Strong And Shapley Gym was nominated as our Gym of the Month because of the high energy atmosphere and for the dedication that is practiced by its owner. Strong And Shapely Gym is situated in Rutherford, NJ and has the latest in state-of-the-art equipment. A gym floor broken up by body part, tanning area, and new juice bar are just some of the areas that highlight Strong And Shapely Gym, and attribute to their 25 years of success.
Name Of Gym: Strong And Shapely Gym
Name Of Owner: Bob Bonham
Gym Phone: 201-896-1360
Number Of Members: Over 2000
Sqaure Feet: 25,000
Website Address/Email/Contact Details: E-mail Bob or go to www.strong-and-shapely.com and find out how to get a free guest pass!
Strong and Shapely Gym's E-mail: SSGYM01@aol.com
Strong and Shapely Gym's MySpace page: www.myspace.com/strong_shapely_gym
Hours Of Operation:
Weekdays: 5AM - Midnight
Saturday: 8AM - 6 PM
Sunday: 8AM - 4 PM
Number Of Trainers On Staff: 3
Founders/Owners: Bob Bonham
[ Q ] How did the gym start and why did you decide to begin (or work within) the gym business.
I had a dream of building my own gym and started researching how to start for 15 years. I wanted to get out of my other successful but stressful alarm company business and work at my bodybuilding hobby for a living. I opened the gym on March 7, 1984 and this March is our 25th anniversary!
[ Q ] Can you give us a description on what went into opening your awesome establishment?
I went through a lot of research visiting other gyms from all over. Remember, there was not much on the web back 25 years ago! I started my first gym with a grand total of $6,000.00!
[ Q ] What makes your gym different?
We have a special niche as a serious gym with tons of variety of equipment for each body part including a circuit weight section. We strive to stay on both the cutting edge and old school workout options. Recently UPI featured me demonstrating a kettleball workout in a nation wide release!
Our floor plan is set up so each body part has it's own area. There are over 40 leg pieces and over 40 back pieces! We have 40,000 pounds of free weights and over 335 workout stations. We have so many dumbbells that if you laid every one side by side there would be 100 yards of dumbbells. That's entire football field length!
Get a better idea of the floor plan here.
A fun perk is that we check our members in with a hand scanner so there is no need to have your membership card with you. Since you can't forget to bring your hand in there are no hassles at the front desk for our members!
[ Q ] What sort of people do you attract into your gym?
We are very lucky to have members that run the whole gambit of ages, families, men and women from all types of professions. There are a lot of high school
sports teams and
college students and of course any serious bodybuilders that happen to be in the area are always stopping by. A lot of
celebrities have heard about Strong and Shapely through the bodybuilding and fitness mags or seen the gym on TV shows so they make it a point to stop by.
[ Q ] What inspires people to train at you facility?
The atmosphere is electric and friendly at the same time. People can feel it as soon as they enter the gym. People are there to work hard to reach their goals and get results. They also know they just might run into their favorite bodybuilding, sports or fitness star.
[ Q ] Do you have any top trainers and why are they so good?
Vinnie Galanti and Gregg Valentino give seminars separately at special events; they both have a wealth of bodybuilding knowledge and the members love to ask them basic bodybuilding training and nutrition questions. IFBB pro Alti Batista has trained clients and taught classes here. Her energy is infectious and she is popular with everyone!
[ Q ] What special services do you provide?
Strong and Shapely holds special events and charity events for the members and outside bodybuilding organizations such as hosting "The Universal Animal Barbell Club".
Click To Enlarge.
Strong and Shapely Holds Special Events Such
As Hosting 'The Universal Animal Barbell Club'.
The Animal Barbell Club (ABC) has the fastest growing bodybuilding and powerlifting events with chapters all around the country and now even the world! People come from all over the Tri-State area to experience a true animal workout. Everyone arrives, checks in with gym manager Nicole and Universal Rep. Alex and immediately goes off for an animal-style workout in the amazing and famous gym right along with the members.
The record amount of members for one of these events was 49 in South Jersey and about the same amount turned up at the ABC event at the 2008 Arnold Classic. This record was shattered at Strong and Shapely with over 80 people!
Thanks to Universal over the years for being very good to my gym and me. They have sponsored shows, have done shoots here, etc. One of their print ads used in major magazines for months even had a huge plug for my gym in it!
Once a month we host fitness and figure workshops for members and guests that include stage hair and make-up tips. Women come in from all over the state to attend these regularly to learn to hit the stage with confidence and pizzazz!
These types of events are exciting and motivating to the members and they have gotten used to working out beside film crews and bodybuilding celebrities there for photoshoots.
Some of the film crews that have used Strong and Shapely include: The Maury Povich Show, ESPN, NBC, Fox Sports, Stacker 2 Commercial, My 9 TV, MTV, The Learning Channel, European TV, Inside Edition and Ripley's Believe it or not, Gaspari Nutrition TV and Bodybuilding.com.
[ Q ] Who are your most notable present and past members?
Some of our members and guests include:
- Gregg Valentino
- Vinnie Galanti
- Branden Ray
- Rich Gaspari
- Sharon Marvel
- Jason Arntz
- Evan Centopani
- Guy Cisternino
- Victor Martinez
- Kai Greene
- Matt Duvall
- Christy Hawkins
- Dr. Dena Westerfield
- Kim Klein
- Elena Semple
- King Kamali
- Lonnie Teper
- Gerard Dente
- Ernie Taylor
- Sami Al Haddad
- Brenda Kelly
- Dave Palumbo
- Bill Pearl
- Timea Majorova
- Craig Richardson
- The Late Kenny Kassel
- The Late Steve Stone
- Robert Kennedy
- Flex Lewis
- Debbie Kruck
- Kyla Mc Grath
- John Bradshaw
- Mick Foley
- Alti Bautista
- Dennis Cheri
- Kevin Leverone
- Debbie Bramwell
- Tim Martin
- Don Long
- Singing Cowboy
- Joe Weider
- Onaje Allan Gumbs
- The Rock (Dwayne Johnson)
- Triple H
- John Cena
- Gregory Hines
- Jason Biggs
- Daisy Fuentes
- Ken Shamrock
- Don "the Dragon" Wilson
- Ronnie Coleman
- Dorian Yates
- Chris Dickerson
- Lynda Murray
- Valentina Chepiga
- Andrulla Blanchette
There are literally hundreds more of the top bodybuilders, fitness women, pro football, basketball and soccer players over the years.
I am very proud of one of my members, Frank Corvelli who was one of Bodybuilding.com's "Bodybuilder Teen of the Week".
[ Q ] What was the hardest part about operating your gym?
Sometimes certain customers get demanding and difficult. They probably just had a bad day and need to work out!
[ Q ] What makes you competitive over the large gym chains?
Our prices are the lowest around our area and we even offer special memberships for high school and college students. We have great spinning, kickboxing, Gracie Brazilian Ju Jitsu classes, a separate
tanning, daycare and a new juice bar serving top quality protein shakes.
Members can buy the newest high quality supplements at our pro shop for less than anywhere else in the area. The weight and cardio equipment is the latest technology for instance; we just added a new state of the art cardio set of machines that is a treadmill with a personal entertainment screen that hooks up to your CD's, DVD's and even cable TV. There are saunas in both locker rooms and the women's locker room even has self-cleaning toilets!
Click To Enlarge.
We Just Added A Set Of Machines That Is A Treadmill
With A Personal Entertainment Screen.
[ Q ] How have you been able to remain so successful and how do you hope to remain so?
I like to constantly reinvest funds back into the gym by researching new equipment and
training techniques. Strong and Shapely gets better every year. The customer service staff is trained and friendly. I am happy to say I have had a lot of the same customers for 25 years.
Strong and Shapely has been fortunate to be featured in: Men's Health for Americas 30 best gyms, MD's Top 10 Gyms and Power Lifting USA for Gym of the Month.
Prominate features have appeared in Muscle Mag International (9 pages), Exercise for Men Only, Natural Muscle Magazine, Muscle Training Illustrated and Ironman Magazine.
I want to thank my entire staff for all of their hard work, my loyal members, the supplement companies, film and print media and thank you to Bodybuilding.com for the honor to be the Gym of the Month!
If you are in the area, make sure to stop by Strong and Shapely, say hello and get a great work out in. You'll be glad you did!
Strong and Shapely Owner
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