Our cover shoot took place at DOGPOUND, NYC's hottest new gym. This boxing haven brings celebrities, Victoria's Secret Angels, models, athletes, and those that are truly enthusiastic about perfecting their look. DOGPOUND has become the prime location where this all comes together through their focus on training members through personalization of their individual goals.
After spending the afternoon shooting here for our anniversary issue, we had some questions for this temple of fitness. What started from a group of workout buddies, has grown into DOGPOUND founded by Kirk Myers.
ATHLEISURE MAG: Can you tell us how DOGPOUND came to be before coming to your present location in Tribeca?
KIRK MYERS: DOGPOUND was originally called Kirk Fitness. I was working as a personal trainer, but my business started growing really rapidly. It was then I met Breylis Pena, who wanted to become a trainer, and we formed a group in the morning made up of clients who wanted to workout but didn't have a lot of time during the day. We started calling ourselves DOGPOUND. At the time we were renting space out of multiple gyms, but it wasn't long before we outgrew the spaces--even getting kicked out. So, we decided to build our own.
AM: What is DOGPOUND and what is the meaning behind the name?
KM: Some of our clients started bringing their dogs to the workouts.
AM: What is your background and what led you to create this studio?
KM: I was a chunky kid, but my health took a pretty big downturn when I suffered from heart failure. I knew I would need to make some pretty serious changes. I started working out, I started to see the results, they wanted to work out with me. My training business started to grow. I started at 23, and I've always been an independent trainer. I realized that in order to be the top trainers in the world, we needed our own home base.
AM: It's clear that beyond being a studio and a method, that it is a culture - what about it has made it a destination for models, celebrities, etc as a place to get the physique that your members want?
KM: I think there's a couple reasons why. It's because we are so passionate about what we do, and people see that and recognize it. That type of energy is infectious. We are in an up and coming neighborhood, we want our clients to feel safe and comfortable in the space and we are results oriented. We've created a community, so most of the celebrities and models who workout here, their friends workout here too.
AM: On the same note, how do you select trainers that you onboard to the DOGPOUND family?
KM: We hire passionate and positive trainers. That's our number one and number two. Our roster of trainers is pretty diverse. It is not really about what you've accomplished, but where you want to go. You really want to be a trainer, you really want to help people? That's the kind of trainer we want. We can develop the trainers and give them the education they need. We have our entire boxing program. No one ever boxed before the program, but we brought someone in who was a world class boxer and he taught us how to box and now we have a boxing program. You have to want to learn. Some of our top trainers weren't trainers when they started. We look for trainers who want to constantly seek improvement. Just like our clients come here to be a better version of themselves.
AM: We like that those who are members of your gym have the ability to be trained by a number of your trainers, what was the thought process behind that and how do you feel that that is beneficial to them?
KM: Because it’s always been my own business, I've had long term clients. The issue is that they can get bored working out with only one person. Not only do the clients get bored, but the trainer gets bored. When you have a team, you can offer strengths that you don't have personally in your service. It creates variety. Just today, I had a client who likes boxing, but I don't box, so I had him warm up with some boxing techniques with another trainer. Another client has a knee bothering him so I had a trainer that has more physical therapy background work with him. Workouts don't get stale. And, simply for a time standpoint, it allows for clients to make sure they can fit their workout in. If a client want's to workout but their only availabilty is at ten, but I'm booked at ten, they can work out with someone who has an opening at that time. Here you can always get into workout with somebody.
AM: Besides the location at Tribeca, are you planning additional locations?
AM: Do you sell apparel that is branded with DOGPOUND or other brands?
KM: As of right now, you can't really get apparel unless you come directly to the location. It's available only at the gym.
AM: What types of workouts are offered at DOGPOUND?
KM: Boxing, HIIT, Strength Training
AM: How important is offering nutrition as a service?
KM: It's extremely important. I think nutrition is 70% of your fitness goal.
AM: Clearly, you're a busy man, when you're not working, what can we find you doing on your "off time"?
KM: Relaxing and snuggling with my Pooh Bear. Oh, and watching the Raiders.
AM: When did you introduce the Machine Gun?
KM: Four years ago.
AM: What does the studio look like? Any signature decor?
KM: It was designed by Fabien Baron. Black, white, and concrete. Very sleek look.
AM: I know you have a varied clientele but could you generalize a bit and give me a brief description of the folks who go there?
KM: There are finance guys and girls, artists, athletes, celebrities, models and a lot of people who just want to get results.
AM: Can you be more specific about how the various disciplines are combined? Are you going from holding a yoga pose straight into a resistance exercise straight into a jump squat?
KM: Just want to paint a clearer picture of the progression of the class. The only class we offer is boxing, but we always start a one on one session with a dynamic warmup, but the workout is specific to each person's goals. All of our one on one programs are individualized. If you are a dancer, there will be more flexibility, toning and core work, but if you are looking to join the 1000lb club, there is going to be more strength training and heavy lifting.
Read more from the Jan issue.