By Christine Graf
Capital District Sport & Fitness (CDSF), located at 21 Wood Road in Round Lake, celebrated its first year in business in June. Owners Mike Sirani and Dan Jones are Capital Region natives who met while on the baseball team at Springfield College.
After receiving a B.S. in applied exercise science, Sirani moved to Boston and worked as a trainer for professional, collegiate, and high school athletes. Jones stayed on at Springfield College after graduating with a B.S. in sports biology. He served as a graduate assistant coach for the college’s baseball team while working on his M.S. in exercise science with a concentration in exercise and sport psychology. After earning his M.S. he returned to the Capital Region to begin his training career.
Sirani relocated to the area after he and Jones decided to open a training facility together. Although they specialize in small group, semi-private training, they also offer group fitness classes.
“We knew from the start we wanted to make our business model small group training,” said Sirani. “We specialize in writing customized programs. As a new client, the first thing you would do is the strategy session. You will be meeting with Dan or myself in a one on one manner. We discuss your goals, health history, and injury history. We also bring you through a movement assessment to see how well you move.”
Based on that initial assessment, a custom program is designed for each individual member. Members follow these programs as they train in a semi-private setting that is supervised by Sirani or Jones. Sessions can be booked online or through a mobile app.
Sirani and Jones are able to design custom programs for people who are recovering from surgery or injuries. Because of their exercise science backgrounds, they are able to assess orthopedic injuries in a way that many trainers cannot.
“We can help them train while they are rehabbing or help them bridge the gap from rehab center to training,” said Sirani. “Our backgrounds help us understand biomechanics and physiology to be able to work with the population that have injuries. The fitness field is like the wild west; there is no licensure in this field. I think it’s harder to find coaches or trainers who have a strong understanding of biomechanics and physiology.”
The majority of CDSF’s semi-private training clients are high school athletes. For the last two summers, they have also trained the UAlbany Dutchmen baseball team. They also offer specialized training programs for college athletes during the summer as well as during winter break.
“We’ve done a good job at creating a good positive training environment,” said Sirani. “Kids from all different schools and sports are in here training together in small groups. There’s a lot of good camaraderie with the kids and the adults. We get a nice mix of people in our semi-private trainings.”
CDSF also offers non-customized group training for larger groups. Their strength camp training program focuses on teaching clients to build strength and lift weights safely. The METCOM program is designed for fat loss and features body weight, cardio, and interval training.
According to Sirani, he and Jones “went all in” with their business and have committed themselves full-time to it. They are the CDSF’s only employees, and one of them is always in the gym working with clients.
“When you come in here to train, you are always getting some type of coaching,” he said.
In order to grow their business, they both spend a lot of their time networking with parents, high school coaches, and travel team coaches. Most of their clients have come from these networking efforts as well as from the use of social media. The feedback they have received from their members has been very positive, and a lot of their business comes from word of mouth.
“It’s been great. We are very happy with where we are, and we’re happy with our growth,” said Sirani.
They can be reached at (518) 289-5004. The website is www.capitaldistrictsportandfitness.com.