Ex-MLB trainer opens gym in Pittsfield

Monday June 11, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- Weight training equipment lines both walls, and some large people hang out there. But if you're only into bodybuilding, Raw Sports Performance and Fitness at 146 North St. is not the place for you.

Weight training is just part of the total fitness package that owner and personal trainer Dan Larrow brings to clients at his new business, which opened May 7 at the site formerly occupied by Rebel Sound Records.

"The main purpose of all this is to be functionally fit for life or athletics," said Larrow, a 26-year-old Pittsfield High School graduate.

Larrow returned home to open his business after serving as the strength and conditioning coach for the Nat ional League's Wash ington Nationals in 2010.

"We do not chase a better physique," Larrow said. "We chase better performance. If we achieve better performance, the physique just comes."

Larrow's approach focuses on a series of exercises that include body weight calisthenics, basic barbell and free weight movements, and gymnastic techniques that are intended to improve the cardiovascular system and respiratory endurance.

"We train through conditioning," he said. "Life isn't just about cardiovascular or strength training. It's a combination of those two.

"We do a little bit of everything," he said.

Larrow, the business's only employee, provides training for both individuals and groups. Prices range from $150 for 20 monthly sessions, to $250 for 25 monthly workouts. Hours are by appointment, but Larrow is available seven days a week. He schedules most sessions between 6 and 8 a.m. and 3 and 8 p.m. There is no age limit, for either young or old, and both men and women are welcome.

Certified as a U.S. Olympic weight trainer by USA Weight lifting, Larrow decided to open his own business based on his personal experiences as an athlete at Pittsfield High. Larrow, who stood 5-foot-2 and weighed 140 pounds as freshman at PHS, played both football and baseball for the Generals, but had trouble finding the proper type of off-season conditioning locally that would help him achieve his goal as a Division 1 athlete.

Even without the training, Larrow was good enough make the baseball team at UMass-Amherst. But an elbow injury ended his career.

"I wasn't prepared to play at the Division 1 level," he said. "I want to give people the facility and the training that I wished I'd had."

From UMass, Larrow transferred to Springfield College, where he earned a bachelor's degree in exercise science in 2009. Following graduation, Larrow interned under the strength and conditioning coach at Holy Cross before going to the University of San Diego, where he served as the assistant strength coach for nine months. At USD, Larrow trained two members of the U.S. Olympic weight lifting team, a position that he said helped land him the Nationals job. Larrow said he didn't return to the Nationals last year because he was interested in opening his own business.

Larrow has a one-year lease at 146 North St. Although his workout space had to be converted from a record store, Larrow said all the restorations were done by friends and family.

Larrow said he did extensive pricing research on weight training equipment that enabled him to buy all his equipment for $25,000.

To reach Tony Dobrowolski:
(413) 496-6224
On Twitter: @tonydobrow


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