Punching bags, fitness balls and other equipment line the wall near bulletin boards featuring members’ pictures, a list of upcoming birthdays and various testimonials.
Across the way is a large mirrored wall with weights stacked up. In between is a large space meant for groups to be comfortable working out together.
To Kaiser Serajuddin, the owner of Better Body Bootcamp, an environment like this is what someone needs to succeed.
“There’s one thing that you can’t order on Amazon, that you can’t get an app for, and that’s a better body. To some degree people are streaming in work out programs to their phone or whatever it may be, but it really needs to be a communal thing,” Serajuddi said.
“You need to have people around you for it and it’s a thing that needs to be done outside the four walls of your home. It’s still like about life and movement.”
Serajuddin, 39, began Better Body Bootcamp about six years ago. Its first building, in Great Neck, was across the street from its current location at 12 Northern Blvd., straddling the village edge. Its two other locations are in Bayside and Whitestone, Queens.
What ultimately inspired Serajuddin to open the business, he said, was a love of health and helping others.
Serajuddin said both of his parents were involved in the medical field, so he always held an interest in health. But after a pharmaceutical internship and working part-time as a personal trainer, he found fitness to be more fun and rewarding.
“I found that as a trainer, you are given more respect — that was my impression,” Serajuddin said. “You are in the vibrant area of health and fitness, whereas in pharmacy or in medicine, you’re on the back-end of health and wellness.”
Serajuddin, for a time, worked as a one-on-one trainer. But he became disillusioned, finding that the prices people paid for results were too high, especially since being in shape can have larger implications.
“Fitness is something much more broad than people understand,” Serajuddin said.
Better Body Bootcamp uses group training, with classes of 10 to 20 people engaging in warm-ups, cardiovascular training and interval training meant to build both strength and cardio fitness.
The business aims to be both family-friendly and communal.
Trainers and attendees tend to cycle between Better Body’s three locations: Whitestone, Bayside and Great Neck.
Salim Arbaje, the head trainer at Better Body Bootcamp, said that each day is different. The trainers use themes like “Muscle Monday,” “Transformation Tuesday,” “Full Body Friday” and “Cycle Sunday” to maximize results.
“We definitely live up to the fact that we keep the body guessing,” Arbaje, who has known Serajuddin for around 15 years, said. “This keeps you from flat toes.”
The end results, Arbaje said, can range from better posture and breathing to a positive change in lifestyle.
“They feel it every day of their life,” Arbaje said.