This Francisville Personal Training Gym Is Launching Group Fitness Classes

Culture Philly is celebrating its expansion with a grand opening party on October 12th.

francisville group fitness

Culture Philly, a personal training gym in Francisville, is starting to offer group fitness classes. / Photograph courtesy of John Pizzigoni

When John Pizzigoni and Brandon Johnson launched their personal training business in September 2017, they wanted to keep it simple. Too often, they thought, people are scared away from strength training because they think it looks too complicated or too intense for their fitness levels. Or gyms start adding extra amenities like a café and a spa, and eventually they don’t feel as much like gyms anymore.

Enter Culture Philly, a bare-bones strength training outfit in Francisville that, for the past two years, has served mostly the two owners’ personal training clients. It’s set up in an unusual way; for anyone who commits to meeting at least weekly for a personal training session, Culture Philly “turns into a 24 Hour Fitness for that individual,” as Pizzigoni says. Translation: Those folks can use the squat racks, dumbbells, medicine balls, kettlebells, yoga mats, etc., for no extra charge whenever they want.

The pricing is also tiered, so the more frequently you sign up for personal training sessions, the more the price drops — once per week is $60 for an hour and $40 for a half hour, two times a week is $50 per hour and $35 for every half hour, down to four times a week or more, which bottoms out at $40 per hour and $25 for every half hour. There are also cheaper options for two-on-one training.

Together, these strategies are interesting techniques to 1) make personal training less expensive and 2) get people moving more. But for those who still can’t afford Culture Philly’s offerings or don’t want to exercise as much as is required, Culture Philly has recently turned to a more traditional approach: group fitness classes.

“We wanted to become a little bit more versatile and have price points that were a little more reasonable for the general population,” Pizzigoni says. “We’re not in a place like Rittenhouse or Fitler Square where people have a lot of [disposable] income on average. There’s been a wave of people where personal training couldn’t fit in their budget, and we wanted to come up with an option to still attend to those people without compromising their training and to be able to justify lowering the cost on our end by fitting in more people.”

Culture Philly launched the group classes quietly in August, mostly serving their current clients. So far, Johnson offers a bootcamp class that combines bodyweight movements, stretching, and plyometrics while Pizzigoni teaches a circuit training class. They also work with Bobby Malcolm, a local MMA fighter, to coach a boxing and mixed martial arts class that includes pad work and fighting-specific conditioning. All classes are $25 for a drop-in.

To debut the classes to the broader public, Culture Philly is hosting a grand opening of sorts on October 12th. A circuit training class will take place at 10 a.m. with the potential addition of another at 11 a.m. if it gets too full. Kettlebell Kitchen, a meal delivery service designed for athletes that has a pick-up fridge inside Culture Philly, will be there handing out samples. But Pizzigoni says they’ll also probably “grab pizza and beers” to make the whole thing a real party — a refreshing take in the wellness space.

Culture Philly is located at 1415 Melon Street in Francisville. Stay tuned for the gym’s class schedule.