Tom Campanaro, the founder of Total Gym, joined the ranks of ”Gym Class: Heroes of Fitness,” when he sat down with Motionsoft’s Hossein Noshirvani & Leigh Kessler for their weekly podcast to discuss his journey in making Total Gym a recognized name in fitness.
The driving force behind the brand that’s now in over 14,000 physical therapy clinics, health clubs, hospitals and fitness centers as well as in more than 4 million homes world-wide, Tom tells how he came up with the concept of Total Gym and shares some funny stories of how he developed Total Gym into the well-known brand it is today.
Discover how dentistry and sex therapy actually played a part in building the brand. And find out what advice Tom has for entrepreneurs embarking on their own path.
Total Gym was founded by Tom Campanaro almost 40 years ago, making the company that first revolutionized functional body weight training older than its current President. But there’s no better person suited to take Total Gym into the next generation than Jesse Campanaro.
Making fitness a family affair has been the norm in the Campanaro household. As a kid, Jesse began helping to assemble units in their own garage, then graduated to selling units and now he’s taken the reigns and is leading the company he grew up with into the future.
Recently, Jesse spoke with Motionsoft’s Hossein Noshirvani & Leigh Kessler for their weekly podcast, “Gym Class: Heroes of Fitness,” which features unscripted interviews with the pioneers and innovators behind the best-known names in the fitness world.
Hear what Jesse had to say about growing up with the iconic fitness brand, where he see’s the fitness industry heading and how he plans to take Total Gym along for the ride.
Hi everyone, GRAVITYBonnie here!
It’s been a busy few months here at Total Gym. We transversed the U.S.A not once, but twice, to visit with customers in Portland, Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Philadelphia, New Jersey and New York. A West Coast native, it was so much fun to see a part of the country that I had never been to before.
Starting in Maine, we were able to make some time for a lobster dinner with the folks from the YMCA of Southern Maine, where, the next day, we hosted a workshop to introduce them to the GRAVITY program! Check out their trainers doing torso rotations utilizing the adjustable glideboard on the New GTS! We even got some of their members on for a demo, and they loved it!
As we made our way south to Boston, I learned a couple of things, like, “Subs” are referred to as “Grindas” and the fact that there’s a wicked need for a GRAVITY Foundation Course in the area (or rather, are-ah). Stay tuned for more details on a date…
Next stop…New York City.
Excited to be in the Big Apple, my initial reaction wasn’t quite what I expected… We arrived late at night and as we drove through, I thought, ‘HOLY COW is it dirty here!’ Everywhere I looked I just saw piles of garbage bags lining the streets. It wasn’t until I returned to San Diego where our resident New Yorker in the company clued me in to the fact that, that’s how garbage pick-up works in NYC. Ohhhh……
New York did however live up to its nickname as “The City that Never Sleeps.” We stopped by Times Square and experienced first-hand, the bustling nightlife, including a party of decked out high school seniors enjoying some after prom festivities on the streets of Manhattan.
But of course, we were in New York to work, and that we did. While there, we got to meet some new faces at Blink Fitness, where we introduced our new Total Gym Core Trainer to their fit-astic staff who had fun SCRUNCH-ing and planking OUR WAY to a tighter core and awesome abs! If you are in the area, we definitely recommend checking this place out for a workout – you can take advantage of their FREE TRIAL and try out our Core Trainer as well.
Just across the bridge in New Jersey, we received an up-close (too close actually) and personal welcome from one of its residents when we were unexpectedly rear ended. Aside from the initial shock (and the damage to our rental car), all parties were OK and as it turned out, the woman who hit us was a member of, The Atlantic Club, one of our customers! She kindly explained that, ‘everyone in New Jersey is really nice and she just wanted to get really close to welcome us to town…’ Fortunately, the people at Budget rental cars were extremely understanding and although it took a few hours to find a vehicle that would fit our Total Gym machines, they did their best to get us a new rental as soon as they could. But in the meantime, The Atlantic club happily took us in while we waited and allowed us to enjoy all that their facility has to offer: fitness facilities, swimming pool, Jacuzzi, steam room, sauna and access to their on-site café. So a BIG, “thank you!” to The Atlantic Club for your hospitality. Jersey is the best!
While in New Jersey, we also had the chance to stop by SkyClub Fitness in West Caldwell and see how their GRAVITY programs are shaping up. Offering a full array of different classes from GRAVITY Strength, GRAVITY Pilates, GRAVITY Ride & Glide, and GRAVITY Strength, The SkyClub is taking full advantage of the versatility Total Gym machines provide.
Moving on down the Jersey Turnpike, we met up with the folks at the UFC Gym in Paramus where we treated them to a “parking lot demo” of the Core Trainer. We were really impressed by the owner, Peter Rivera, as he knew EVERY single client that came into his gym – now that’s a good gym owner!
Finally, the conclusion of our East Coast expedition brought us to “The City of Brotherly Love,” for the 2013 YMCA General Assembly tradeshow. We had a phenomenal time in Philadelphia with all the YMCA employees, especially the group from Indiana who we had the pleasure of dining with.
Thank you again to all of our customers and all of the facilities we visited. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting you all in person and having the chance to talk face-to-face about your programs and about our latest products here at Total Gym. While I could not mention everyone, you all made my first trip east spectacular!
Casco Bay YMCA, YMCA of Greater Portland, Saco Sport & Fitness in Saco, Maine, The Workout Club in Londonderry, NH, GymIt in Watertown, MA, Mount Auburn Club in Watertown, MA, Body Natural in Barrington, RI, Perform Better in Cranston, RI , Hoover Health Systems in North Scituate, RI, Healthtrax , Crunch, TSI Corporate
I was recently inducted in to the National Fitness Hall of Fame along with some of my fellow fitness professionals, Brenda Dykgraaf, Clyde Emrich and Anibal Lopez, whom I hold in high esteem. It is an honor that I am truly thankful for, especially since inductees are chosen based on a public vote – so a sincere “Thank You,” to everyone who voted for me. It is a blessing from above to have your product and passion recognized.
But kudos should really go to Mr. John Figerelli, creator of the National Fitness Hall of Fame. A veteran in the fitness industry himself, John began his career in 1981 teaching the then-popular, Slimnastics and Men’s Fitness classes at local park districts. He went on to earn his official certification as a Health-Fitness Instructor with the prestigious American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) in 1991 and later created the NU-SHAPE Weight-Loss & Fitness Program and in 2004.
However, several years ago, John found that little was being done to recognize and remember the efforts that so many have made promoting health and fitness to the American public. So in December of 2004, in order to preserve the history of the fitness industry, John founded The National Fitness Hall of Fame & Museum (NFHOF&M) to provide both a physical and virtual place where the lifelong efforts of individuals and organizations are acknowledged and showcased.
Today, the museum houses the most extensive collection of fitness artifacts, products and memorabilia dating back to the 19th Century. It highlights the careers of industry pioneers such as Joe Weider, Bob Hoffman, Charles Atlas with his “Dynamic Tension” program, Betty Weider (then Betty Brosmer), Jacki Sorensen, who coined the term “Aerobic Dancing” and Judi Sheppard Missett, who trademarked Jazzercise®.
Without these fitness trailblazers, who first opened up people’s minds to the concept of bettering one’s physical health and well-being through exercise, Total Gym would not exist. And without the efforts of John Figerelli, their stories and the evolution of our industry would not be immortalized forever so that millions of generations can continue to be inspired to carry on the tradition of physical fitness.
We just returned from the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) 2013 tradeshow in Las Vegas where we had our best show ever in the 10 years since we first began exhibiting at this amazing show.
With three NEW products launching at IHRSA, we had a lot to talk about. But by far, it was our new single station commercial fitness unit, the Total Gym Core Trainer™ that created the most buzz in our booth.
Designed to sit in the abdominal training area on the gym floor of commercial fitness facilities, the Core Trainer strengthens the abdominals while engaging the entire core musculature. Offering unparalleled versatility for an abdominal machine, the Core Trainer allows for two primary movements, the Dynamic Plank and the SCRUNCH®. Designed to be simple and intuitive, the Core Trainer accommodates all fitness levels to enhance basic core stability for beginners and provide advanced strengthening for conditioned fitness enthusiasts and athletes. Built on an incline, the Core Trainer is a plank facilitator that provides assistance for novice exercisers while allowing for multiple progression options which will challenge even the most fit individual by creating additional instability for increased core muscle recruitment.
It was fun to see how creative some of our fellow colleagues in the fitness industry could get while trying out the Core Trainer, proving to us (and to everyone else) just how versatile and effective this machine is for working out your core muscles. We were simply amazed by the positive response we got from everyone who, “got on board” and “planked OUR way,” and we’re certain you will all be seeing our new Core Trainer in a gym near you soon!
We were also excited to tell fitness professionals about our two new educational products, our new GRAVITY Workshops for small-group programming and our collaboration with the American Council on Exercise to deliver online training for personal trainers using Total Gym.
Check out the golf swing on this lil’ girl….
That’s Alana Kutt, the 7-year-old future LPGA superstar and our very own, Consumer Sales Specialist, Matt Kutt’s little daughter showing off her very professional looking golf swing.
In order to win, Alana’s video needs to get as many “Likes” & Views as possible. So feel free to share this link with all of your friends and family on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest!