Weights on Wheels: The Gym Comes to You

By Maria Scandale | Oct 16, 2019
Photo by: Jack Reynolds

Ocean County — With Weights on Wheels, a master personal trainer rolls up to your door in an 8½-by-20-foot custom trailer, delivering an inspiring workout space. Clients step in and follow through a personalized training session tailored to their abilities and goals.

It’s convenient, and it’s for anyone preferring privacy over working out to an audience at a public gym. So, at 5 a.m. before work, or at 5 p.m. in a busy schedule when supper’s heating up, clients are running out and getting a jump on fitness.

Alternatively, Weights on Wheels will be seen in group settings all over Ocean and Monmouth counties, such as school parking lots helping athletes stay on top of their game. Or, at the beach, families this summer ordered the portable gym on LBI for their guests.

Owner/founder Matt Calabria is a 2010 graduate of Barnegat High School who has a patent pending on the concept, inside and out.

“It’s street legal, so in the patent, I’m the only mobile gym in the country that is able to go on any urban street,” said Calabria. “So I can pull up at your house as opposed to just meeting in a parking lot.”

The interior is custom-designed with wall tracks that support heavy weight, and it’s heated in winter and cooled in summer.

Services are listed on the exterior ad design: “transformations that will make you say Wow – in-home personal training, therapeutic stretching, body maintenance, weight loss, muscle tone and more.”

Equipment includes a rowing machine, kettlebells, a squat rack, Olympic bar and weights, bench press, resistance bands, free weights, battle ropes, a boxing bag and more. Whether it’s cardio workouts, building muscle, an athlete wanting challenging supersets of high-intensity interval training, or an arthritic patient needing to stay flexible and lessen pain, his client’s goals are wide-ranging.

“Everybody is different; I have people who do more lifting, and people where we just do boxing every day,” Calabria said. “I like to incorporate boxing in with our workout. It’s a great cardio, full-body workout; you can take a break from the weights a little bit and burn extra calories. An average workout is 45 minutes to an hour, give or take what we do that day, and we’ll burn about 450 to 600 calories in just that time frame.

“The business itself started off with me just carrying weights and equipment into my clients’ homes,” he said. “One day I thought of making it more convenient for everybody, and that’s when I thought of a mobile gym creating a nice personal and professional space for our clients to work out right inside the trailer.

“I wanted to create something to make my clients feel safe and stay focused where they don’t feel intimidated. A gym atmosphere is not for everybody.”

Calabria’s training skill comes with it, and so do his people skills, which are the fuel. His energetic but personable style is geared to work with all ages and personalities.

“I’m a very motivational guy; that’s why I’m here. I love helping people. If I wasn’t so into this, this wouldn’t be here.”

His own athletic mindset as a college baseball player at Stockton University carried into the gym for a workout as a getaway. He went on to work in gyms as a manager of personal training. He holds a personal trainer’s license and is studying for a strength and conditioning coach’s license. He wants to get into working with more high school and college teams to optimize their performance.

“Working out is addicting,” Calabria added, especially when results are visible. No two workouts will be the same, so interest is always there.

The workout starts in the mind. The rear trailer wall holds a three-sectioned chalkboard with thought-provoking messages that inspire.

“What Is Your Why?” In other words, think about why you want to stay motivated. “The Only Competition Is You,” meaning not your neighbor, and “Always Look Back to See How Far You’ve Come.” Think of the obstacles that you have already overcome.

“I’m not so much of a drill sergeant instructor; we have fun,” Calabria said. “I’m always talking throughout the workout, building relationships with my clients if they want to talk about anything.

“Working out is an aspect of life,” the trainer explained, “especially as stress relief, so I’m always here for everybody. We just build that professional relationship and get on that level of where you get excited for the workout; you want to work out more.”

First priority is a fitness assessment of cardio fitness level and other factors, so that goals can be set. Sessions start at $50, and can lower in a long-term program; also, there are group rates.

Most clients have been with him for two years, but others may want to start with a free consultation session to get started.

“I’m very good at reading everybody, so our first week together is me seeing what kind of fitness level we’re at and you seeing what I’ve got for you, too,” Calabria said of an ongoing plan. “It’s kind of like a test for me before setting up our full workout plan.

“I work with anybody, of all fitness levels. From a bodybuilder’s perspective, I would focus on heavier weight, lower reps, a little slower paced workout,” he said.

For an older person, not so in shape but willing, “we’d go more upbeat ... build up muscle just enough to tone you up, focus on lighter weight and more repetition.”

For a newcomer, it’s common that “in the first two weeks you will notice a physical difference in yourself with my workout programs. The body is adjusting in different ways.”

The trainer feels accomplished when clients get results.

“The biggest thing that keeps me going is when people tell me how great they feel, and when people who haven’t seen them in a while tell them they look incredible. It’s things like that, that drive me, because I know I’m doing my job, and you’re doing it as well.”

There’s never an end line to the results people can reach toward their goals, Calabria believes.

“Once we hit one group of goals, let’s go to the next. There is always room to progress, always room to get better, always room for new goals.”

For more information, check out the Facebook page or the website weightsonwheelsnj.com, or call 732-575-8262.

— Maria Scandale


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