Brian Neale

Founder of Team Neale

Brian Neale is the founder of Team Neale. He has a B.S. in Exercise Science with minors in Coaching, Health, and Nutrition Promotion.  Brian is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association and has been a Performance Coach for 10 years, working directly with collegiate, Olympic, and professional athletes. In addition, Brian has a wealth of experience working with special populations, ranging from child motor skill development, surgery prep & reconditioning, weight control, pain management, and geriatric fitness.

As an expert fitness consultant, Brian works locally with sports clubs and local high schools. Working directly with the pro/coach, he develops custom evaluations to assess needs, and implements specific training programming to reach those goals.

In addition, Brian consults and is published by Men’s Health, creating programming, sharing insight on fitness trends, and giving advice on exercises and technique.

Giovanni Principe

Staff Trainer, CPT, CSCS

Gio is a certified strength and conditioning specialist through the NSCA, a FRC mobility specialist, and a certified personal trainer through ACSM and NFPT. He works with NFPT as an educational writer.  He graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a B.S. in Exercise Science and a minor in Nutrition.

Gio competed in bodybuilding in the NPC as a teenager, in the novice and open division, and he was successful in the middleweight class. He has over 100 hours of experience working with college athletes in an athletic training setting, and over 400 hours coaching middle school, high school, and college athletes at Next Level Fitness and Athlete Training Center under strength coaches Mike Pimentel, Jason Azulay, Joseph Peters, and Rene Moyen. He studies and practices Jeet Kun Do, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Wing Chun, Tai Chi, and competes in Arm Wrestling. Gio has existential interests in lucid dreaming and meditation as ways to train the brain for improved cognition, mental state, longevity, and physical performance.

Nicholas Polizzi

Staff Trainer, CPT, CSCS

Nicholas’s passion for fitness has stemmed since he was a child. He has over 15 years of experience in the fitness field, and he has been training clients professionally for 7 years. His passion increased dramatically after he sustained a knee injury while he was in high school. The injury caused him to have two knee surgeries, which severely inhibited his ability to pursue collegiate sports. After extensive rehabilitation through physical therapy, his own research on injuries, and by learning about program design, he was able to live an active life style once again. 

Once he was fully recovered, he became passionate about making sure that other athletes did not suffer his own fate. As a result, Nicholas went to Hofstra University, where he received his bachelor’s degree in Exercise Physiology. During his tenure at Hofstra, he had the privilege of joining the now 12 time National Champion Hofstra Cheerleading Team. Nicholas competed in 2009 and 2010 and became a 2x National Champion. Nicholas has been working for THE ARENA (formally known as Pure Fit Club) for 7 years, and he is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and Certified Personal Trainer. 

Kevin Chen

Staff Trainer, CPT, LMT

Kevin is a Certified Personal Trainer through NFPT. He attended the University of Hartford and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Science. He is currently working with NFPT as a Subject Matter Expert, writing and itemizing questions for the NFPT Certified Personal Trainer Exam. 

He has worked with clients of all ages and fitness levels. His main focus is to help others increase their neuromuscular function through methods including: rehabilitative exercises to correct physical dysfunction, functional movement training in programs to increase mobility, flexibility, athletic performance and daily function. He specializes in Olympic lifting, functional movement, athletic performance and injury prevention.  He is very invested in Olympic lifting and is very passionate about the sport. He is always training to improve his Olympic lifts as well as researching different techniques used by different Olympic coaches and athletes. Moving forward, he is looking to continue his education by pursuing a Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree.

Denise Groothuis

Chief Operating Officer, CPT, RD 

Denise has a BS from Cornell University and an MS in Applied Physiology and Nutrition from Teachers College, Columbia University. She is currently both a certified personal trainer and a licensed Registered Dietitian (RD). Denise has been practicing in the nutrition field since 2000. She has worked in a variety of settings ranging from hospitals and nursing homes to private practice. She has experience with weight loss, cachexia, diabetes, renal disease, heart disease, cancer, dysphagia, Parkinson’s Disease, and Alzheimer’s. 

After an injury and long recovery, Denise became interested in personal training, and she decided to become certified in order to help better educate others about being fit and functional. Denise is certified by the National Federation of Professional Trainers (NFPT) and has worked as a personal trainer for the last five years. 

Currently, she manages THE ARENA and is in charge of all daily operations. She also oversees the blog, educational articles, social media and marketing.

Steven Sarno

Massage Director, LMT CSCS

Steve has been active in the fitness industry since 2011 when he graduated from Adelphi University with a Bachelors in Exercise Science.   In 2012, Steve graduated from the Finger Lakes School of Massage in Mt Kisco, and currently works as a Licensed Massage Therapist.  After graduating from the Finger Lakes School of Massage, Steve became an instructor at the Mt. Kisco campus, teaching kinesiology to up and coming massage students. Steve holds a number of critical certifications including a personal training certification from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), National Federation for Professional Trainers (NFPT) and a CSCS (Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist) from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).   In addition to specializing in deep tissue massage and neuromuscular therapy, Steve practices Active Release Technique (ART), which is considered to be the gold standard of soft tissue manipulation and treatment.  Steve also has published continuing education material for trainers to buy and count towards their annual certification renewal.  Steve plays an active role in the surrounding school districts coaching and training the student athletes, prepping them for both varsity and collegiate play.  

Victoria Woo

Massage Therapist, LMT

Victoria Woo-LMT, graduated with her Bachelor’s degree in Biology, Chemistry from SUNY Purchase.

She graduated from Finger Lakes School of Massage in 2013, she became licensed in New York, and began working in a chiropractor’s office, an upscale spa, and then with personal fitness professionals. Victoria has experience with clients of all body types, ages and abilities. She specializes in Deep Tissue and performs many other modalities such as Swedish, Sports massage, Medical massage, Trigger Point Therapy, Reflexology, Pre-natal and is certified in Active Release Technique.

She is very passionate about bodywork and the wonderful effects it has on our bodies. Her years of professional massage experience allow her to perform customized therapy tailored specifically to the individual needs of each client and looks forward to designing a personalized session to benefit your needs.