Getting buff in private

Your room most likely consists of the basics provided by the University – a bed, a desk, a dresser, a chair, and maybe a couch and some tables. But what looks like average pieces of furniture can actually be turned into your own home gym – the perfect place to work on that new year’s resolution.

Senior Steve Pazan, an exercise science major, has created his own business where the gym and trainer come to you. Pazan comes to students’ rooms, whether they are in a GW residence hall or an apartment off campus, and does a full personal training session all in the comforts of home.

“Most people don’t like going to the gym for one reason – embarrassment,” Pazan says. “The biggest draw of my company is that I come to you. There’s no more excuses.”

Pazan towers over most with his 6-foot-3-inch, 225-pound frame. He has been exercising all his life, since he says he and his family have always dealt with weight issues. Freshman year, Pazan became certified as a professional trainer and began working at local sports clubs, then at the Lerner Health and Wellness Center. At first, Pazan says it was hard to find clients because most of the people he was targeting held nine-to-five work schedules, while Pazan was hosting a full course load.

After leaving the Lerner Health and Wellness Center, Pazan decided to start his own personal training company his junior year, calling it Big Man Certified. Pazan says that despite the tough economy, now is the best time to start a small business.

“Anybody can start up their own business, it’s really easy and it’s really fun,” Pazan says.

Since starting his own company, Pazan says he has trained around 25 students, and usually has around 10 sessions a week. At about $45 a session, Pazan says he is significantly cheaper than personal trainers at local gyms, and significantly cheaper than traveling personal trainers.

So far, most of Pazan’s clients are a result of word of mouth and friends of friends, he says. But Pazan hopes to expand his business, including hiring other trainers.

Junior Erik Madison has been working out with Pazan for two years now, and says that Pazan is excellent in working around Madison’s back injury.

“[He is] great at having a read on how your body’s doing, how hard you need to be pushed,” Madison says.

As for working out in his room, Madison says he loves it because he can joke with his roommates and listen to whatever music he wants.

“It is definitely more relaxing than the gym,” he says. “[Pazan] is my go-to guy.”

Sophomore Danielle Manus says that her favorite part of training with Pazan is how they utilize the city.

“I love our sessions at the National Mall and in front of the White House. It’s something I look forward to every week,” says Manus, who has been working out with Pazan for a year now.

Besides getting fit and staying healthy, Manus says another plus is that every client gets a Big Man Certified T-shirt.

For Pazan, being a personal trainer is not necessarily his ultimate career goal, but says that it has been a big help for his future.

“I see it as being a career catalyst. [Being a trainer] has helped me explain exercises a lot better to different types of people,” Pazan says. “It also helped me understand the functional mechanics behind personal training.”

Ultimately, Pazan hopes to work with helping people in the field of orthotics and prosthetic limbs after receiving his master’s degree in clinical exercise science and cardiac rehabilitation from GW.

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