Spotlight on the Greek-American Trainer of George Soros and the Wall Street Elite

Financial and business tycoons are regulars at Sitaras Fitness, a private gym owned by Greek-American John Sitaras. The New York Times recently published an article, “Trying to Feel Like a Million Bucks, Too” by Janet Morrisey which profiled the success of a New York City gym which attracts George Soros, Paul Volcker, David Geffen and other big finance names.

Billionaire philanthropist and investor George Soros joined the gym two years ago after observing its effects on his son.  Soros claims, “It makes me feel better, more alert.”  He recommended former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker to the facility.

But who is John Sitaras? The 39-year-old Greek-American bodybuilder is the creator of the Sitaras Method. He was born on Greece’s Eastern Aegean Island of Chios before relocating with his family to a tough area of Brooklyn, New York. John showed an early interest in science when he attained a 2-year Medical Science degree from the Clara Barton School before moving onto Brooklyn College, where he pursued a major in psychology and minors in Physical Education and Health and Nutrition.

John, however, soon decided to translate his love of bodybuilding into a full-fledged career. After placing 4th in an All Natural Body Building Championships at the early age of 19, he took a leave of absence from his studies to pursue the sport professionally. After an intense 2 years of training, his future in the sport was cut short by a tragic accident, leaving John hospitalized and wheelchair-bound for many months. Sitaras stated, “That was a very dark period in my life.” He soon returned to his favorite pastime and had a concrete following in a short period of time.

With his hopes of a career in professional bodybuilding dashed, Sitaras turned to the world of personal training. Despite several successful years training at top-rated gyms and at private residences on both the east and west coasts, the industry’s lack of science-based methodology and training protocols was so disappointing as to force John to consider leaving the personal training world altogether.

Fortunately, though, Sitaras chose to improve the industry instead. He teamed up with American Academy of Pain Medicine at Lenox Hill Hospital where John spent 18 months learning the system for treating acute and chronic pain, muscle spasms, and pre-post-rehabilitation protocols.

John also used this time for his own research and development to tie his knowledge of personal training and bodybuilding to advanced methods of preventing and treating injury.

Sitaras Fitness opened in November 2007 after raising almost 1.5 million dollars from investors.

“He’s sort of a doctor of fitness”, states private sector legend Jack Welch, who led General Electric between 1981 and 2001.  Welch solicited Sitaras’ help after a three month hospital stay after a bacterial staph infection that left part of his arms and legs atrophied.  Now fitness training is part of his lifestyle and he has returned to playing golf.

What makes Sitaras’ fitness center different than others is his proprietary personal training program.  His protocol calls for 6 hours of tests per client,  that measure the flexibility, endurance and strength of more than 35 major joints and muscles.  He then creates a personalized fitness program based on his own software program for each member.  Each gym session is noted and monitored and evolves as fitness improves.  Sitaras’ strategy has attracted major players in the business world.

Sitaras Fitness has members of all ages, spanning from 20 to 80-years-old.  Dedication to fitness is the main attribute that allows one to become a member of the gym.  Unlike other swanky Manhattan gyms, Sitaras doesn’t charge an initiation fee.  As Sitaras states: “My goal is to make fitness accessible-not just for the rich and famous…My goal is to help everyone.”

Check out a video showing how the Sitaras Method transformed 5-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson.


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