It’s no secret that we, the staff of Downtown Magazine, are big fans of Kirk Myers and The DOGPOUND. That friendship stretches back to before the founding of Myers’ now-famous franchise. Our very own CEO, Grace A. Capobianco, has been fast friends with Myers since Downtown’s second year in publishing.
For years, Myers acted as our fitness editor, sharing hard-won insights with our readers. He left to follow his dream of starting his own gym, and we are happy to announce that we now have the best of both worlds: The DOGPOUND thriving, and Myers coming back as our fitness editor! In honor of his return, Grace asked him a few questions so you can get to know your new online personal trainer.
Grace A Capobianco: You’ve always talked about starting a personal training gym and how you wanted to give back of your time and training expertise, what do you hope people will get out of the new fitness column starring the DOGPOUND trainers?
Kirk Myers: Our hope that we can spread the DP mindset to everyone – not just our clients who work out with us in the NY and LA gyms. Our intention is to arm people with this positivity and help empower them so they can make their own impact on the world. It’s a sort of domino effect on the community — elevating health and fitness to the next level.
GAC: You didn’t even have two nickels to rub together (exaggeration) when you were starting out training in New York City, but yet the first thing you said to DTMag’s founder your client Grace A. Capobianco, was that you wanted to work with kids, giving back of your time. The first charity you came up with was the great youth movement the G.Y.M. Which came about with your original team Christian, Pawel and Jenny. We called on our Editor in chief at the time Mike Hammer who has a special needs youth. That youth was Hammertime and his best friends. The purpose was to help special needs children to understand fitness and healthy habits as well, to believe that they could be a superhero.
KM: It’s actually super cool that the Great Youth Movement and the original objective for it has come back full circle. Hammer is a rock star at DP and he actually inspires all of us each day. I strongly believe in giving back to others and helping people achieve their goals. I have always wanted to have a non-profit, giving back component to the gym. It’s who we are and who we will continue to be.
GAC: You wanted to start your own personal training gym, that specialized in one on one training, why what was missing from this industry?
KM: What I’ve found is that people need something to look forward to, something that makes working out fun. Our trainers have a natural contagious positive energy that flows to all of our clients. There is a secret sauce that makes us different, and something that the industry didn’t really have before. DOGPOUND isn’t just a gym, it’s a movement. The movement is a community of people who are sharing positive energy and uplifting each other to get to the next level.
GAC: Since the DOGPOUND’s inception you’ve constantly worked with different charities giving of your time and raising money, why is this so important to your core value and now the core value of DP?
KM: As you’ve already mentioned, there has always been a charitable part, starting with the Great Youth Movement with Brian Hammer. This was created by a handful of us before DP, and it has stayed a core part of the business. We’ve also teamed up with a number of non-profits over the years — from my mom’s work in Malawi (We Are One Malawi) to training local kids (Community of Unity) to LGBTQ Youth (Ali Forney Center) to worldwide stages (Global Citizen). This is one of the most important aspects of our gym — giving back. It’s at the core of what we believe and do.
GAC: You and Grace always laugh about how you never know what being an entrepreneur is like until you are one. Share just one thing that you’ve learned over the last few years about being an entrepreneur?
KM: What I have Learned is having your own business is truly like having your own baby. Sometimes you have to make tough decisions and give tough love, and this is not because you are trying to be mean, it’s because you are protecting your child and others involved.
GAC: What can our readers expect on the print pages of DTM?
KM: You’ll have special insight into our trainers and the different styles of working out. You’ll learn about different approaches and find one that works for you! We want this to be an interactive platform between the trainers and the community.
GAC: Where do you see the DP in 5 years?
KM: DOGPOUND is a global lifestyle brand. We hope to be internationally crushing it, attracting and spreading positivity like wildfire. It’s a global community and we want to keep growing it to other platforms. In just 3 years we’ve been able to open 2 gyms on both coasts and have attracted almost 1/2 million followers on Social Media. We want to keep crushing our goals and dominate globally.
GAC: What impact do you feel DP has had on the fitness industry?
KM: The community aspect of DP is the biggest impact. DP is a playground for people of all different kinds of professions to come and just be themselves, create relationships with trainers and other clients; we offer a space where people just find what they need and they just come out stronger – whether mentally, physically or otherwise. People who may not know each other but have the DP hoodie or sock already have a connection. We just want this community aspect to spread further, and we have loads of ideas that are going to do just that!