Greenwich fitness studio builds brand with workout challenge
At 5 a.m. sharp on Mondays and Wednesdays, Greenwich fitness studio owner LaRoy Warner begins coaching students through strength training exercises under the gaze of Starr Films producer Joe Capozzi and his cameras.
Earlier this month, five people from around Greenwich commenced the eight-week Iron Camp Challenge. Warner, a professional trainer and nutritionist, recently launched the program to help raise the profile of his gym.
“I was looking for ideas to get my studio’s name out there,” said Warner, a Danbury resident who dedicated himself to exercise training following a football career that stretched into playing semi-pro ball. Warner opened Iron Camp in Greenwich last June and soon after sought out locally owned Hybrid Media to brainstorm ways he could build his client base.
Together, they finalized the idea to launch the Iron Camp Challenge, which provides five participants free training and meal planning for eight weeks so long as they stay committed and allow Starr Films to record their experience.
Once Iron Camp and Hybrid Media put out a call for participants, Warner whittled the applicants down to five representing a variety of ages, lifestyles and fitness backgrounds, he said. While several had limited experience with strength training, others, such as Ike Gibbs, already exercise regularly.
“I’ve been running all my life,” said Gibbs, a track runner in college who’s completed several Ironman Triathlons. “I applied because I was looking for an opportunity to add new activities to my existing running schedule and focus more on strength training. It’s obvious when you get locked into an exercise routine that you use certain muscles primarily, so there’s a lot I can do to strengthen my body just by using different muscles. Hopefully I can become a more well-rounded athlete out of this.”
Gibbs said he’s continuing his typical running schedule in addition to the Iron Camp workouts.
So far, the participants have completed two weeks of the challenge and, already, some are starting to notice change. The first few meetings have included an initial assessment and work with getting students used to doing simple strength exercises with good form. Moving forward, Warner said, he’ll begin folding in new, more challenging routines that build on the foundation they’ve laid.
By Starr Films documenting how he works with clients at different fitness levels and with diverse goals, Warner hopes to have marketing material he can use after the challenge. Additionally, participants will view some of the footage at a celebration in March.
“We want to give people a sense of what Warner as a trainer is like,” said Capozzi, a Greenwich resident whose wife founded New York City-based Starr Films. Capozzi joins the Iron Camp Challenge participants each morning to film their experience. Soon, he’ll begin interviewing them on camera more.
“This is an experiment for all of us. We’re open to seeing what we can create based on what happens,” Capozzi said. “The last thing these people probably want to see at 5 a.m. is a camera, but we want to capture them at their best because what they’re doing is a huge commitment. I’ve already seen a transformation in some of them.”
Within the next month or so, Starr Films will begin releasing some of the footage on social media, though it won’t be until March that it all comes together, Capozzi said.
“After watching (Warner) in his element for a few weeks and getting to know him through this project, I’ve seen that he’s a great motivator — that really stands out,” he said. “I often feel guilty that I’m just holding the camera, but I know at some point they’ll get me doing some reps or something.”
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