When developer Nick Sinatra first purchased the Market Arcade, one of the first businesses to move inside was a gym. I didn’t know this until today.
Dj Elvin, the owner of the gym, was formerly a trainer at Body Blocks, one of the city’s most respected gyms, for five plus years. After leaving the commercial gym, he opened his own gym in his garage, where he trained his dedicated clientele for another four years. It was about that time that someone he knew involved with the Market Arcade project told him about an unusual (and vacant) carve out spot on the third floor that was available. Sinatra offered to build out the custom space, so naturally Dj jumped on the opportunity, and never looked back.
You might think that Dj’s biggest draw is the stunning Market Arcade building, but that’s really not it. Instead, Dj attributes the success of his business to the avant-garde exercise equipment that he features at his gym, called Body Bar. “You just can’t find this stuff outside of Denmark or Sweden,” Dj told me.”There might be one or two pieces in NYC, but generally they are almost impossible to come by.”
When I asked Dj about some of the equipment that he was referring to, he immediately pointed out a compressed air trainer manufactured by Keiser. The compressed air (instead of weights) means that there is constant tension that never changes. This equates to a smoother workout, offering techniques that would be impossible to replicate on a standard functioning trainer. As I watched Dj going through his routine, I was surprised to see some of the movements that he was capable of achieving, such as throwing a ball or swinging a bat. I could see how the compressed air helped to make the workout smoother – it looked relatively effortless, though it assuredly was not. Plus it was better for the joints, spine, etc., unlike typical cardio and weight training exercises.
Next Dj showed me a machine that was dreamed up right here in Buffalo. Jacob’s Ladder was invented by a guy who could no longer compete in hardcore running. “One day the guy was fixing the roof of his barn,” explained Dj. “As he was going up and down the ladder, he realized that he was getting a workout in ways that he had never imagined. That workout evolved into what we know today as Jacob’s Ladder. Eventually another Buffalonian purchased the rights to the machine and brought it to America’s Biggest Loser (the TV show). The rest is history – now it’s a household name. This is a green machine… the client powers it.” Once again, this is a low impact workout that gets tremendous results, and is not your ordinary hardware that one finds at most gyms.
Dj took me from machine to machine, explaining the technological properties of each one. He introduced me to what he calls “The Ferrari of treadmills”, which, once again is powered by the person running on it. The curved mat makes the exercise feel much more natural. The faster the client runs, the faster the treadmill goes, which means that the runner sets the pace, not the machine. Finally, Dj showed me machine that actually does plug into a wall. It emits 3D vibrations that help to regenerate parts of the bidy faster than just about anything else on the market. “These are the types of things that you see in Europe, or the PGA Tour,” Dj told me.
Along with all of the seemingly futuristic machines that are featured at Body Bar, there are still plenty of traditional weights and cardio machines. “Everyone is different,” Dj told me. “The problem is, most gyms and trainers don’t accommodate for different people. They just put everyone together in the same program, expecting that everyone will benefit the same. That’s not the way that it works. Our routines are adjusted for the individual, whether it’s kickboxing, weight training, etc. We teach people the proper techniques – everything from the basics to the more complicated routines. There are too many cookie cutter places out there, doing the same routines over and over. This is not your typical gym. If you want to build muscle mass, we can do that. If you want to get lean, we can do that.”
Whether it’s endurance or toning the muscles, Dj says that he has you covered. He has the experience, and he has the equipment. Plus, he is hoping to double the size on his operation in the Market Arcade in coming months. That would allow him to incorporate group classes such as spin and barre into his repertoire. “We’ve been growing ever since we moved in here, ” said Dj. “Now we’re ready to expand the operation. I’m lucky to have a client base that trusts us, and believes in what we’re doing because they see the results. So far, our growth has been purely word of mouth. That should say something about what we do.”