The Training Station began as a one-on-one personal training facility, and expanded to offer individualized circuit training.

THE TRAINING STATION

Johnston, R.I.; 401 942-7759; www.tstationinc.com

The Training Station, opened in November 1999 by Owner/Operator Joseph A. Abatecola, began as a one-on-one personal training facility, and expanded to also offer individualized circuit training. As part of a remodel for its five-year anniversary, the fitness center expanded to include a dedicated cardio room. "We feel we have the best personal and circuit training facility in New England. With the addition of our cardio room, we are even more confident of that fact," says Abatecola.

Having a great facility is only the beginning, however. "Our true strength lies in our customer service," says Abatecola. "All sessions (including circuit) are by appointment, so we can give our clients the attention they deserve in a quiet, focused atmosphere. This keeps the facility from overcrowding -- we have never had anyone waiting for a piece of equipment. This also allows us to keep a close eye on our clients. Since we opened almost six years ago, we have not had one injury," he says.
Another unique part about the facility is that circuit training programs are individualized and are changed monthly. "The response has been great. No one else in our area does that," Abatecola says. And, "when people sign up for our circuit, they purchase personal training as well. This increases our bottom line."
Having been a professional dancer, Abatecola brings a different perspective to personal training. "Fitness starts at the core and works to the extremities. We stress slow, steady progress. This fitness thing is not easy, and we teach people to accept reasonable goals," he says.
Training Station trainers emphasize realistic goals and no-fad diets. "Proper exercise and nutrition in the proper amounts," explains Abatecola. "Our thinking is to educate our clients to be better fitness members. As a result, many clients turn into walking billboards and refer others to us." All clients are required to fill out a complete health history, and the facility requires ACE certification or a college degree in fitness for its trainers, who are independent contractors.
To gain members, Abatecola says that he doesn't limit marketing to any one segment of the population. "Having said that, we tend to draw people who have little or no fitness experience. The Training Station's non-intimidating atmosphere allows these people to feel comfortable and focused," he says. The fitness center also donates gift certificates to local running events and charities. Says Abatecola, "This gives us more market presence, and shows an involvement in our local community."
The appeal of The Training Station, says Abatecola, is that it seems like a full fitness center, but members never get lost in the crowd or have to wait in line. "TheTraining Station likes to think of itself as the 'Cheers' of fitness centers," explains Abatecola, "Our trainers know all our clients. We know the music they like, exercises they prefer, and where they need to be pushed or not. I also like to think I learn as much from them as they do from me."

Facility Stats

* Date fitness facility opened: October 1999
* Fitness facility size: 1,200 square feet
* Number of members: Approximately 100
* Strength equipment: Line of King Fitness machines, Cybex benches and machines, dumbbells, Body Bars, Thera-Bands, Swiss balls
* Cardio equipment: True and Cybex treadmills, Reebok ellipticals, True and Tectrix recumbent cycles, StairMaster stepper
* Group exercise classes: Pilates and Ballet Fit -- by appointment
* Amenities: Massage therapy
* Management/fitness assessment software: VHI PC kits for program design; recently began taking credit cards, so switched to Twin Oaks software for management system