Frank Savino’s family wasn’t too happy when, halfway through earning his doctorate, he left his job of 15 years as an Associate Dean of Student Affairs at St. Johns University to open a gym. He was following his true passion and purpose; after years as a stand-out athlete himself—and training athletes and students part-time—Frank decided to make a career doing what he loved most: fitness training.
The move paid off: A decade later, his successful strength and conditioning facility, Gridiron Inc. hosts 350 clients, 7 days a week, with 7 on-staff trainers, specializing in high intensity fitness for novice beginners to professional athletes—as well as for people in rehabilitation or different stages of injury or illness recovery.
“This is not a vanity gym,” Frank is quick to note. While Gridiron has its share of professional, collegiate, and high school athletes, the focus is on functionality and living well. “There are no muscle heads here. We’re a safe haven for students; an incredibly supportive environment for people in different stages of healing, different stages of living.”
Fresh, intense, innovative workouts
Frank’s philosophy is simple: Train as intensely as possible, utilizing different workouts in a safe, efficient, effective manner with proper form and technique.
“Work hard, as hard as you can, at each and every workout,” Frank insists from all his clients from pro athletes, to new moms to high school students, to cancer survivors, clients with chronic health issues, and many post surgery and rehab clients. “Corrective exercise is a big part of what we do. All you have to do is commit to my philosophy: every workout is to be as productive as possible. It’s that simple.”
“We’ve grown by referrals, word of mouth, and reputation,” Frank said. “I never did advertising or marketing because I figured, if I have to recruit you, I really don’t want you.” Gridiron never even had a sign outside the gym, and has never done advertising or marketing. Frank did finally did put up a Gridiron sign because his bookkeeper, who happens to be his mom, was insistent: ‘What kind of business are you?? No sign?’
“I love what I do, consider myself very blessed. I lose myself in training people, and love every minute of it. Once you come to my gym, you’ve come to my home, and become part of the Gridiron family. People stay and hang out after training, talk and mingle. We’ve created a real community here, a real family.”