New Kid on the Block: The Live Well Company

Ten years after founding the Live Well Company, Anne Marie and Darryl Bennick have taken a big step: They’ve opened a new facility that’s a gym and a personal fitness studio, and they’re no longer doing all the training themselves. Way back when, they managed trainers for a big gym chain, and when they founded their company in 2003, they vowed not to fall into the big-gym trap. “There’s never any pressure to hire a trainer here,” says Anne Marie. “We don’t have a quota of people we have to sign up. But we do encourage our trainers to help people train the right way—and then you can go about your business, if that’s what you want to do.”

The previous Live Well space was live-work, 1,300 square feet at Church and Franklin. The new one is all work and much larger: 4,000 square feet, in the River Lofts Tower. While it’s entirely interior, it feels airy and private, and all that open space allows for a focus on athletic performance, including agility drills. Plus, the location means that in summer, trainers can take their clients across the street to Hudson River Park. “Our members want to get most out of their workout in the limited time they have,” says Anne Marie. “And a lot of people come here after being injured in a class somewhere. You need to work out correctly if you want to protect your body.”

The Bennicks had been looking in northwest Tribeca for a couple of years when they found the space, and then, right as construction started, Hurricane Sandy hit. That forced another delay, but now they’re raring to go, with a bunch of new initiatives. Besides gym memberships and personal training (and you can have one without the other), the Live Well Company will offer kids’ boxing and kickboxing classes, a lunchtime boxing class for women, running education, and tai chi. The gym also serves as a satellite location for Dash Physical Therapy, and the Bennicks are planning to start a series of monthly seminars on subjects such as nutrition, taking care of your back, and functional movement. Last but not least, the Eat Well Chefs—Anthony Imbornone and John Parilla—can cook heat-and-serve meals for any diet.

“If you want a family feel, this is the place for you,” says Anne Marie. “We’ll know everyone who comes in. But we’re also happy to leave you alone!”

The Live Well Company is at 256 West (between Vestry and Laight), 212-431-5752;

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