Starting a business in todays economy is considered a risky venture. Nonetheless Ken Carrier is confident he can make it happen. And a visit to his first health club, No Body Denied (NBD) at Echo Plaza, is likely to make a believer out of you, too.
He's never owned a gym before, but Carrier is well versed in sports and fitness. He ran 15 different health gyms before starting his franchise and has spent years of coaching sports; most recently, he coached a baseball team of 14-year-olds. But he's not the kind to sit on the sidelines or in a gyms' office. During our talk, Ken demonstrated some of the machines used by professional football teams for plyometric and functional training.
As its name implies, Carrier didn't design NBD solely for athletes. Anyone looking for a work out is welcome. In addition to yoga and Zumba classes, NBD boasts up to date cardio equipment and personal flat panel screens where parents can watch their child in the babysitting room (or television broadcasts that don't involve their children). Ginger Fiorilli, Springfield mother of two, complimented the indoor cycling classes, and said the trainers are great and the environment that Ken creates is truly wonderful.
At 10 a.m. on a Wednesday the busiest place was the training zone, where four certified trainers worked with members. Ken is enthusiastic about his trainers who are a big part of NBD. NBD's personal training is in half hour blocks and uses Keiser air-powered equipment instead of standard weight machines.
Working in the health club business for years, Ken has given thought to his child care design. He not only has a babysitting room equipped with a camera where you can see your kids via your flat panel display on your bike or treadmill, but also a Wii and a space for teenagers to hang out play xBox or do homework. One mom said her kids even ask to go there every day after school.
Leslie Glass joined recently and praised the family friendly atmosphere and the clean environment.
"The open spaces are a sharp contrast to other nearby places that feel cramped," she said. Bonnie Lafazan, also of Springfield, is a fan of their indoor cycling classes, and finds the prices extremely reasonable. She left a popular Short Hills establishment for the great deal. She isn't alone; Ken is getting memberships from people leaving competing establishments and roughly about 20 memberships a day.
For more information on NBD, visit their Web site or contact Ken Carrier at 973-258-9170 for a ten-day VIP pass to No Body Denied. The gym will also be holding a ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday, Feb. 19, at noon.