- Everyone warned Rich Decker about the state of the economy, but Decker didn't listen. Decker, who previously owned the three American Fitness Factory health clubs on the East End in the early 1990s, opened up Studio 89
Fitness, located at 89 Clay Pit Road in Sag Harbor, back in April and never looked back.
"In a time of recession, that's when you have to make bold moves," Decker said. "I thought what was missing out here was a one-on-one dedicated facility that isn't a studio apartment."
Rich Decker, formerly the owner of three American Fitness Factory gyms on the North and South Forks, debuted his newest project, Studio 89 Fitness, this past spring.
Decker had sold his gyms 12 years ago and continued working as a personal trainer. He also invented the BodyWedge21, an inflatable exercise cushion that is offered as most major health clubs nationwide. Studio 89 focuses on training its clients with the help of suspension, gravity, resistance and strength training rather than machines. Its slogan is "U R The Machine." Trainers can be hired for personal instruction and, for the first time in its brief history, membership is offered with trainer assistance available for as little as $25 per hour.
"They'll assist in your workout," Decker said. "You may not need help for a whole hour but maybe you need them to assist on a few things. They'll work one-on-one with you rather than just setting the seat height and weight and saying 'give me 15.' "
Hamptons.com caught up with Decker on a busy weekday to discuss everything from New Year's Resolutions to nutrition.
Hamptons.com: What's your stance on New Year's Resolutions?
They're great if you make ones you can keep and they're worthwhile. They're good starters for people to get aware of their health and fitness. The industry booms that month. The idea is to get to a place that will keep you committed. I've owned box gyms; they're all about cash flow. They need a lot of members. At a place like this, we're very hands-on. We're more about your results. Your result is my image. Of course, then you have to eat right, take care of yourself, you have to sleep and exercise well.
Do you have a resolution for 2010?
How did you come up with the phrase "U R The Machine"?
We don't have machines. We line your body up as if you're the machine. When you are the machine, minor muscles are being used. You need to stabilize those muscles close to the bone and stabilize the body to get your major muscles to fire.
People talk about building their "core." What does that mean to you?
Your core is the function of the whole body. It's the center of the nucleus and where all your energy comes from. If you have a good core, you're going to have a strong body. We're huge core believers here. Every exercise you do is related to core movement. We want you to isolate the core where every time you do a positive movement, you squeeze your core and engage it. Your energy bursts from the core.
How important is stretching on a daily basis?
At Studio 89 Fitness, the motto is "U R The Machine" as it utilizes suspension and gravity rather than heavy machinery to sculpt one's body.
It's the most important thing you can do for your body. Just look at your dog. They don't move without stretching. If they're in a seated position or lying down, they don't move until they stretch. Humans should do the same thing. In the middle of the day, get up from your office chair and stretch and definitely stretch between exercises.
Name one food that people should consider having that they might not now.
Green Vibrance. It's stuff that you can add to foods and drinks. I can't even tell you how full it is of probiotics and things your body needs to function accordingly.
How much water should someone be drinking each day?
It depends on his or her body weight. I would say at least three or four bottles of water a day. I drink probably 10. Seventy percent of your body is water. You want to keep it hydrated, and the more you drink, the less food you're going to eat. It gives you a full sensation. Nobody drinks enough water. Your body's not going to function if it's dehydrated. Your brain's not going to work properly without proper hydration. If you wait until you're thirsty to drink, you're already starting to be dehydrated.
What is the biggest problem that you see with people today in terms of health?
Nutrition and lack of exercise. People are eating incorrectly and they don't exercise 30 to 45 minutes a day.
What is your stance on energy drinks such as Gatorade and even Red Bull?
Gatorade has too much sugar. Vitamin Water has too much sugar. It's insane. Drinks like Red Bull are loaded up with caffeine and misused all the time. Caffeine is a dietetic. It dehydrates your body. I don't recommend them for anybody. Plus, you don't know how most people are going to react to it. It's not good energy. You can get the same energy from jumping rope or jogging. Your body will produce it. I just drink water, protein drinks, Green Vibrance and Electrolyte Fuel, which is a supplement from Twin Labs.
This winter, Studio 89 is offering memberships that can be supplemented with trainer assistance for a nominal fee.