13 Aug Episode #284: Wes Chow & Paul Park, Owners, UpFit Academy
Pete Moore: This is Pete Moore, on HALO Talks NYC. I had the pleasure of going straight from 30th and sixth and seventh. We are live back in the gym, upfit, Wes and Paul. Good to see you guys active making change, bringing fitness back to society. Welcome to the show.
Wes Chow: Thanks, Pete. Really excited to be on.
Pete Moore: Awesome. So it’s been a, it’s been a long hiatus, but you know, why don’t you give us your guys’ background on how you started taking us through the pandemic and coming out stronger on the other side?
Wes Chow: Yeah, you know, it was an interesting time for us because one, we’re a bit of a new concept. We run small group training where every lift buddies on an individualized training program, but it’s in a small group. So you get that energy and dynamic different from a lot of people in New York were doing. And then when the pandemic really hit us pretty hard, we kind of basically dropped down to 50% of our member base. The funny thing was, as we were slowly ramping back up, we gained an insane amount of traction just because of the big, like, I would say that the biggest thing that we do differently is just it’s so community focused and everything from like hosting, like zoom happy hours to actually in-person events at Madison square park. And we’re, you know, in the midst of setting up like an outfit like bowling night. So yeah, it’s, it’s not just training nutrition results and all that, but it’s really community focused too. Awesome.
Pete Moore: And Paul, how did you guys connect originally? So middle
Paul Park: West going each other from way back, we went to a junior high school together. You know, a funny story. First time I met Wes or I kind of noticed Wes was a kid was like 12 years old, outside, out of school. We just got out of school and this kid had his shirt off to water bottles. WWE was big back in the day. So he was like, yeah, of course, man, triple H impression, all original shredded. I going to meet this kid shredded at 12
Pete Moore: One of my kids. Well, one of my buddies, Jason Alger, and a figure four leg lock in front of his house. One day back when I was back in long island, he went like crying back to his mother.
Wes Chow: Oh, I got it. Yeah, exactly
Paul Park: How I want to meet him.
Pete Moore: Lifting back in junior high school or what? Yeah.
Wes Chow: Like, you know, like the basic, like 10 by 10 bench press, only bicep curls to Pete, no back all bench, press all,
Pete Moore: All bench. No, all, all chest, no back we stayed college. We used to have this big mirror that we used to stand in front of me and my buddy from Roslyn. And we used to do posing in front of there. And I’m like, I don’t think that really played very well except for the two of us back in the day. So when did you reconnect after a while? If you’ve been kind of like working together ever since. So
Paul Park: We kind of went our separate ways after high school college went pretty deep into a more corporate fitness structure. Worked at a bunch of big box gyms, working, you know, management and sales, and I’m headed more into the public sector, working with collegiate athletes, you know, division three to division one schools went toward getting my masters in strength and conditioning and spent some time also at Equinox. So we connected right around the time I finished up grad school. And we just started talking about, you know, what each other’s experiences were and what we see the fitness industry as it is now. And I realized we can do this way better than 85% of the people in the industry now do our experiences. And we decided to just come up with a concept together and then four years later offer this here. And you know, a lot of it is the combination of what our conversations have been since we reconnected.