Toughen Up at Green Fitness

Photo by Ashley Corbin-Teich

By A.P. Smith

Green Fitness Studio
232 Varet Street (Bushwick)

Not unlike an awkward teenager turned self-assured and confident, Bushwick seems to have recently come into its own. The last few years have been very kind to this eclectic, multi-ethnic neighborhood, as more and more business ventures blossom. The developments on and around Morgan Avenue, first 3rd Ward and continuing with institutions like Roberta’s, Pine Box Rock Shop, and Brooklyn Fire Proof, have only proven that the five-block radius around the Morgan subway stop is a fertile ground for creativity and innovation in the realm of food, drink, music and… health?

In December 2009, Green Fitness Studio opened its doors on the short, two-block stretch of Varet Street. Amidst neighbors like Café Orwell and Post Bike Shop, Green Fitness makes its unique contribution to the neighborhood through mind and body fitness combined with environmental sustainability.

Barry Borgan has owned the building at 232 Varet Street for nearly ten years, operating a ground floor metal manufacturing business specializing in window guards called Avant Guard. The second floor of the building had been available, and with planned renovations, including ceiling reinforcements to allow a rooftop patio, the space was suited for just about any kind of business.

“We were excited about the transformations in the neighborhood,” says Rachel Borgan, the eldest of Barry Borgan’s four children. “It was something we wanted to participate in.”

And so the Borgans considered business plans from a number of interested parties. One proposed venture was a yoga studio. And though it did not ultimately work out, it got Rachel Borgan thinking.

“Looking around the neighborhood,” says Rachel, “we didn’t find anything else in the community—a green-conscious and eco-friendly service the community could rally around.  Someplace you could exercise your mind and body, a space promoting awareness of the connections between mind, body, and environment.”

Those ideas very quickly grew to become Green Fitness Studio: a full-service facility with state-of-the-art exercise machines, on-staff personal trainers, nutritionists, spa and massage treatments, juice bar, boxing ring, dance studio, sauna, and over 200 classes each month, including pilates, kickboxing, yoga, and mixed martial arts.

Green Fitness implemented environmentally conscious design into just about everything: recycled rubber flooring, self-powered cordless exercise machines, refurbished equipment, duel flush toilets, an outdoor rooftop area with sod, and even an atrium for yoga with Heat Mirror glass to naturally heat the room through a greenhouse effect. Of course there’s free wi-fi, but what I enjoyed was the 13-inch touch screen monitors at each treadmill connected to a complimentary Netflix account.

Sebastian Almada is the day-to-day manager at the studio. “We like people to notice that we are making an effort,” says Almada. “This is an artistic community where people often practice alternative lifestyles and like to try new things. Here we show that we can do things differently.”

Green Fitness Studio caters to many groups in the Bushwick area, not just the open-bar enthusiasts. The fitness studio is open after 10pm exclusively for men.