For some people 10 years is a milestone and a time to look back and celebrate years of achievement. For Joe DeFranco, in 10 years ago he hit the ground running, and has never looked back.
As a stand out football player at Bergen Catholic High School, the mecca of high school football in New Jersey, and bound for the NFL Joe had life changing surgery that would end his football playing days. He decided then, that if he couldn’t play football he would train players to be the absolute best they can be. He rented space in a local gym and made a name for himself. He never looked back.
Joe’s talent to find the “strong” in athletes could no longer be contained to the lower level of Odyssey Fitness. He opened his own place in an industrial complex in Wyckoff. This was a perfect location, not some fancy gym with pretty personal trainers and a smoothie bar. This was a place where work got done, chains are lying on the floor, and 500 lb tires in the back alongside sledge hammers. If you are looking for a bar, try the thick bar, the perfect “strong man” style beast to build massive upper body strength. Joe has just about every one ever made along with cables to attach to them. He has studied every style of training in every country and is called upon for his expertise by the NFL the WWE and athletic institutions all over the world.
He has run his own combine, preparing NFL hopefuls to such perfection that the NFL combine had to raise their standards of competition. Houston Texan defense dominator Brian Cushing has trained with Joe since high school. New York Giants offensive tackle Dave Diehl trains there regularly. On any given day you will come across professional athletes or those aspiring to be . But make no mistake, they are there to work, and they work alongside everyone else who trains there. Fame is not a prerequisite, a die-hard work ethic, respect and drive are. Joe lives them all every day.
His father led his family with morals ethics and a drive like no other. He trains just as hard as any athlete in that gym, and has raised the bar for every “washed up meat head” on the wall. He also takes care of Joe’s mom, diagnosed with MS early in life. Mr D. will easily admit “she is the strongest one in the family” Needless to say, Mr. D also never looks back.
Even while the likes of WWE legend Triple H flips tires in his gym, Joe’s proudest when his twin baby girls are throwin down on the turf. Granted, they are throwing baby toys, but they always bring a smile to his face. When he decided to expand the gym, it was the support of his wife and family that got him through. Once again, he never looked back.
Ten years after his first client ever hired him, Joe is still looking to improve his brand. There is no part of strength he does not research, examine, redefine and improve. His gym consistently is written up everywhere from glossy fitness magazines, to hardcore strength websites. He is quoted and consulted constantly. He is the master of all entrepreneurs. Put simply he loves what he does and he does what he loves. Congratulations Joe. Its only fitting to say, we can’t wait to see what the next ten years will bring.
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