When Stephen Passanante took over JVH Performance Training nearly three years ago, he had no idea what he had gotten himself into. After all, what more could be done to an independently owned gym that had already been well established for over a decade in the close-knit town of Stony Point? According to Passanante , who transitioned from his position as a trainer at the gym to owner, the challange has been rewarding.
“I started off as an intern while still working on obtaining my certifications. Eventually, once I finished up and began working full-time, John (Hoke, former owner) allowed me to help take over the business to what it is today.” And while there will always be struggles ahead for a new owner of an established business, “Coach Steve-O” (as his clients affectionately refer to him) has taken them in swing and has completely redefined the gym with his own unique vision.
“What sets JVH apart from your more traditional gyms is the sense of community you get here,” says Passanante. “We’re not only able to get closer with our clients, but we’re actually able to write programs and workouts specifically geared towards those clients.”
Community is definitely a key element to the gym’s atmosphere. Since their inception, JVH has geared specifically towards Rockland County’s young and upcoming athletes, as well as those looking to make changes in their life. “We get everyone in here,” said Coach Steve-O “Our clients range from student athletes all over the county, and we get everyone from swimmers, to wrestlers, to Lacrosse and Soccer players etc. A lot of our athletes are also competing in combat sports/Olympic lifting. Our main goal is to train them specifically to be able to compete and perform at a high intensity level with a functionally effective workout.”
That is certainly not to be overstated. All of JVH’s workouts are tailored so that anyone who walks into the gym can participate. “I wrote a program specifically to increase a clients Aerobic Capacity, as well as deal with high stress situations.” Adds Passanante, “From First responders and current/former military members; we also get a lot of people who have not trained in years, or never at all. Our programs are designed to ease their way back into health and fitness”
It’s evident that Passanante’s passion for fitness made him a perfect candidate for the gym’s new owner. But what really makes the Coach a natural fit for the job is his commitment to the people he trains; Passanante takes pride in helping his clients embrace a healthy lifestyle and he cares deeply for his hometown and the people in it. “ I want to start helping first responders and other people in the community, that aren’t necessarily just athletes. I want them to be functioning, healthy people in their everyday lives.” JVH has a number of different memberships to offer, with programs and routines targeted specifically for personal development. This past October, JVH ran a Breast Cancer awareness event, to help raise money for the cause as well as put people through an intense workout. “Bending Bars for Breast Cancer” as it was called, was a hugely successful event, that drew enormous support from both the local community as well as the gym’s staff and members.
Encouraged by the turnout for the fundraiser, Passante plans to host more events and hopes to expand his operations to provide even more for his clients. “I’d love to get into a bigger space someday” adds Passante. “Right now, I just want the business to grow, to be able to keep doing fundraiser events like the one we just did in October. Most importantly, I want to do right by my community. I’ve got a beautiful platform, and an amazing group of clients. I want JVH to be the peoples gym”
Judging by what his client’s have to say, the coach is well on track to achieving his goal: “I’ve lost about 40 pounds in the last year,” said one JVH member, who thanked Passante and his facility for helping him get healthy “I’m in the best shape of my life.”
You can visit JVHPerformance.com for more information about their memberships and schedules. You can also check them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram-