Jamie Bodner, owner of Pinnacle Fitness, grew up on Long Island, N.Y., with this twist, “Like many other Jewish friends, I worked on Wall Street at the World Trade Center. The attack on 9/11 was my catalyst to start a new career that was more fulfilling spiritually and could financially fit my lifestyle,” Bodner said.
Bodner, who received his first certification through the International Sports Science Association, said his love for fitness really started at age 12.
“I realized I could improve my sports performance, strength, energy, and happiness with a healthy lifestyle,” he said.
Changing careers was an easy switch. Bodner connected everything positive in his life to fitness. Motivated to help others, personal training was the perfect fit. He and wife, Laura, opened Pinnacle Fitness in 2008. They do personal training and small group class fitness in a boutique setting. They employ 10 trainers, offering workouts in individual sessions or packages amidst a cardio area that clients can use during workouts with a trainer or on their own.
He added, “We’re like the ‘Cheers’ of gyms where everybody knows your name. Clients typically work with more than one trainer. They may see one trainer on Monday and do half upper body. Wednesday, another will work lower body. Then Friday, a third may guide them through conditioning and stretching.”
He continued, “Our clientele consists of doctors like Michael Levine, lawyers like Michael Golden of Arnold Golden Gregory, CEOs, Fortune 500 entrepreneurs, busy moms, and professional and college athletes. Some clients need strength training, some need flexibility or weight loss. We do what that client needs.”
Bodner recounts his best success stories as those referred for pre- and post-surgery by doctors or physical therapists, like before a knee surgery, shoulder rotator cuff, or a herniated disc in the back. They work with clients to avoid surgery or come back from surgery quickly.
Bodner declared, “In a world used to instant gratification, it’s nice to put in the work to avoid surgery or recover quicker than expected. Trends I see in fitness around recovery versus hard-core training are hot and cold therapies, compression therapy, breathing, and meditation.”
Since January is traditionally a time to commit to healthy habits, Bodner shared his top fitness tips for 2023:
• “Just do it,” like our friends at Nike said; Stop over thinking. Start. That could be as simple as going for a 20-minute walk. Do more than you were doing.
• Nutrition: Make small changes one meal at a time. Get your breakfast right and stick with that for a week. Then add lunch for a week. Within one month, you’ll be eating four times better than before. Forgive yourself and move on. If you have a bad meal or skip a workout, don’t beat yourself up. Forget about it and move forward in the right direction.
• Diet: Eat healthy fats like oils, avocados, and nuts, and lean, quality protein, chicken, and fish, very little red meat. For snacks, eat fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Drink a lot of water with electrolytes.
• For kids: Play sports and play outside. I believe in simple movements and having fun. My daughter does yoga with me. My son is into wrestling, so we’ll do lots of push-ups, neck rolls, and sit-ups. We wrestle each other too.
• In a time crunch: Only have 20 minutes? You should still work out. Try high intensity like running stairs, up hills, bike, or rowing. Do one minute very hard, so you’re out of breath and then rest for one minute. If you have 20 minutes, you will be working for 10 of those. Everybody can find time for that!
• Best overall advice: The value of stretching is so important for the quality of movements. If you asked, “What’s the one thing I would do every day?” I would say, “Stretch your legs.” Those are your wheels, and we have got to keep them rolling. If you asked me five years ago, I would say push-ups. These strengthen the entire body and allow your shoulder blades to float and move over the rib cage as they’re supposed to. I love learning and experimenting and ask myself this question on a regular basis.