men are in excellent shape, cut imposing figures and look as if they could
crush the bones in your hand during that “size up your manhood” handshake.
But that snap judgment would be deceiving.
What you might not expect from the two fitness gurus are the easy smiles that reach their eyes, the boyish enthusiasm they have for helping others and their complete honesty about themselves and their past.
According to Pappalardo, My Training Gym’s move to the larger facility on Evergreen Place (right off of Ridgedale Avenue, across from Toyota of Morristown) was a few years in the making.
“We were in a space about half the size as this for a little over two years,” Pappalardo said. “We started off with 15 clients and we basically outgrew the space. Clients couldn’t work out next to each other at certain times of the day.
Pappalardo said that the new space is part of the gym’s evolution.
“We started off with just personal training and over the course of the last two years and now we have a complete nutritional program,” Pappalardo said. “And we now have expanded to include myofascial stress therapy, massage therapy and we have a fully functioning pain free movement department. We cover a lot of bases.”
But it isn’t as if they tinkered with what was working. The Boot Camps, the personal training sessions, all of those things came with them to the new location.
“Some people aren’t here to lose weight,” Pappalardo said. “Some people come here to live with less pain. So we try to be more than just a workout facility.”
Pappalardo, who commutes to the gym from the home he shares with his daughter on Staten Island, said it took a few twists and turns to get there.
“I was working a construction job five years ago as a foreman, and the job ended and I was at a crossroads. People had always come to me for help with fitness over the years, as it was an important part of my life. I took the opportunity to pursue my passion,” Pappalardo said. "When I saw my friend Greg was personal training at another facility. He gave me a couple clients and from there it evolved. And he spoke about opening a place and from there we just took off.”
Crawford, a “proud Morristown resident,” said that what they do at My Training Gym really helps people. No one who comes in to work out is out on the floor alone, they are accompanied by a trainer. And those who come in are given a consultation to really explore their fitness issues.
“We bring the walls down and come up with a life game plan,” Crawford said. “It is a lot like a life coaching session. We do monthly follow-up on goals set. And these are goals that have nothing to do with fitness measurements.”
Both Crawford and Pappalardo said they have face challenges in their lives, made major mistakes and bring with them the hard won life lessons to share with their clients.
“We have a good energy here,” Crawford said. “We attracted all quality people from the area.”
Pappalardo said that helping people the way he does at the gym allows him to be someone his three-year-old daughter can be proud of.
“No one gets lost in the shuffle here. People come in for a boot camp, we’re not going to throw them into a class. We’re going to help them,” Pappalardo said.
Those interested in seeing the services offered by My Training Gym can check out the website, drop in or call to set up a consultation and motivational makeover.
“When people come in here for a consultation, their problem isn’t that they can’t eat healthy and exercise,” said Crawford who has published children’s books about nutrition. “But you need help. You need people in your corner.”
Crawford said that people who come to My Training Gym get an overall feeling of belonging to something special besides going to a gym.
“They are getting that support in every area of their life,” Crawford said. “We care about everybody. We are helping them from inside out rather then the outside in.”
Oh, and their handshakes? Supportive, firm, but not overpowering.