one of our group fitness instructors for the past 20 years. She is also responsible for our successful Silver Sneakers program.
  • Alessandro Savi is a pro bodybuilder, Mr. Universe, and IFBB athlete.
  • Rosetta Mortati is a fitness model who competed in the NPC and is very well known in the fitness community as being one of the best instructors. Many articles were written about her for her advance spinning featuring Jim Germanakos from "The Biggest Loser." She is also a spokesperson and writer for www.musclesportmag.com and www.culturafisica.it.
  • Vinny Mastro is a Master Certified Trainer and author of "The Path to Iron."

What special services do you provide?

We offer many special amenities. This includes a ladies only area, rubberized track, ab room, 4,000 square foot weight room, massage therapist, babysitting, and self-defense classes.

We have an excellent MMA program that is run by one of my best employees, Omar Carrion.

Who are your most notable present and past members?

  • Dave Pomponio - Mr. New York and Canadian-American Champion of bodybuilding competition.
  • Alessandro Salvi - Mr. Universe
  • Vic Latino - Owner and DJ on Party 105.3FM
  • Dimitri - Well known DJ
  • Jim Germanakos - "Biggest Loser" contestant.

We also have a program for adults with special needs. These members come with supervision and use our track weekly.

What was the hardest part about operating your gym?

The hardest part is that we have such a wide variety of members, it is hard to accommodate everyone's needs. We do our best to full-fill the wishes of all our members though.

What makes you competitive over the other gym chains?

We understand the struggles in today's economy, so we do our best to offer the most reasonable prices/packages to all people interested in joining the gym. When you join Platinum Fitness, you get a good value for your money.

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Platinum Fitness has numerous pieces of equipment, trainers and programs for any client with exercise ambitions.

How have you been able to remain so successful and how do you hope to remain so?

I have learned to adjust and change to the needs of the members. When I started in the health club industry there were no women in the gym, no cardio equipment, and no group exercise classes.

Platinum Fitness has come a long way since those days. As we're growing with the times, we have realized that a lot of the marketing is done through different supplement companies.

Having Rosetta Mortati as a member of our team for the past year has been crucial. She has helped in so many ways with giving the gym publicity through companies such as MET-Rx.

By putting together popular events, she has not only drawn much attention and members to Platinum Fitness but also supplement companies as well. We will do our best to continue to change with the times and the people.

Additional Thoughts:
This is the most difficult time in the fitness industry that I have seen since 1977. Economically, times are tough for gym owners and their members. Low-cost, low-service gyms are all over the place now. Their target members are people who sit on a couch and expect nothing, and they usually get what they expect.

Platinum Fitness members expect to change their lives and if they show up at our facility, they will achieve that and more. This is a comfortable place for the members to meet other people with common goals.

Platinum Fitness is a pleasant environment for people to achieve their goals safely and at a reasonable price.


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