By Jon Craig
Aresh Mohit is a certified athletic trainer who specialized in working one-on-one with children and their families most of his adult life. So when the graduate of Scarsdale High School, who’s now in his late thirties, opened a fitness center in Harrison last fall, it was a perfect match for his gifts and interests.
Earlier in his career, Mohit attracted headlines for teaching kids to ride bicycles at $75-an-hour, a phenomenon that became known as “parental outsourcing.” He is running with the “back to basics” idea on a broader scale in Harrison.
Mohit realized his lifelong dream in November when he opened Fenom Fitness center in an underutilized industrial center at 67 Grant Ave. not far from the A&P and a peaceful marsh.
There’s plenty of parking for 70 cars next to the 13,000-square-foot facility. Parents have relatively easy access to drop off and retrieve their children, or stick around to watch them play and train. Or, parents can even work out themselves in another wing of the complex.
Children enroll in six-week or 12-week sessions, and so far, most have decided to renew the short-term memberships.
Fenom also offers yoga, pilates, zumba and spin classrooms, but Mohit’s business focuses on kids’ programs, a void not met by other area fitness centers.
Mohit prides himself on offering a “private school atmosphere,” smaller, more effective classes that target specific fitness and skills’ goals. His afterschool programs enroll a maximum of eight to 10 children so the ratio between trainers and kids remains smaller, “versus being a babysitter.”
So it’s typical to find one or two trainers spotting four or five children on treadmills. Children also are matched up with “age appropriate” fitness equipment.
Mohit currently has six trainers working at Fenom. He hopes to add one or two per month. He has found it easier to train good people, than try to shape good trainers’ people skills. “I try to find really good personalities,’’ he said last week.
The Scarsdale native also loves working with families who appreciate the value of working out. “They have the money and they want the best,’’ Mohit said of Sound Shore-area parents. “If you’re offering the best, you don’t have to worry about competition.”
From 3:30 to 6:30 p.m., the children split up into gender and age groups and participate in team play or individualized circuit training. The importance of fitness and conditioning is stressed throughout. Five kids may be on the treadmill while another five work on sports skill training. Others take on cardio, strength and conditioning work. Last week, kids could be found playing dodge ball with a newer, softer “rhino” ball on a basketball court enclosed by walls with bright graffiti painted by a renowned Argentinian artist. Children also are offered “boot camps” in such sports as basketball, baseball, hockey, lacrosse or soccer. There are batting cages and individual workout rooms featuring mats and weights. Mohit also aims to sub contact unused space to other area trainers and fitness experts. Mohit believes more children can benefit physically and emotionally from a well-rounded exercise routine exposing them to many sports than specializing in one or two. The homerun hitting stars might make up 30 percent of the population, he said, but he’d rather cater to the other 70 percent who can learn to do several sports competently. He’s found it also builds self-esteem.
Adults and children can stop in for a workout and pay a small fee.
Mohit also offers private rentals of space and plans specialized camps this summer. For more information, call 914-732-3000. Detailed daily schedules of group and individual classes also can be found on the Internet at www.fenomfit. Fenom’s regular hours are 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.