Aaron Bernstein, who has worn hats as a patent lawyer and vice president of a technology company, has had a passion for fitness as long as he can remember. He has been a certified trainer for nearly two decades, after all.
So when the company was acquired and he was offered a severance package, it allowed him another opportunity: the chance to open a location for F45 Fitness.
“I started looking for a more involved business opportunity, rather than just being one of those personal trainers at the gym,” Bernstein, who moved to Great Neck from the North Fork to manage F45, said on Monday. “So I did my research and I learned about F45 as a business opportunity and it just continued to seem so promising.”
F45, a fitness franchise born in Australia that has opened hundreds of locations in dozens of countries in the last six years, will be coming to – fittingly – 45 Middle Neck Road in Great Neck Plaza later this month.
It is now poised to spread across Long Island, with the Great Neck Plaza location slated to be only the second F45 Fitness center here and among the first of more than a dozen expected locations on the island.
“It’s growing rapidly,” Bernstein said. “The corporate claim is that we’re ‘the fastest growing fitness franchise in the world.’”
Bernstein said F45 offers 45 minutes of high-intensity interval training that is both functional, meaning all the movements are “full body,” and boosts metabolism to burn fat for another 24 hours.
During the workouts two certified trainers guide people through the 45-minute process, Bernstein said. There are also nine big-screen televisions at the different stations playing a loop of the exercise movements, he said.
“It’s tons of fun. When people start this, it’s sort of fast and that’s a real big appeal to everyone,” Bernstein said, adding that time commitment is one of the big reasons people give for not going to a gym.
And at F45 Fitness, there is no ordinary day.
“What goes on in here is it’s a circuit class but it’s different every day, meaning there might be 12 stations one day, 27 stations the next, and we have all this terrific movable equipment,” Bernstein said. “And every F45 is doing the same routine in the world every day and you’ll never do the same one twice.”
Before people begin a workout though, Bernstein said, the first thing they will be asked is if they have any aches or injuries so someone can “do what makes sense given their condition.”
Asked why he picked Great Neck for an F45 location, Bernstein said Great Neck seemed particularly promising. It has density, proximity to the train station and is sandwiched between municipal parking lots.
The location is also twice as big as the ones in New York City and 50 percent larger than the other Long Island location in Dix Hills, he said, which opened about two and a half years ago.
“It just seemed like a promising, promising area that has a sort of appetite for this thing and I can’t be happier with our location,” Bernstein said, also noting that the business will also have quarters on hand to pay for parking meters.
He also said that local merchants seem excited because a successful fitness business could draw in hundreds of people per week. So far, 125 people have registered for early bird memberships, Bernstein said.
In Great Neck, the early bird membership is about $204 a month – which breaks down to $51 per week or $7 a day, as classes are unlimited. Three or four weeks after F45 officially opens, this price will become $64 a week, or $256 per month.
Someone can also pause his or her membership for up to six weeks total per year in the event they will be away or unavailable, Bernstein said.
For more information, visit the F45 website or call 516-200-9299.