Who's ready to "Rok"? There's a new fitness club in town, and it's unlike any "gym" you'll ever see.
Rok Health and Fitness is set to open its doors in about two weeks. Owners Michael Hawksby, a former New Jersey health club owner, and Bob Durso, owner of for 36 years, have taken the vacant building at 510 Ocean Avenue and brought it to life.
"A gym is a gym," Hawksby said. "It's what you do to it that makes the difference - the amenities and atmosphere."
Those amenities are plenty. They include: a virtual driving range at the entrance, a full juice bar and cafe, exercise movie theater, a circular spin room, half a basketball court, real turf for "Rok Fit" small group training, a pilates room, a yoga room, a fully sound-proof zumba room, ride-oriented exercise machines, a lounge with a billiards table, health/wellness center, free wi-fi, a meeting room, etc.
"It's all about the 'wow' factor - giving them something they don't expect," Durso said. "We've developed a business model that not only gives customer value, but a change in experience."
The structure and the color of the club is also something that may surprise. The walls are painted in bright colors, and the design gives the building a much more open feel to it.
"I think they're going to like the spaciousness, the high ceilings, the colors," he said. "It's lively and different - you want it to be upbeat."
Among the cool features to the club are the circular spin room. The trainer running the spin class will be in the center of the room, turning in a circle as she instructs the class.
Even some of the workout machines are different. The ride-oriented exercise machines are programed to hit the individual muscle groups harder, rocking your body backwards as you lift forwards.
The real turf section is for "Rok Fit" small group training (3-6 people). Hawksby said it will be a "cost-effective and time-effective" way to workout. Think "Biggest Loser" type of exercises, like flipping tires.
The club also aims to be involved in the community. One way Durso said they want to do this is by holding community events such as car washes - "people can get their car washed while they work out." Another idea is to have East Rockaway or Lynbrook students tutor youngsters after school, as parents exercise.
"I just thought - why doesn't anybody do these things?" Durso said. "We want to plan events for the kids, and for the youth coalition, that can keep them occupied in a healthy way."
Overall, the group hopes they can give back to the community as much as they can. They said the club can be a real attraction for the community, something that has been lacking.
"This is a business that will attract people from other communities, to East Rockaway - not the other way around," Durso said.
Coincidentally, the name "Rok" comes from "Revolution of Kinetics" - not from the town's name or a local high school team.
"It's just a strange coincidence," Hawksby said. "It's just truly meant to be."
Membership to "Rok" is currently $39 a month during "pre-sales," and $59 afterwards. Follow them on Facebook, call them at 516.881.7800 for more information or visit them in person at 510 Ocean Avenue.