When Jeffrey Shammah opened Fitness Results Inc. in 1990 at 137 5th Ave., New York, New York, he didn’t have any experience in business. At 25 years old, he knew exactly the type of studio he wanted to establish, but wasn’t aware of the obstacles that were going to get in his way.
“Health clubs were devoid of space and full of equipment,” Shammah said about health clubs in the early 90s. “Aerobic classes were in fashion. There also weren’t any examples that I was aware of to emulate or follow.”
Shammah had the idea to bring a mixture of art and fitness together. “There were either one or two personal training studios or Zen-like spas with therapy, but the two were not truly integrated. Large health clubs would house as many things as they could in order to attract as many people as possible, but they were competitive and separate from one another.”
At the age of 14, Shammah began devoting eight years to competitive gymnastics under Renville Duncan, a gymnast, actor and dancer who received the award Profesor de Gymnastique in Romania, and Abraham Grossfeld, a 1984 Olympic Gold Medal winning coach.
“I received my B.S. in physical education in 1982 from Southern Connecticut State University,” Shammah said. “I’ve worked for the YWCA, Jack Lalanne Health Clubs, NY Health and Racquet Club, Printing House and Sport Training Institute. I’ve trained privately in the Hamptons and continue to train clients in NYC.”
Since the opening of Fitness Results, Shammah has experienced two recessions and lost four immediate relatives. He attributes those two episodes to the beginning of learning to overcome obstacles.
“Being only 25 years old in 1990, I lacked experience in business as well as in life,” Shammah said. “I’m still not sure if I know what I’m doing, but I’ve always known which direction I wanted to go and I’ve never compromised my integrity, nor the integrity of Fitness Results.”
Fitness Results operates differently than most personal training studios, in that it doesn’t focus strictly on common personal training techniques found in most fitness clubs.
“Fitness Results is based on the following principles:
Holisticity – no one piece is greater than the whole; each person is a company unto themselves.
Integration – of gender, race, techniques and appearance is encouraged.
Tolerance – everyone must respect each other’s differences.
Above all, respect the space and others around you.”
Instructors at the studio are 100 percent freelance. There are no memberships and no set work schedules for practitioners. Shammah said that practitioners are paid first, company second; and, the cost of the session is determined by the practitioner, not the studio.
“I never wanted the studio to be limited by my limitations,” Shammah said. “The variety and uniqueness of each individual, and modality was emphasized — not what I thought the right or wrong way to exercise was. I trusted the governing bodies that license/certified individuals to teach.
“The practitioners at Fitness Results are as much my teachers as I hope I am theirs. They have come together one by one, slowly over time. And, no matter how difficult times were financially I never compromised the studio, nor it’s rules for greed or money. This has led Fitness Results to a very high retention rate of practitioners and clients, and allowed us to weather the storms of an ever-changing economic environment.”
The studio has practitioners that are experts in Yoga, personal training, Pilates, martial arts and dance; Chi-Kung, longevity training, acupuncture, Tibetan and Ayurvedic medicine, as well as other forms of exercise incorporating the use of free weights, kettlebells and TRX suspension training. -CS