Steve Adell

I have some sad news to report about one of our Better Bodies family.  Steve Adell has passed away, Steve trained at a few gyms back in the day, but he always stopped by Better Bodies for a work out, i remember he was the first guy I had ever seen bench 405 lbs [thats for 45lb plates on each side], he was also an important model for the nascent “ Better Bodies Model Management” . feel free to share any memories. RIP Steve……..

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Pumpin’ Iron at the Tender Age of 86

In the summer of 1984 or 1985 my eldest son took me to a Gym he had found in Chelsea. It was Better Bodies, on 21st Street. One flight up. Read more…

Clyde and Yolanda Gilliam

In 1959, I visited my first Gym with a friend who had not long escaped from Cuba. The Gym was Sig Klein’s Gym on 7th Avenue between 47th and 48th Street, 3rd floor. As soon as we walked ino the Gym, Ziggy looked us over, gave us a towel, showed us around the Gym, gave us our routines and explained the exercises. It is said of a good gym, that as soon as you walk in the door, you feel like exercising. Next year I will be 82 and it will make 50 years of pumping iron. After Klein’s Gym, I worked out at The Shelton Hotel Gym with a famous wrestler and body builder of the 1920s and 30s, The Golden Superman, Walter Podolak as trainer. These were the best New York gyms of the day. Then came the exercise craze in the 60s. There were European Health Spas, Health Emporiums etc. Lots of machines, Saunas, Cold Plunges, Water everywhere. I stopped going to Gyms. Me and a neighbor started to work out in our apartments. Converting spare rooms into mini gyms. We did occasionally visit other gym around town….The YMCA….. They were, eh…okay. Then one day my oldest son took me to Better Bodies on 21st Street. Soon as I walked in the door, I felt like exercising. Better Bodies was the greatest gym. Everyone…the staff…fellow grunt and groaners were pleasant. Great Pro Shop. My darling wife eventually joined me and she has been the best workout buddy a “musclehead” could have. She says that Better Bodies has been the best rehab center for her various leg operations and working out there helped her strength training for her two NY Marathons. I did one Marathon with her, Though Better Bodies is gone, we are still in the house. Thanks Brian, it was a pleasure to push ‘n pull iron in Better Bodies.

We love the site. Does it bring back good memories, fun times, lotsa sweat, great muscle growth…..pretty eye candy for all (everyone made working out at BB look good….) You betcha!

Clyde and Yolanda Gilliam

Sad News

I was just informed by Warren Drummond, that former Better Bodies employee Herb Kerr lost his battle with cancer a few weeks ago. Warren said that Herb passed peacefully. Herb was a trainer at the 19st location. The word that comes to mind when reflecting on Herb was “gentle”, Herb was a gentle-man. You might recall that Herb was very accomplished in the art of Capoeira. For many of us, that was the first time we had ever heard that word before. RIP Herb.

If you knew Herb, please leave your thoughts below….

Warren Drummond, Now and Then

Warren was Better Bodies resident comic book artist, now he is a successful storyboard artist in Hollywood. Nice Baggies Warren, are they Crazywear or Zubaz?

Brian Moss

In the early Eighties I opened Better Bodies gym in my home-town, New York City. My gym quickly attracted local bodybuilders, and I became an active participant in the birth of women’s bodybuilding.

I have trained top women in the sport. Many remain close friends and my experience with them have afforded me a level of trust and intimacy that these women do not usually allow, let alone with a camera.

In 1997 I picked up a camera for the first time since childhood and casually started to photograph the leading competitors in the bodybuilding and fitness world.

My images are unguarded, honest and voyeuristic. Whether they capture backstage scenes at the Ms. Olympia or private moments in a hotel room hours before the competitor steps out on stage, these images are imbued with an intimacy that had never been seen before.

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Joe Selva

RIP Big Joe…..i met Joe Selva at Westside Bodybuilding in 1981, he was one of the managers along with my future partner Mike Alalof.

Gladys Portugues

Gladys Portugues is an actress and former professional female bodybuilder. She attended the High School of Art and Design in New York City and is the wife of Jean-Claude Van Damme.

Portugues has been involved in the health and fitness field for more than twenty years. As a bodybuilder, her most significant achievement was two top-ten placings in the Ms. Olympia.

Chi Chi Valenti & Johnny Dynell

Chi Chi Valenti has spent a quarter century shaping and chronicling New York City’s nightclub demi-monde. Since 1980 she’s participated in alternative nightlife as a producer (Jackie 60, Click + Drag, Night of 1000 Stevies), journalist (Village Voice, Details, ID, Interview), clubowner (Mother), doorperson (The Mudd Club) and publisher (Verbal Abuse Magazine and A frequent commentator and panelist on NYC club issues from cabaret laws to bottle bars, Chi Chi Valenti is still an active contributor to Clubland as an entertainment producer and Mistress of Ceremonies. She is best known for nightlife events of an artistic or niche nature, including costumed and themed spectacles in NYC and elsewhere.

With husband and partner, the DJ Johnny Dynell and the costumer/fashion designer Kitty Boots, Valenti formed THE JACKIE FACTORY in the early 1990’s – a creative collective focused on nightlife experiments and new hybrids. Most notably, the group produced the Jackie 60 club weekly throughout the 1990’s, over five hundred themes executed in tongue-in-cheek fashion. From 1996-2000 “The Factory” also produced the cyber-fetish Saturday Click + Drag in the alternative club mecca MOTHER owned by Dynell and Valenti in the then-ascending Meat Market.

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Johnny Dynell is the New York City DJ, songwriter, remixer and impresario who has been practicing his art and craft for two decades. His DJ style is infectious and inclusive, and he is a long-time favorite of New York’s art and fashion crowds as well as Club Kids. He is equally at home at a black tie gala or the most underground nightclub, and brings to both an impressive knowledge of diverse musical genres.

Dynell has spun the soundtrack at thousands of enchanted evenings both at home and abroad over the years. His NYC club residencies have included The Mudd Club, Danceteria, Area, BoyBar, Jackie 60, Crobar and Mr. Black.

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Karl Scott

Karl Scott is a Holistic Lifestyle Coach, Fitness Professional and Pilate’s Instructor with over 20 years of combined experience in all.

His approach focuses on Client’s health & fitness goals and long-term sustainability of the customized program. Once realistic goals have been established, he works with each client to develop a core program that meets their personal needs to obtain their desired fitness goals.

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