Fitness Movin’ & Shakin’: Empire Home, FitCo, Podium Sports, Strive Fitness and more

Check out the latest news from industry players including Empire Home Fitness' new retail venture, the latest on Strive Smart Strength's Chapter 11 bankruptcy and ACSM's call for action.

Mark Seymour, former Southern California Busy Body district manager, has launched a new retail venture by the name of Empire Home Fitness in Corona, Calif. He is now carrying Life Fitness, PaceMaster, Octane, Bremshey, Powerblock, Hoist, Cap and Spri, per the website ( Seymour opened his doors in late October…. FitCo Fitness has added to its ranks: Danny Murphy and Keith Rakovan, in Jacksonville, Fla., and Dallas, respectively, began in mid-October. Murphy has worked with Cybex, Technogym, Gym Source and FreeMotion Fitness. Rakovan has years of corporate fitness management and was a territory manager for Austin, Texas-based, BodyWorks Fitness. In November, FitCo added Kevin Hansen in the Utah area….

Fitness4Home has opened a store in the Camelback area of Phoenix…. GoFit was featured in a recent issue of TV Guide with “Bob” from the Biggest Loser endorsing the company’s Kettlebells…. John Conti has formed JC Consulting. He has led sales at Bodyguard Fitness, True Fitness and ProSpot. He can be reached at 314-591-4915…. Larry Domingo, formerly of Precor, is the vice president of global sales at Star Trac as of early November….

Bill Wagner, a co-founder of All About Fitness in Denver that was sold to Busy Body Home Fitness, has opened Podium Sports in Frisco, Colo. Wagner told SNEWS it is a specialty ski and bike shop with a vision to focus on the competitive mountain athlete and it opened in early summer 2009. He is still involved in All About Fitness in Kansas and Lifestyle Fitness in Oklahoma. Otherwise, check out Podium at

David Conte and Charles Conte Jr. continue to run Conte’s Bicycles & Fitness ( in Richmond and Virginia Beach, Va., after a nine-month legal tussle with seven-year franchisor P&K Ventures that ended in a business separation. Freshbikes Franchising acquired the assets of P&K Ventures after the trademark infringement case was settled. Freshbikes will continue to use the Conte store name for a limited time (, and the Conte brothers are no longer affiliated with those stores….

A creditors meeting in the Ch. 11 bankruptcy reorganization of Strive Smart Strength ( was held Nov. 19. Per the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Western District of Pennsylvania, Strive’s reorganization plan is due Jan. 21, 2010. Strive filed for Ch. 11 on Sept. 23, 2009. The company is listed as an exhibitor at the Athletic Business show Dec. 3-4 under the category “children’s programs/equipment.” The previously filed papers show the company has over $29 million in unsecured debt with about $27 million of that to the founders’ father, E. Ronald Salvitti. Court documents list assets of $150,500….

A re-examination of the denial of a weight plate patent requested by Tom Lincir of Ivanko was rejected in September by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. The claim was for a polyurethane-coated plate that was claimed not to be slippery around the grip holes and, therefore, safer to use. The patent was originally filed in April 2006…. The American College of Sports Medicine is requesting support for a bill, introduced in October in Congress, that calls for regular updates to the federal Physical Activity Guidelines. Contact your local representative by clicking here to use the ACSM Action Alert with a message you can modify, then email using a drop-down menu to choose your recipient….

--Therese Iknoian

Got any news or tips about somebody, some product, or some company doing some moving or shaking? Let us know so we can slip it into our occasional Movin' & Shakin' updates. Just email