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
Walt Disney once said, “If you can dream it, you can do it.” I’ve found this to be true, but what he didn’t say is how much work goes into achieving a dream, something I know very well from experience and something I was recently reminded of.
Years ago, my daughter Shanan said “If I marry Nick it will be on Gili Meno.”
“Where I said?”
“Gili Meno. It’s just a two hour boat ride south of Bali.”
Well I’d heard of Bali, but Gile Meno? Turns out it’s a very small Indonesian island that you can walk around in less than an hour.
A few years and a proposal later, my wife and I, joined by a few friends and family, watched as Shanan married Nick along the scenic shores of Gili Meno – the wedding she’d dreamed of.
You can imagine the amount of work that went into planning a wedding on such a remote island from our home base here in San Diego, but somehow we pulled it off, or more specifically, Shanan and my wife, Joy, pulled it off. From halfway around the world, and with the help of the fantastic Oberoi Hotels & Resorts, they managed to plan every detail from the flowers at the ceremony to the cake at the reception on Lombock island, a 15 minute boat ride from the ceremony.
What was once just a dream, became one of the most magnificent and memorable weddings I’ve ever attended.
Likewise, as I look back on almost 40 years in the fitness business, from the day when Total Gym was just a dream to where we stand today, a global leader in the industry, I can think of many, many people who dedicated their time and considerable talents to making Total Gym the success I always knew it could be. From all the employees we’ve had over the years to national dealers and international distributors like, Perform Better, Patterson Medical, Dynatronics , HQH fitness, Physical Company and Total Gym Germany and of course all of our customers – all I can say is Thank You for helping me reach my dream.
There’s no date like a workout date if you know the benefits of making your sweetheart your “sweatheart.”
Follow Dr. Mantell on Twitter @FitnessPsych
Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D., earned his doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania after completing his M.S. degree in clinical psychology at Hahnemnann Medical College where he wrote his thesis on the psychological aspects of obesity. He coaches world-class athletes and fitness enthusaists for performance enhancement. He is Senior Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for ACE, on the faculty of the Equinox Fitness Training Institute, a national Community Ambassador for Experience Life Magazine’s health initiative and for FitFluentials, appears weekly on San Diego’s CW channel 6, is a consultant to Les Mills International, writes for IHRSA, is a member of the Sports Medicine Team at the Sporting Club of San Diego and the La Jolla Sports Club specializing in fitness psychology, writes the “San Diego Fitness Psychology” column and “San Diego Life Coach Examiner.” He is also a writer and consultant to the Total Gym company. Dr. Mantell has written two best-selling books and appears regularly on radio and TV.