MMA facility owner expands into full-service gym during coronavirus crisis

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STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Chris Bello, owner of “Team Real USA,” a mixed martial arts studio and gym in Huguenot, found his business shuttered during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, like all other fitness centers.

And with there still being restrictions on indoor fitness classes in New York City, Bello, a former U.S. Navy Seabee, has transformed his studio’s parking lot into an outdoor fitness center for his boot camp classes.

But during this time, he also found an opportunity to expand.

Chris Bello is taking over the former Powerhouse Gym in his Team Real USA, building, which will allow him to expand his offerings into one 3-floor, full-service fitness center of 11,000-square-feet simply called “Real Fitness.” (Courtesy of Bianca Bello)

He is taking over the former Powerhouse Gym in his building, which will allow him to expand his offerings into one 3-floor, full-service fitness center of 11,000-square-feet simply called “Real Fitness.”

The gym, located at 2298 Arthur Kill Rd., will open on Oct. 1, said Bello.

“It’s still going to be a hard-core gym. …It’s not a big corporate gym. I’m catering to women and men who are serious about fitness,” Bello. “It will be a one-stop-shop. We will have pre-made meals, nutrition programs and personal training.”

He said he is completely updating the facility that will have a range of exercise equipment, from treadmills and elliptical machines to free weights. Once open, the gym will also be equipped with all necessary coronavirus safety protocols, Bello said.

Real Fitness

Chris Bello is taking over the former Powerhouse Gym in his Team Real USA, building, which will allow him to expand his offerings into one 3-floor, full-service fitness center of 11,000-square-feet simply called “Real Fitness.” (Courtesy of Bianca Bello)

And until indoor fitness classes are allowed, Bello said he will continue his outdoor boot camp classes.

“When the pandemic first started we were doing classes at Lemon Creek. But it was a lot taking all the equipment there. Now, I fenced in the parking lot and put in turf. …Now, I have a home base in the parking lot,” said Bello.

Real Fitness

Chris Bello has been offering outdoor boot camp classes during the pandemic. (Courtesy of Bianca Bello)

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