WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Irvington’s Sam Langer smashed a home run when he bought into a mobile fitness training business two years ago. Literally.
Langer became the first franchise owner of Long Island-based GYMGUYZ, which provides traveling personal trainers to lead customized workouts for clients in homes, workplaces or even parks. Langer’s childhood friend, Jimmy Bonavita, joined him shortly thereafter and the business is now thriving, with clients throughout Westchester County. Another GYMGUYZ outlet is expected to open soon in Greenwich to serve Fairfield County clients.
“I’m not only doing what I love, but I’m also doing it with one of my best friends,’’ said Langer, who became buddies with Bonavita at Dows Lane Elementary School in Irvington, and then stayed friendly through their days at Irvington High. “It’s a really good feeling to work with someone I get along with so well.”
GYMGUYZ services include weight training, strength training, obstacle course training, post and pre natal exercise, youth and teen fitness training, sports massage therapy, nutrition counseling, cardio fitness and more. Click here to learn about the business’ complete list of services.
Langer learned about the business from his father, Alan, who struck up a conversation with GYMGUYZ CEO Josh York while on vacation in Mexico in 2013. Alan told Sam about the company, and he was immediately interested.
“I’ve always been into fitness and was really passionate about it,’’ said Sam, who had earned a degree in business from Indiana University. “I was not too happy at the job I had at the time. This was a perfect fit. It was a chance to bring together my skills in finance and operations together with my passion for fitness.”
Less than two months later, Langer bought into the franchise. He kept his former job while he studied for a Certified Personal Training course. He also shadowed GYMGUYZ corporate team to learn how to develop clients and workout plans.
GYMGUYZ now has 71 franchises and 32 owners. In its first national conference this year, Langer and Bonavita won Franchise of the Year. “We’re just two 26-year-olds grinding away, doing what we love,’’ Langer said. “It’s a good feeling.”
Langer started the business early in 2014, and Bonavita joined last year. In the early stages, Langer put in 16 hour days to get the company off the ground. “It was tough at first,’’ he said. “I’d be putting stuff out at the train stations at 5 a.m. and hoping those first few clients would come in.”
Within two months, Langer knew the business would succeed. A GYMGUYZ van helped develop brand awareness, and within three months Langer lined up nearly 70 sessions a week. “It was non-stop,’’ Langer said. “But I love what I do. It’s an amazing feeling because in essence, you’re changing someone’s life.”
GYMGUYZ now how as a full-time staff, and each trainer completes 25-30 sessions each week. Clients purchase packages, and trainers offer re-evaluations after four months. Clients can plan however many workouts they want each week. “We understand people have busy lives,’’ Langer said. “We try to be as flexible as we possibly can.”
In the hour-long sessions, trainers come equipped with everything that they need for the workout. The vans come equipped with free weights, medicine balls, stability balls, kettlebells, benches, speed and agility ladders, hurdles, mats, resistance bands and parachutes. “We bring in the the stuff that will hit the muscles that we’re targeting that day,’’ Lange said. “We clean the equipment after each session.”
Clients can even improve cardiovascular fitness without a treadmill or elliptical. “We’ll do bodyweight workouts that can send your heart rate through the roof, but we do it safely,’’ Langer said. “We’ll have clients run stairs. You can get your cardio in without doing cardio training. We don’t need a football field to run.”
Langer played sports throughout high school and at the club level in college. He also worked out seven days a week. After college, he tried his hand in business. “I worked in an office while I was in high school and college,’’ he said. “But I’m a person who needs me to be active. If you put me behind a desk, you might as well put me in a jail cell.”
His father knew his son’s entrepreneurial and fitness spirit. Despite having a college degree in business, his family stood behind the decision to launch a business at the age of 23. “My family was behind me 100 percent,’’ Sam said. “I couldn’t have done it without them.”
Langer loves seeing the rewards in people reaching their fitness goals. He helped a boy struggling with weight lose 120 pounds in seven months. “He was depressed, overweight and really struggling,’’ Langer said. “It’s an amazing feeling when you give someone a workout and start seeing progress.”
Langer said GYMGUYZ’s workouts at “customized, creative and convenient.” People who complain about being unable to get to a gym, feel stuck in a rut or lack a plan to tackle fitness goals no longer have excuses.
“All they have to do is be home, get the workout and then they go about their daily routines,’’ Langer said.For more information about GYMGUYZ, click here to visit its website.