When Anthony Bevilacqua grew tired of the gimmicks in which the corporate fitness world can be mired, he said, he left the gym where he was working as a personal trainer and started his own business in his garage.
Five years later, the 31-year old East Meadow resident said that the decision has paid off as he recently celebrated the grand opening of his business AB Fitness Center on East Meadow Avenue. The business was honored with a ribbon cutting presented by the East Meadow Chamber of Commerce on Nov. 16.
“Of course, it’s scary opening a business,” he said. “But when you do the right thing, people respond positively. It just takes that first client to walk in and tell their friends about their experience.”
Bevilacqua has been a personal trainer for 15 years and worked at big box gyms, where he felt constrained from truly helping his clients. “When you work for a big company, you’re handcuffed to do what they want you to,” he said. “I wanted to care about every client I had.”
In working out of his garage, Bevilacqua joined with Pete Khatcherian, 29, of Valley Stream, a personal trainer who had similar goals, and his sister Laura, 25, of Wantagh, who has tried a number of fad diets and exercises that she now warns people to avoid.
They three started seeing an influx of clients and, once the space was booked to capacity, they invested in their own storefront. Bevilacqua, who has a degree in nutrition from Queens College, incorporates lessons on healthy eating into the services he provides to his clients.
When it comes to nutrition, Bevilacqua emphasizes lifestyle changes that allow clients to kick bad habits as opposed to diets that remove one whole nutrient.
“We want our clients to make lasting, healthy changes,” he said.