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Phorm Follows Function

Longtime Long Branch business owner Mark Steinfield branches out with a new luxury boutique private training studio

While up to 30% of the country’s fitness centers have permanently closed since March 2020 due to Covid-19, Mark Steinfeld, owner of Gold’s Gym at Pier Village, refused to be a statistic. Rather than be defeated by the pandemic, he used the shutdowns and restrictions as an opportunity to evolve his business and give his clients exactly what they were looking for: private personal fitness training. “During the pandemic, I had to make a decision to keep going or trim down, so I limited business to just Long Branch.” 

The idea of Phorm, a new luxury personal boutique training studio, was then born. “Phorm is the answer for people who didn’t want to go back to public fitness centers,” Steinfield explains. “It’s very upscale and private.”

An avid martial artist in the late 1980s, Steinfield is a leader in the local fitness world, first opening Gold’s Gym in Howell in 1989, followed by others in the area, including Pier Village where he’s been for the past 18 years. “When I first came, Pier Village was just being built and I worked out of a trailer. I’ve been here since the beginning and have watched the development.”

While Steinfield no longer operates the Freehold location, Long Branch’s Gold’s Gym is still going strong, and Phorm is a cut above. “This private training studio was opened specifically in response to the pandemic,” Steinfield says. “We have the real serious fitness buffs at Gold’s, but the general fitness population was reluctant to go back to bigger gyms.”

So in August of 2022, Phorm opened as a stand-alone studio and offers a private by-appointment-only luxury training experience. “There’s never more than 10 or 12 people at one time at Phorm,” Steinfield explains. “I wanted to create more of an upscale atmosphere. People like privacy.” It’s also very popular with working professionals who don’t have a lot of time but want one-on-one attention from a trainer. 

THE BOUTIQUE CONCEPT

Phorm's $299 monthly membership—quite reasonable considering the hourly rates of at-home personal trainers—includes full membership at Gold’s, along with exclusive access to Phorm's private one-on-one instruction and Phormula 4, which is semi-private training for up to four people, perfect for those who want to work out with others. The small numbers allow the trainer to focus on each member, so the class still feels like individual training.

Along with functional training, bodyweight training, and strength training, Phorm also offers cardio equipment and boxing classes. Added perks include complimentary parking along with free monthly body-fat testing with Styku, the leading 3D body scanner. 

STARTING OUT

Phorm is also a great option for those who are hesitant to get started or intimidated by the open gym concept. “When you’re considering getting involved in fitness, it’s no longer if, but rather when and where do you feel comfortable,” Steinfield explains. “Your later years in life will be better if you can engage in exercise. Walking is great but doesn’t include resistance training. It’s common sense that if you engage in exercise, you’ll be healthier as you age. Here, we try to make everyone feel comfortable.”

Some members first start at Phorm, and then move over to Gold’s once they gain a bit of confidence. Gold’s offers accommodating hours from 5:00 am to 10:00 pm during the week, along with weekend hours. This all-inclusive center with a relaxed atmosphere provides a little bit of everything: state-of-the-art amenities, personal trainers, group fitness classes, martial arts–inspired cardio classes, and yoga sessions. There’s cutting-edge cardio equipment, a sauna/steam room, free weights, resistance machines, a boxing area, and smoothie bar—anything you could possibly need for your fitness routines. Members range from beginner to advanced, with help from experts who will support and inspire. A Gold's membership starts at $65 a month plus tax.

Phorm, like its new members, is just getting started. “We think we’re in the right place at the right time, and we feel like we will continue to only get stronger,” says Steinfield. 

Phorm,15 Morris Avenue, Pier Village, Long Branch; 732-204-7330; phormphit.com.

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“To me, it’s a lifestyle. Being on the Jersey Shore, that active lifestyle carries over to everything you do in the gym and out.”

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