A Peek Inside Center City’s New Private Gym
In all my years touring gyms and fitness studios, I’d never been greeted by a smiling employee outside the entrance before. And I’d especially never been ushered inside by said employee and immediately offered my choice of free food and drink from a well-stocked kitchen. Even more surprising: I came to find out that this special treatment wasn’t because I’d come wearing my Be Well Philly hat. (I’m kidding, we don’t have hats, but note to self that we get hats made up.)
This is the treatment every single client will get at Bones Fitness Partners, a brand-spanking-new personal-training studio at 1528 Walnut Street, where the name of the game is top-notch customer service and a private gym experience akin to working out in your very nicely decorated and well-equipped living room (without having to move the couch to do a few push-ups).
“I felt like there were so many times people wanted a private scenario — like, “I don’t want to be that old guy who can’t lift or do a pull-up,’” says owner Hector Bones of his time at the Sporting Club at the Bellevue, where he was a personal trainer for several years. “People want to feel comfortable when they’re working out, like nobody’s watching them and judging them. So that’s what I wanted to create here: the experience of working out in your own private gym.”
That’s probably why Bones went ahead and trademarked his PrivatGym concept. In addition to the one-on-one customer service and the free food and drink, the “PrivatGym” aspect is evidenced in the two large, modern bathrooms each with their own showers, which are stocked with all the toiletries you could possibly need; the massive storage closet where he keeps essentials like razors, toothbrushes and even gym shorts for clients who forget to bring their own; and the policy (for now) to only have one person and one trainer using the space at a time. The goal, of course, is a truly private experience.
Bones did say that eventually, as his client-base grows, he may bring on a few more trainers, and he can foresee scenarios when there might be three people, at most, working out at one time. But even then, he’d stagger their training sessions, so one is finishing up just as another is starting. “There will never be a line for a shower,” he promises.
The gym space itself features a treadmill and an elliptical for cardio, plus racks of free weights, medicine balls, and Cybex machines for strength training. There are two massage tables for post-workout stretching.
Bones signed a lease for at 1528 Walnut in August, and opened his doors for business just two weeks ago. He brought 25 of his clients, but he’s currently adding more to the schedule. To get to know his new neighbors, Bones is running an intro special called the Bones Fitness Free Lunchtime Launchpad, which includes a free fitness assessment and one-on-one workout during your lunch break. And while you’re there, you can take advantage of the free snacks and, yes, those glorious showers. Anyone who works in the area can try it out. (You can set up your free session by contacting Bones at email@example.com or 215-545-6500.)
Bones also offers a la carte training sessions and packages; a 10-week jumpstart program that includes training sessions, nutrition counseling, Spin classes at Body Cycle Studio, massages and more; as well as private group classes that you can organize with groups of up to eight people.
“I’m excited to bring something new to Center City,” says Bones. “I want to get people in here so they can try the PrivatGym experience for themselves.”
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