Fitness 19 opens in Malverne

Gym gets high marks from local residents


It was only three days into the opening of Fitness 19 in Malverne, and the new gym was already buzzing with over a hundred people working out on the machines, in group lessons and with personal trainers.

“There’s no other gym in the area, so in the mornings, we have moms and people who come in before going to work,” said Melissa Pergola, a Lynbrook resident and personal trainer at Fitness 19. “All new members get a free 30 minute personal training session,” she said, so she’s staying very busy.

And so is every body else in the gym. With 60 cardio machines, 27 compound machines, 31 spin bikes, a half dozen bench sets, iso lateral machines, a dumbbell area and much more, there is never a lack of anything at the new 18,000 square foot institution. “We have enough room for everybody,” said Michael Hobbs, who owns Fitness 19 with his wife, Kelly. “We wanted to make sure we had enough equipment so people don‘t have to wait — no matter how busy we are.”

Hobbs said the largest percentage of his client base is from Malverne, but the gym is also attracting people from other places — people like Ralph Concepcion of West Hempstead, who joined the gym with his wife and had just finished a high intensity TRX workout. “I’ve never done anything like that before,” Conception said of the 45-minute workout, which consists of seven stations where a group of seven people exercise at each station for a minute, maneuvering ropes, pressing weights, jogging, and more — and then switch places. TRX, Hobbs said, is not new, but it’s new to the area. “It’s something we’re doing just to be different,” Hobbs said.

What are his thoughts of the gym? “So far it’s very good. This is my third day here,” he said, meaning he has been coming to the gym every day since it opened. And he wasn’t the only one.

Malvernite Joseph Ruscillo, 20, was working out three days straight at Fitness 19 and said joined because “its local, all my family and friends who live in Malverne joined, and you gotta get in shape for the summer,” said Ruscillo. “Gotta get that beach body going.” Ruscillo had high praise for the gym, saying it was very state of the art so it’s attracting a lot of people.

Jeannine Kuzniewski, who we caught up with while she was on the elliptical machine, said she too thinks highly of the gym, but hopes it doesn’t affect other businesses in the area. “The other places in town — they’ve been here a long time; I hope their clients stay loyal,” said Kuzniewski, who said she has been to BCKickboxing and Fitness, and has visited the Yoga Polarity Center a few times. “I appreciate that we have so much here though,” she said referring to the gym. “You don’t ever have to wait to get on a machine.”

Friends Donna Acquafredda and Linda Marinello of West Hempstead and Franklin Square respectively, were just about to go into a yoga class during their second day at the gym. “I did the machines and a class yesterday, and I’m still feeling it,” said Aquafredda, though she was back for more the next day. “All my friends joined. I have four friends here today. They used to go to the gym on Hempstead Turnpike, but they’re done with that place now.”