Personal training and fitness centers seem to abound in and around Rye, running a close second to nail salons.
By Mitch Silver
Personal training and fitness centers seem to abound in and around Rye, running a close second to nail salons. When Tommy Martinetti and Dennis Briscoe, old friends from New Rochelle High School, decided to join forces five years ago, they were determined that Rye Health & Fitness wouldn’t be all hardbodies and shiny machines.
Rather, RHF would cater to people who wanted a one-on-one, goal-oriented experience—whether that goal was to build strength, increase flexibility, lose weight, or regain muscle tone after pregnancy.
Briscoe confided, “I’ve been a gym rat all my life. I graduated from Iona and went into business, but when I had the chance to get back into health and wellness, I took it.”
He makes clear what his fitness goal isn’t. “We’re not trying to build professional athletes or supermodels. People in Rye want more functional strength and flexibility in their everyday lives. So that’s what we aim for, with programs customized for each individual.”
Does it work? Jimmy Cowan is a client who manages an area restaurant. “I’m either sitting or standing around delicious food all day. Anyway, I ate my way to 280 pounds and started to realize my feet were always killing me. Then my doctor got my attention when he told me, ‘Jimmy, you’re borderline everything. Everything bad.’
“So I called up Tommy and Dennis. They evaluated where I was at, which wasn’t pretty. Then together, we agreed a six-footer like me should weigh more like 200, which would be a 75- to 80-pound weight loss! I bit the bullet, and since February I’ve been coming three to four times a week, an hour at a time.
“It’s always something different, whether it’s weights or stretching or whatever. Sometimes we do six reps on one machine and a dozen on another. The next time we’ll switch, so one area doesn’t get over-emphasized at the expense of another.
“The idea is to get my heart rate up, strengthen my core, and take the load off my poor feet. At the same time, Dennis helped me get off all the carbs. We substituted protein shakes and, uh, a lot of green tea.”
“Anyway, seven months later I weigh 210, with my goal in sight. And I’ve moved well back from the borderline.”
What about people who don’t have such extreme goals? “Jim Caviezel is an actor who appears in the show ‘Person of Interest’,” Briscoe said. “He comes in here to help maintain his tone between shooting.”
In all, six trainers in addition to the owners make the 14 Elm Place center their base of operations: Ron Fetke, Fahmida Molla, Marian Petrie, Julio Rosario, Jonny Rothschild, and Justin Zimmerman.
“We expanded our workout area by about 250 square feet recently,” Briscoe told us, “so we can accommodate three or four more clients at a time while keeping the one-on-one approach.”
Helping clients reach their goals has help Rye Health & Fitness reach theirs: five years. With more reps to come.