Exercise makes a person feel healthy; the weight loss was just a by-product that happened in a natural and organic way

I wanted to lose weight and gain muscle tone but had no idea how to do it. The structure of a big cooperate gym confused and overwhelmed me. I was just too intimidated to join a class full of strangers, and too lazy to go running on my own. Cue Pongo Power! I started exercising, not necessarily thinking about wanting to lose weight. I just wanted to be healthy. Exercise makes a person feel healthy; the weight loss was just a by-product that happened in a natural and organic way. I utilized the Pongo Power Program as an actor, because I needed to have a strong body and a marketable one. Doing a lot of lower ab and core work helped me to stand up more straight, feel more grounded. Now, I’m performing roles that I normally would not have tried, and going out on auditions that I might have been to shy to go for.

– Meghan J.

The trainers have given me the tools I need to use ANY gym and the confidence to be myself year round. I owe them endlessly

For years I relied on the summertime to keep me looking good. When it’s hot out, I find myself physically active all the time. When the winters came I found myself hiding behind large coats and black sweaters. After 30 or so years of this cycle I found it took me longer and longer to reach my optimal weight every summer. It was time for a change. I walked into Pongo Power and signed up immediately. The trainers have given me the tools I need to use ANY gym and the confidence to be myself year round. I owe them endlessly. I cannot recommend this institution enough. It is not a luxury, it is a necessity.

– Vito Fun

Without Pongo Power I’d probably be in a motorized wheelchair

Over the past few years I have broken my arm twice, my ankle, and my leg, and thanks to the work of Elizabeth and her trainers I’m rather mobile. I’ve traveled to Viet Nam, Cambodia, Thailand, Southern Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, and right now I’m planning to go to the national parks for my first big trip out west. I’m much more aware of my core, and my glutes and especially my quads of steel. Also, I work regularly on strengthening my back and shoulders, along with keeping full range of motion in all of my joints. I do go to physical therapy when I need to, but I get much more education and attention from the trainers at Pongo Power. They don’t just tell me what to do, they teach me so that I know why it is important that I do it. I never thought that I’d be lifting weights and training my core at age 83, but I am.

– Lyn Stallworth, Age 83

The fact is, if you just lie on a couch all day, and you’re only taking in 1100 calories a day, you’re not going to lose a lot weight; you may not lose any weight at all. But if you do both (exercise and eat right) it takes so little effort. And, there is such a huge multiplier effect.

I lost 38 lbs, even while I gained muscle mass. Before I started I had never worked out regularly, other than aerobic activities. I used to think there were athletes and movie stars on the one hand, and then there was me. I could never be like them. But then I started to think, why not me? By starting with very light weights: 5 pounds, sometimes 8 pounds the Pongo Program made it very easy to get started, and I was amazed by how quickly I graduated to heavier weights. Now I easily lift hundreds of pounds. It’s so subtle and gradual, that you just have to go on faith that you’re going to see the physical results. I don’t generally see a change right away; but I do see a change every two weeks. If I dieted I didn’t feel like exercising and if I was exercising I didn’t feel like dieting. The fact is, if you just lie on a couch all day, and you’re only taking in 1100 calories a day, you’re not going to lose a lot weight; you may not lose any weight at all. But if you do both (exercise and eat right) it takes so little effort. And, there is such a huge multiplier effect.

– David D.

I’m now stronger than I’ve ever been and, for the first time, love exercising

When I got engaged, I decided (as so many brides do) to use our wedding as an excuse to finally get in shape. I started working out at Pongo Power soon after. At first, I couldn’t do much partially because I was scared of injury. I’d never been able to maintain an exercise regime without injuring myself. Most recently, I had a stress fracture from my first attempt at running and a popped rib from pilates. My trainers (Judy Jerome and Stephanie Severe) helped break that injury cycle by helping me to understand how my body works… rather than just pushing me to do things without thinking. I’m now stronger than I’ve ever been and, for the first time, love exercising. I’m doing things way beyond the activities that had caused my injuries. I’ve started running and Judy has been an incredible advocate as I’ve challenged myself and exceeded my goals in the races I’ve run so far. It’s been and continues to be an amazing lifestyle transformation. And I looked fabulous in my wedding dress!

– Jill Landaker

To start working out after the age of 55 is to discover that one can become stronger and younger than before the age of 55

To start working out after the age of 55 is to discover that one can become stronger and younger than before the age of 55. Life is all of a sudden is easier. Everything becomes easier, all day long. By learning how to use my lower abs and core, I have increased my total body strength. I’m strong in parts of my body that I didn’t know I even owned and muscles that I never knew about before. For example, having the strength to lift the lawn mower, carry the 15 pound bag of kitty litter, and bring bicycles out of the basement, you use your arms; but you need your core muscles to protect your lower back. Now I know all about my core! It’s not just a fitness buzz word with Pongo Power on the scene. That’s what being in shape is all about. You can go outside and garden ferociously for 3 hours and wake up the next day and feel like nothing ever happened. What I like, is having the endurance to do a number of different tasks, and be physically active all day long. It is nice to be able to be an active, physical New Yorker, running errands at great distances and still, at the end of the day be pain free. I’m not plagued by aches and pains because I’m strong enough to do what I need to do. I’m now 62 years old, I’ve been using the Pongo Program for 7 years and the benefits are outrageous.

—Carol O. Age 62

What’s important to me is this unique training is not rushed, so it enables me to be aware of the muscles that are engaged

I’ve been exercising on my own since I was a young woman and then with Jane Fonda tapes and other TV fitness programs. I decided to try a martial art and have been training in Karate for over 17 years and Tai Chi about 10 years. I also trained for several years with a personal trainer with a focus on posture, balance and upper body strength. I did become stronger but posture and balance showed little improvement. I came across Pongo Power and was very impressed with the training philosophy. I signed up and started training with Karin Meessen. Since my back is my biggest issue, Karin has me do exercises that have started to loosen the tightness along my spine (scoliosis). She points out the areas we are working on, the reasons why and what the end result will be. Karin also applies this to my balance exercises which at times can be comical. She’s always close by if I should topple over. What’s important to me is this unique training is not rushed so it enables me to be aware of the muscles that are engaged plus learn more about my body. This approach is so different from my previous training. Working with Karin less than two months, and I’ve already improved both posture and balance. This is a comfortable and fun place to train and everyone is friendly. You should sign up.

-Claudette, Age 78

Pongo and its wonderful trainers have changed my life. I’ve known this was true for some time, but it has become clearer since I underwent open heart surgery in May

Pongo Power is the best. I have been training there for the past 4 years. Pongo and its wonderful trainers have changed my life. I’ve known this was true for some time, but it has become clearer since I underwent open heart surgery in May. Judy Jerome, who is incredible. She helped me physically prepare for my surgery and has been instrumental in advancing my recuperation. I returned to Pongo Power Flatbush, 2 months after my surgery, and Judy has been instrumental in helping me regain my strength while caring about my need to take things slowly. I have never felt better, and I owe it all to Judy and Pongo Power.

I live with chronic illness, and exercise usually triggers joint pain and other symptoms for me – but working with Ryan and Desi has been phenomenal.

I’ve been a client at Pongo Power for several months. I live with chronic illness, and exercise usually triggers joint pain and other symptoms for me – but working with Ryan and Desi has been phenomenal. They very quickly adapt each training session to work around my pain points on any given day, and they always make me feel like it’s normal and part of their job to do so (rather than making it feel like an inconvenience). They care deeply about how I’m doing and feeling, about the emotional aspects of living with chronic illness, and about ensuring we rebuild the strength that my illness has taken from me. I’ve gotten so much stronger and confident over the time that I work with them, and I’m excited to continue for years to come!

I feel healthier than I’ve ever been, since I was a child

Elizabeth has helped me gain so much from our sessions after over 4 1/2 years, that it will be hard to discuss it all. One of the most important things is a feeling of accomplishment when I master something new. To see a smaller waistline that could only have come from better eating and a million abdominal exercises, gives me a feeling of good power and a sense of faith. I will always want to be better: stronger, more graceful, and to have more endurance and speed. But for now, I can live in the present and say “I am doing it.” I still stumble and trip but I can catch myself in order to keep from falling a lot more. There is something about doing the hard work of body sculpture that gives a sense of reality. With the adventure of being close to age 64, comes the less than happy reality that aging is what it is to the body. There is little one can do after working out, eating well, being mentally active, and loving others. That harsh reality being accepted, I get to look at myself and say, “Not bad for your age.” I’ve started listening to my body, so that I can respond to my own needs appropriately. Letting my body have its say encourages a feeling of self-acceptance, I realize that since I’m not an athlete in competition, I should treat myself gently. The process of working out makes it possible to be so much more adventurous than I have ever felt before. There is no way that my husband and I could have restored our house without it. I feel healthier than I’ve ever been since I was a child. Yesterday, I noted that my legs are so much better defined than ever before. My abs are still getting stronger. I naturally stand straighter, smile, and feel happier most of the time.

—Barbara, age 68

I’ve received so much knowledge from them which more specific, productive, and applicable to improving my dancing than I’ve heard from ballet teachers’ vague corrections over the years. Over the first 6 months with them I felt my brain rewiring how it spoke to my muscles and my muscles beginning to respond quickly again as they did in my dancing days, but this time in a way I was more in control over.

I discovered Pongo Power in January of 2014. I’ve been waiting to find a place like this with a high level of awareness of kinesiology, muscuclar/physical therapy, dancer’s needs, and neuromuscular/ neuroscience knowledge from trainers. Places like this are difficult to find. Wharton Fitness is famous for this kind of attention but trains olympic level athletes and it prohibitively expensive. The trainers I’ve had here are truly unique. It was the best decision by far I’ve made this year by going for it and getting the promotional 100 sessions. I have trained twice a week (sometimes more) at the studio and have been so please with the trainer’s high attention to detail, the building of the musculature up from the core slowly, and the leaning how to relax and release other muscles I’ve been calling on as a crutch or to “help” achieve. As a former dancer wishing to return to performing and depart from my desk job of two years, I can say without hesitation that this training enabled me to gain back confidence that I could do this, stamina, flexibility, and also taught me how to use muscle groups more smartly. I’ve received so much knowledge from them which more specific, productive, and applicable to improving my dancing than I’ve heard from ballet teachers’ vague corrections over the years. Over the first 6 months with them I felt my brain rewiring how it spoke to my muscles and my muscles beginning to respond quickly again as they did in my dancing days, but this time in a way I was more in control over. I was to call upon muscles in tandem without tension creeping up in other places. This is no small thing when you are trying to balance or move in different planes. I plan to audition successfully this fall and go back the the field of the performing arts full time which is where I belong and what brought me to New York. Thank you to my trainers: Amy, Jhancarlos, Marcus, Delphina, and David.

Delphina’s pinpoint attention and guidance have corrected a lot of bad habits and made exercising enjoyable again. My core muscles are activated and flexibility restored.”

I rarely stretched when I exercised, but since coming to Pongo Power under Delphina Parenti’s supervision I now realize the importance of incorporating stretching into my workout. As a result, I am more limber, with tighter abs and no longer suffer with back and hamstring pains. Delphina’s pinpoint attention and guidance have corrected a lot of bad habits and made exercising enjoyable again. Delphina’s feedback on proper form and technique has become crucial to my exercising effectively and safely. I am more mindful of engaging my core muscles and the importance of proper breath control into my workout The quality of my workouts has improved significantly under Delphina’s supervision at Pongo Power. If you’re looking to refocus and reenergize your health and fitness–this is the place to start.

-Daniel V.

After training at Pongo for 8 months, I finally took the leap and instantly fell in love with trapeze. My body was strong and I understood how to engage the right muscles to safely fly through the air.

When I first saw people doing flying trapeze, I knew it was something I wanted to try. Sadly, I also knew I needed to get in shape first. Since having two children, I’d pretty much given up on physical activity. After training at Pongo for 8 months, I finally took the leap and instantly fell in love with trapeze. My body was strong and I understood how to engage the right muscles to safely fly through the air. Its been fantastic to work with Julie. She has incorporated exercises that specifically help me build strength, flexibility and control in ways that support my trapeze flying. Along the way, I’ve lost weight, gained confidence, and improved my posture.
– Mamie

The entire Pongo Power experience has been nothing short of a miracle for me!

I’m a 54-year-old woman who fell off the proverbial fitness wagon for several years. I was out of shape and overweight when I started looking for a personal trainer. It’s an intimidating experience: I could only find trainers who seemed to be working with younger people and were offering ‘boot camp’ types of fitness programs. That was a recipe for disaster with me!! (I could see myself getting injured the first week of ‘camp’ and quitting.) And then I met Elizabeth Pongo of Pongo Power. Although I’m sure she works with all age ranges and types of fitness levels, she also works with people just like me. She even travels to the gym at my apartment complex in Brooklyn Heights, which fits my ultra busy job schedule. Elizabeth is, in my humble opinion, highly skilled in the art and science of physical fitness and helped me target problematic areas, such as back and knee issues. She also offers a nutrition program, which she has personally tailored to my fitness program. Elizabeth is patient, and takes the time to explain the exercises, and she pushes me, but not to the point where I feel overwhelmed. The entire Pongo Power experience has been nothing short of a miracle for me! I’ve now lost about 42 pounds in the past six months (20 more to go!) and am in much better shape. My blood pressure was 140/90 (borderline hypertensive for anyone who has blood pressure issues) and it’s now 110/63 – with no medication, I might add. I’ve gone from taking two cholesterol medications a day to one pill per week – and may be able to go off of that soon. I have very few issues with arthritis anymore, maybe a couple of flare-ups now and then, but nothing like I was experiencing before I started with Elizabeth. I signed up for the 6 month program to start and just renewed again for another six months. I highly recommend Pongo Power and plan to stay with Elizabeth for the foreseeable future.

-Dorothy S. Age 54

My trainer, this little tiny beast woman named Karin, is like one of the most spectacular trainers I’ve ever met. She’s extraordinarily knowledgeable about the science of body mechanics and construction, so that when she helps me through a move, I can feel it.

Pongo Power has to be the most incredible gym on the planet. Period. If you’re looking for real results, just come here. If you’re looking to make a lifestyle change that sticks, just come here. If you’re looking for trainers who are super smart and totally understand the science behind why your body works the way it does and how to get it to work for you, just come here. I have been to nearly every big box gym (and even a few smaller, boutique spots), and one thing’s the same – once you join, you’re kind of forgotten. And if you want the 1 on 1 attention you need to get real results, you also have to go broke paying for it. Basically, Pongo Power is the total opposite of everything you hate about the gym. Exercise isn’t the most fun thing in the world – I’m not going to pretend that it is. But the Pongo Power’s entire staff really has a way of turning it into that. My trainer, this tiny little beast woman named Karin, is like one of the most spectacular trainers I’ve ever met. She’s extraordinarily knowledgeable about the science of body mechanics and construction, so that when she helps me through a move, I can feel it. It’s very easy to trust a person when you can feel your body changing through their instruction, basically, proving that they know what they’re talking about. I really can’t wait to see what I look like in 6 months time – I’ve only been a member for a month and I’m already loving what I see. So, if you really are ready to finally look like and feel like the person you’ve always dreamed of, just come here

The exercises Karin presented targeted specific muscles at one time, and were challenging. Karin adjusted them to where I could perform them and achieve the intended results. The regime I was given makes me realize what I need to do to be balanced and strong in my everyday movements.

It was the right time for me to get functional training at Pongo Power: I had sore joints and my physically demanding life required me to keep moving. Karin Meessen understood that I my left and right sides had various muscle strength imbalances and strained joints, and her initial evaluation helped me understand better how I was moving my body as a result of this. Karin is a thoughtful and patient instructor and has a good sense of humor, which helps when trying to perform awkward movements. I have taken Pilates and yoga classes, and had physical therapy in the past for sciatica. As in physical therapy, functional training includes releasing tight muscles through massage and specific stretches. Functional training helped increase my awareness of my muscle and joint relationships. The exercises Karin presented targeted specific muscles at one time, and were challenging. Karin adjusted them to where I could perform them and achieve the intended results. The regime I was given makes me realize what I need to do to be balanced and strong in my everyday movements. Now the real work begins.

Thanks Pongo Power!

I first met the good folks at Pongo a few months ago, back when I would have categorized myself as an experienced runner in need of a little strength training. I sought out Pongo because I wanted to run faster, run stronger, and qualify for Boston by running the Chicago Marathon in 3 hours, 35 minutes. Big thanks to Pongo for . . . teaching me simple yet powerful techniques to strengthen my core teaching and showing me the benefits of strengthening my back ‘running’ muscles (who knew those even existed!) constantly challenging me to master each technique and THEN add weight & repetitions keeping me honest about reaching my goals – taking it one step at a time always finding the humor in my lack of balance and getting me through it not only helping me reach my goal but teaching me a lifestyle of strength training that specifically meets my needs. I am proud to say that after four years of trying to qualify for the Boston Marathon, I finally met my goal on October 7th, 2012. I went from a 3:53 marathon to a 3:28! This could not have happened without the support, encouragement and training from everyone at Pongo. Many, many thanks for helping me achieve my goal and setting me up to lead a healthier, stronger lifestyle.

Anna T., Age 29

Having the Pongo team there has definitely improved my physical fitness specifically, and life in general

My workouts at Pongo Power over the last year have been as varied as the 3 trainers I’ve worked with. All of them have been great; very lively, engaging, and energy filled (a tough thing at 6:00 AM in the morning). Each trainer brings their unique mix of core strength training, cardio blasts, stretching, dreaded abdominal work, and coaching on diet. Regardless of who I’m training with, I walk away with a great feeling of accomplishment and being pushed just a little further. For me (someone who left to his own devices would never work out) having the Pongo team there has definitely improved my physical fitness specifically, and life in general.

– Bob, 48

Beyond just strengthening my muscles, working out under Elizabeth’s guidance has helped my balance and coordination

Since training with Elizabeth, my posture has noticeably improved as we’ve worked together to strengthen my back and shoulder muscles. I’ve found I can sit and stand for longer periods of time without suffering from aches and pains. Now that I’m 41, I plan to continue to work with Elizabeth to ensure I continue to develop healthy physical habits. Working with Elizabeth has also improved my physical appearance. By developing my back and shoulders, my proportions look better balanced. Elizabeth also emphasizes a total body workout so that my lower body also becomes stronger and healthier-looking. Beyond just strengthening my muscles, working out under Elizabeth’s guidance has helped my balance and coordination.

—Daniel, age 42

I feel stronger at 41 than I felt at 31

I have been training with Pongo Power for almost a year, after spending the better part of a decade sitting at a desk, living a sedentary life, with a high stress career. It is incredible how much working with Carol at Pongo Power has improved my level of fitness and overall well-being! I feel stronger at 41 than I felt at 31. Carol brings boundless spunk, energy and enthusiasm to each workout, and delivers a challenging, fun and safe workout each time. She is smart and her knowledge about the body is deep — she has worked with me to strengthen areas of weakness that I didn’t even realize I had. A year ago I wouldn’t have dreamed that I could stick with a workout regime for a year, but now I am looking forward to tracking my progress throughout the next year with Carol.

-Daryn, 41

Pongo Power has truly changed my life

Pongo Power has truly changed my life. Since joining less than two years ago, I have lost more than 40 pounds, while also building a lot of muscle. I weigh less now than I did in high school, and I am in the best shape of my life. I only joined Pongo Power to look better, but I am amazed at how much better I feel: I have reduced neck and back pain; I have more energy…and I now possess the ability to effortlessly do tasks that other people struggle with, such as opening tight jars, carrying heavy groceries, and so on. And I blush to admit it, but I now get more dates with women than I can handle. I’m not joking–I am literally turning away beautiful women.

—David, 37

There is no denying my training with Elizabeth has added to my physical and psychological well-being

When I first started training with Elizabeth I expressed that I wanted her to design a workout for me that was centered around my health needs. I wanted to train wisely and safely since I am in my mid-fifties and I am very afraid of injury. Elizabeth listened to me carefully and understood I wasn’t there to pump up for the benefit of admiring my muscle definition, but rather my goal was a healthy and fit lifestyle. I also understood that having a personal trainer would help me achieve this goal. Elizabeth planned a workout that is right for me, and has helped to give me a program designed for my maximum benefit. Elizabeth also incorporates her vast knowledge of the body by teaching me and showing me pictures of the muscles we are working on. There is no denying my training with Elizabeth has added to my physical and psychological well-being. On a personal note Elizabeth has a smile that lights up the room. Her warm personality and infectious laugh makes her a pleasure to be around.

—Dolores Phelan

I’ve seen my own flexibility and strength improve drastically thanks to their confidence and steady encouragement.

I’ve had a great year with Ryan (and I’ve had experiences with a trainer that were as much fun as thumbscrews and the rack). He’s enthusiastic, great at explaining the point of any exercise, and really perceptive about whether something’s working or not. Most of all, he gets extraordinary results. I’ve seen my own flexibility and strength improve drastically thanks to his confidence and steady encouragement. He’s the best!

-George Hagen

At Pongo Power, they create personal challenges, starting you at the right level

Anyone can stretch, lift weights, and ride a machine. At Pongo Power, they create personal challenges, starting you at the right level, marking your progress, all while taking music requests. I hadn’t touched weights in years, but with Amy at Pongo Power’s help, its now my favorite rush, as my forgotten muscles come alive. Its feels great right away.

– Jeff, 38

When you exercise correctly, it really feels better

I started working with Carol about two months ago. I’d been working out on my own regularly for about six months, with not much to show for the efforts. I felt the difference working with Carol after the first session, and after two months I can now both feel and see the difference. Everyone around me also sees the difference. I’m also eating better and sleeping more since I started. I had no idea what to expect from a personal trainer. Most importantly, she is teaching me how to work out properly so that when I exercise on my own I’m doing it right. The sessions are so much harder physically than what I had ever done on my own, but at the same time are easier mentally because of the constant encouragement. For me, this combination works well. Also, when you exercise correctly it really feels better. I know I will be pushed hard during the sessions, but I feel great afterwards and it’s been really rewarding to see the results. So, I came in to kind of just check it out, but I’m hooked

-Helena Prigal, Dean, 46

Elizabeth is a creative and dedicated trainer who ensures her clients get the results they’re seeking.

Elizabeth is a creative and dedicated trainer who ensures her clients get the results they’re seeking. She simultaneously challenged me and supported me, and I soon found myself in outstanding physical health. She taught me loads about my body — so I can continue on this path though I’m now thousands of miles from her. She’s also very funny, making the whole work-out thing a lot of fun.

– Jennifer W

At Pongo, you will discover fitness, wellness, and a lot of laughter

Walking along 5th Street recently, I stumbled upon Pongo Power. It was a sign, as they say. As a newbie, I fretted my physical ability – let alone my commitment – to pursue a personal training program. But Amy has helped melt away that anxiety with her extensive knowledge, clear instructions, and gentle nudges. At Pongo, you will discover fitness, wellness, and a lot of laughter. What could be better?!

-Joy, 46

I highly recommend Pongo to anyone looking to better themselves in a healthy, meaningful way.

I began working at out at Pongo for my 39th bday present, which was much needed after having my 1 & 5 year old girls. My trainer (Stephanie Severe) is truly amazing, both as a trainer and a great woman! She just got me the instant I met her, which was so comforting and rare. My 2 workouts a week not only displayed physical improvements but everything as a whole: diet, mental & emotional being were so much more balanced. I highly recommend Pongo to anyone looking to better themselves in a healthy, meaningful way. Pongo is such a gem in Park Slope; location wise, totally compettively priced, and oh so charming and comfortable!

– Jenni B.

Give them a shot to get you in shape!

I have always been a lone wolf in my workouts; but after a long layoff from exercising, I was having a tough time getting motivated to go to the gym and restart my workout routine. Last winter I took up Pongo Power’s offer for an evaluation and a few discounted sessions to see if I liked it and if it would help motivate me to get in shape. I haven’t looked back since. I’ve worked with several of the trainers; all are good at motivating you and just pushing you enough so you get a good workout but can still get out of bed the next day without too much soreness. I’ve lost a few pounds, which is always nice. But more importantly, I feel much stronger and have more energy to get through my day. As an added bonus I haven’t had an episode of my back going out and I attribute this to all the core exercises I do at Pongo. My advice, give them a shot to get you in shape! Having a knowledgeable trainer/partner is well worth it.

– Jerry K

If time and money were no object, I’d go several times a week. But even with just once-a-week sessions, I am stronger and more fit and my balance, endurance and flexibility are definitely improved.

Never a big fan of the gym or exercise programs generally, I started working with Ryan about a year ago to improve my overall fitness. What has surprised me about the experience is how much I genuinely enjoy our sessions. They’re very challenging and Ryan works me hard, but I love it. I even convinced my husband, who has never done a formal exercise program, to work with Ryan too. If time and money were no object, I’d go several times a week. But even with just once-a-week sessions, I am stronger and more fit and my balance, endurance and flexibility are definitely improved. Ryan adapts the training to whatever his client needs — I have even worked with him through a period of recovery after surgery. I think he’s great!

-Terri Seligman

I’m thrilled by my newfound strength and range of motion

I’ve been working with Elizabeth for nearly a year and I can’t recommend her too highly. I have arthritis of the spine and was always nervous about being injured during physical activity. Elizabeth is so knowledgeable and careful about the body, I never even think about being injured. In fact I feel stronger each time I see her and am thrilled by my newfound strength and range of motion.

—Maggie, age 64

Working with Elizabeth has changed the way I work out forever!

Before Julie’s Wedding… Working with Elizabeth has changed the way I work out forever! I have always gone through phases of fitness and this year I’m ‘on.’ I had been working out on my own with minimal results and then I started training with Elizabeth who gave me tips and techniques that totally altered my workout style to be more effective. Julie’s Review after the Wedding! In the months leading up to my wedding, I was in the best shape of my life. Elizabeth continued to hone and tweak to get me looking and feeling better than ever. I bought a heart rate monitor and my fitness level was off the charts. I took up Scuba diving and I was commended for being an efficient breather – no doubt because of my healthy heart. At the wedding, I felt like a million bucks and looking through the pictures, I like to spot ones where you can see my muscles! On our honeymoon I ate and ate and ate and didn’t gain a pound because my metabolism is so high right now. I will always be grateful to Erzsi for the gift of self-confidence and my husband is grateful for his hot wife. My original goal was to look my best at the wedding. Now that I know how amazing it feels to be in good shape, I want to continue working out to maintain my figure. I was never fat, but I love not feeling self-conscious or flabby and knowing that I’m tight and toned.

—Julie Sontag, Business Owner, One Smart Puppy

I’ve lost weight, I feel healthier, and the debilitating pain is gone

When I started going to Pongo Power, I had chronic pain in my ankle that kept me from running, jumping, or staying on my feet for long lengths of time. Elizabeth and the trainers at Pongo Power explained that I didn’t have to just treat the symptoms – I could work with a trainer to strengthen the muscles around my ankle and get healthier at the same time. Over the next year I worked a little with a physical therapist and a lot with a trainer at Pongo Power – but it didn’t feel like work, it felt like fun! Now I’ve lost weight, I feel healthier, and the debilitating pain is gone. I owe a lot to the trainers at Pongo Power, but I feel like they had as much fun working with me as I did working with them. Thanks!

– Richard BL, 28

I now understand the importance of integrating my core muscles into my workout

Before I began training with Elizabeth, I rarely stretched when I exercised. Elizabeth has shown me the importance of incorporating stretching into my workout. As a result, I am noticeably more limber. I used to have knee and heel pains, but these have resolved now that I am more flexible. The quality of my workouts has improved under Elizabeth’s guidance. I used to think that I could master exercises, including using weights, on my own. I now realize that a lot of my effort was counterproductive as an incorrect form led to my working different muscles from what I had intended. Elizabeth’s feedback on proper form and technique has become crucial to my exercising effectively and safely. I now understand the importance of integrating my core muscles into my workout, even when I am exercising peripheral muscles. The quality of my workouts has markedly improved under Elizabeth’s supervision. My abs are tighter and my posture has improved with Elizabeth’s guidance. These are things I definitely notice.

—Robert, age 53

Thanks to Pongo Power, I restored my core strength

I planned a two moth trip across Asia, including challenging itineraries involving mountain climbing in the Sichuan Provence, China, and Bhutan; but the whole plan was contingent on restoring my fitness. Thanks to Pongo Power, starting one year ago, I restored my core strength and fixed: a terrible gate issue when walking, back pain, and plantar fascistic. The pay-off was a pain free, incredible journey where I felt the energy and the strength to enjoy every day. At the end of the journey I was host to a large international conference outside of Tokyo, where many people remarked at how much more youthful and vigorous I was. Sitting in the hot spring bath with a group of conference participants, I explained I owed it all to my personal trainer back in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

—Robin, age 64

For the first time in my life, I actually enjoy exercising

Amy is a gifted motivator. No matter how uninspired or lazy I’m feeling before my session with her, she somehow manages to ramp up my energy level and give me a great workout. Her enthusiasm is infectious and I can honestly say that, for the first time in my life, I actually enjoy exercising–and seeing the results!

-Sarah E., Editor, 29

I have muscles that I never knew I had

This is a testimonial for Elizabeth Pongó. I have to say that when I started working with Elizabeth I had very little energy. I was a weakling and very out of shape. I had constant neck and shoulder pains and knee pains. Now all of those problems are resolved. I really love working with Elizabeth because she has shown me how to feel better about my body and how to use it in an appropriate way. I have tons of energy. My body has really gotten into shape. I have muscles that I never knew I had. My legs and thighs that I had never had any shape to, in my whole life, now have beautiful shape. My waist has gotten smaller and pants fit me now. I don’t feel any of the pains. I would also have to say that I am addicted to doing this and I wouldn’t give it up for anything. It really has made a difference in my life. Thank you!

—Shelley Benezra

The trainers are so great at helping you understand what is going on with your body and customizing a work-out that makes sense for you.

I never thought of myself as anyone who might enjoy exercising. Last January I decided that a personal trainer would be good for me – not enjoyable but good for me. I was wrong. I love training with the Pongo Power staff and I feel stronger and more at peace with my body. The trainers are so great at helping you understand what is going on with your body and customizing a work-out that makes sense for you. The personal attention makes so much difference – in keeping you motivated and engaged and driving results.

– Shirin

Weights and exercise equipment are no longer overwhelming and mysterious to me

Before I began working with Elizabeth, working out was not part of my life at all—not because I didn’t want it to be but because I didn’t really understand how to make it happen. Elizabeth taught me how to implement and execute exercise into my lifestyle and turned it into something I look forward to. Weights and exercise equipment are no longer overwhelming and mysterious to me — I understand how to use them and how to attain good form. Elizabeth takes the time to make sure you’re getting it while enjoying it at the same time—I think that’s hard to find.

—Sima, age 33

She pushes me more so than I would ever push myself

I have been working out with Maggie Alexander at Pongo Power for almost 6 months now. She takes a holistic approach to physical fitness that I find both beneficial and refreshing. She pushes me more so than I would ever push myself, working multiple muscle groups simultaneously via her creative exercises. I find the one-on-one interaction I get from the Pongo Power studio to be the perfect environment for me, unlike typical mindless gym environments.

– Todd, 35

The enthusiasm at Pongo is so infectious that I’ve had fun in every single one of my sessions

In the Fall of 2005, I joined a gym for the first time in my life. Intimidated by the grunting weight lifters and double-jointed yogis, I confined my workouts to the cardio equipment. I lost a couple pounds at first, but I soon grew bored with the monotony. As my weight loss plateaued I used the gym less and less and finally dropped my membership. Fast forward two years later when I happened to walk my Pongo Power in Park Slope. Pongo’s cheerful windows and motivational philosophy inspired me to sign up for a couple sessions. In ten short weeks both Amy and Elizabeth have completely changed my mind and body. Finally, I’ve learned how to exercise. Now you can find me in the gym, doing push-ups on stability balls, lifting weights, and signing up for yoga classes. I’m thrilled that I’ve dropped two pants sizes, but I’m even more excited that I’ve finally learned how to exercise and I’ve found the confidence to use the more intimidating parts of the gym. And an added bonus–the enthusiasm at Pongo is so infectious that I’ve had fun in every single one of my sessions.

–Susan C., 27