Health & Fitness

By Erin Brady

Recently, I had the chance to workout with former Mr. America, Rich Barretta, at his eponymous NYC Studio, Rich Barretta Private Training (RBPT). On 22nd Street off of 5th Avenue, it’s not easy to find RBPT as it’s in a rather unassuming building, with no signs or lights and on the 2nd floor. I walked up the dimly lit staircase and really didn’t know what to expect. I’ve had personal training sessions before but something told me this one would be much different. Rich has been in the business for 30 years, winning every body building contest he’s entered, including that of Mr. America. In his body building days, Rich (who only has a high school degree), basically taught himself to listen to his body and train his muscles to look and work like he wanted in order to beat some of the bigger stature body builders.

Rich trains famous athletes, celebs and models, giving them all the same nutrition advice as he gave me, which is to avoid alcohol, processed foods, fried foods and carbs after 6pm. I’m going to make an effort to be better at this but it’s definitely not an easy prescription. Rich’s method, which he calls Target Training, targets specific areas and muscles to transform your body. He considers his job an art form and takes pride in sculpting clients’ bodies to be more powerful and resilient. Rich begins by evaluating your body, shape, diet, reflexes and more to create a tailored strength/conditioning plan. I found this part especially interesting as Rich was able to tell me why certain areas of my body that I like better are the way they are and how working different muscle groups can really change your body type. I learned which muscles are weaker than others, tighter and how all of this plays a role in my overall health and wellbeing. I could have asked Rich questions all night, but I was there to work!

The studio has a room with weights and typical cardio equipment, a lounge area where the trainers hangout in between workouts, and then six personal pods that are either 8×8 or 10×10 areas where you work with your trainer using limited equipment. The pods contain weights and a BOSU ball and you can adjust the light, music and fans above head, making it a completely customized arena. This type of space can also easily be replicated in a small apartment or home, as once you learn the right movements that emphasize coordination, control and repetition, you’ll be all set to workout on your own. Rich and I did some weight exercises, lunges, crunches on the BOSU ball, stretching, yoga poses and more and needless to say I wasn’t sweating but boy did my muscles work hard!

The studio is unique in that it has no membership fees and you pay as you go for the sessions, meaning you are able to come more often or even not at all if it’s not working for you. The studio does not advertise or hand out flyers on the street, so if this is the first time you are hearing about it, it’s not surprising, but now that you are in the know, go and get the body you’ve always dreamed of!

Sound too good to be true, well guess what, it’s not! Rich Barretta Private Training wants you! The first 25 readers to email with the subject line “BeautyNewsNYC Invite,” will receive a free one-hour training session with one of Rich’s highly experienced, hand-selected trainers. With all those holiday parties coming up, how can you afford not to give this a try!? There are no strings attached, no sales pitches, you just have to be a new client to RBPT and over the age of 18.

Rich Barretta Private Training
1 W. 22nd St., 2nd Fl.
(212) 627-1496

Originally published November 2009
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