This is the opposite of the "No Judgment Zone" idea of fitness studios, says co-owner Bill Gallagher: "This is not Planet Fitness: We judge."
Gallagher and his business partner, Brianna Diorio, a nutritionist, have just opened their small gym next door to JoyRide cycling studio in the Goodwives Shopping Center, 25 Old Kings Hwy. N., a fitness place also opened earlier this year.
Also at Goodwives: Koko FitClub, CST50 Fitness Studio (which uses a certain type of exercise machine and is actually next door to the shopping center), and Flair Fitness, known largely for it's Zumba classes.
And those are just the fitness studios nearby. Darien also has yoga studios and fitness studios elsewhere in town (including Equinox, Infinity, Fitness Together and Elite Training Concepts in Noroton Heights).
This town likes its fitness studios, and each has its own approach to exercising and fitness.
Dynamic Athletics' niche
At Dynamic Athletics, a program including some very traditional exercise equipment (kettle balls, ropes and weights that would be familiar in a late 19th century gym, for instance) is combined with posting members' goals and results for everyone to see.
"We want to be able to track results so that everyone in this gym is constantly improving," Gallagher said. On joining, each client is expected to put on record his or her goals in three months, six months or a year's time.
"We call all of our members 'athletes,' whether they're adults or actually athletes in school," Gallagher said. "We want them to come in here and train. [...] Everything we do here is performance-based, because the more performance improves, the more everything else should improve."
As one page on the Dynamic Athletics website puts it: "We know this is not for everyone, and that's ok. Not everyone who goes through our program wants to continue, and not everyone that wants to continue is accepted. If you can't aspire for greatness and commit one hour each day to improving yourself both physically & mentally, this is not the place for you."
Gallagher put it this way: "We want people who are dedicated -- men, women, age and gender don't matter, as long as you're dedicated and willing to put in the work, we want you here."
Gallagher and Diorio met when they both worked at Parisi's Speed School in Stamford before that business closed in June. Gallagher, who already had clients and connections with sports teams in the area (he works with the Connecticut Chargers lacrosse team and St. Luke's School football team, for instance), wanted a studio of his own.
Not just exercise
Diorio's nutrition and diet advice, which can include blood-work analysis and even coaching in grocery shopping, is meant to complement the exercising in a holistic approach to healthy living that may also include suggestions for lowering stress and improving sleep.
"We place a lot of emphasis on educating our athletes," Diorio said. "We want people to understand why we're doing things in the gym, and we want in the 23 remaining hours of the day for them to be making smart choices."
The tag line on the Dynathletics website summarizes a lot of Gallagher's and Diorio's fitness philosophy in four words: "Train. Eat. Sleep. Win."
25 Old Kings Hwy. N. (around the left side of Goodwives Shopping Center)
Facebook: Dynamic Athletics