It’s Mr. Sitaras’s proprietary personal training program that separates his center from other high-end clubs. Under the program, clients must undergo six hours of mandatory tests, spread out over six visits, that measure the strength, flexibility and endurance of more than 35 major muscles and joints.
The results are then entered into a software program that Mr. Sitaras designed. It uses more than 5,000 variables, he says, to draw up a personalized fitness program. All clients must commit to at least two personal training sessions a week. Each of their workouts is tracked and monitored, and the program is adjusted as fitness improves.
Mr. Sitaras also recently unveiled an advanced digital tracking room, which notes and evaluates each muscle’s capacity, improvement and weakness.
He worked as an assistant for a physiotherapist, Dr. Norman Marcus in Manhattan, and then worked at local fitness clubs such as Sports Club/LA, Sparta, and Lift Fitness, where he built his clientele and reputation.
Unhappy with what he called a cookie-cutter approach to fitness at many gyms, he developed his own system and, with only $17,000, embarked on a plan to open his own gym. “Within a short period of time, I had a really good following,” including some well-known Wall Street clients who spread the word among their friends, Mr. Sitaras says.
He picked the brains of those financial clients for business advice — and received financing from them. Investors put in nearly $1.5 million, and the club opened in November 2007.
Sitaras charges no initiation fee; monthly fees are $150, and members must commit to at least two personal training sessions a week at $115 a pop, which means that total annual fees start at $13,760.