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Bev Francis Powerhouse Gym Syosset, New York

Of all the articles I have written, this may have been the most difficult because I couldn't figure out exactly where to start. Bev's gym is concentrated with talent and successful competitors. It has firmly established itself on the East Coast as one of the best bodybuilding gyms. I have watched members of this gym win competitions, some of them several times over, such as Mike Ryan. There are some that I remember from before my competition coverage days, such as Rob Russo. Then there are those names I didn't even know were members until I ran into them there, such as Dave Palumbo. Many of these athletes, I found out, are trainers at Bev's gym.

When visiting New York, Dorian Yates stays with Steve and Bev and works out at Bev's Gym. He's not the only one who has navigated to this gym. Here are some of the impressive names that have worked out at Bev's:

  • Laura Creavalle
  • Paul DeMeo
  • Nassar El-Sonbaty
  • Mike Francois
  • Chris Mullen
  • Jim Quinn
  • Milos Sarcev
  • Sonny Schmidt

Bev's Gym opened in 1987. It boasts 30,000 square feet of serious equipment. This includes an ample supply of cardio machines which are appreciated by the fitness crowd, competitors gearing up, and us over 30 regular guys.

Bev's Gym is owned by Bev Francis and Steve Weinberger. They both play an active part in the day to day operation of the gym. You'll find at least one of them there on a daily basis.

The Lineup

Bev Francis
Bev's history as an athlete is much broader than bodybuilding. In Australia, before coming to the U.S., Bev excelled in track & field, she held the shotput record, and was undefeated in powerlifting until 1985.

Her bodybuilding career began when she was invited to compete in the Caesar's Pro Cup, which was the contest being held for the filming of Pumping Iron II: The Women. She went on to compete for the Miss Olympia title. To this day her second place showing is a major topic of debate in the sport. She went on to compete in the IFBB Pro World Championships, which she won. Bev now devotes her time to the gym, Steve, and the two children many of the gym members have gotten to know as family.

Steve Weinberger
Steve was introduced to Bev in 1983 when Wayne DeMilia asked Steve to escort Bev. She was coming to the U.S. for her first American competition.

When Steve is not busy with family or the gym, he's busy with the NPC. Steve has been the District Chairman for the NPC in New York City and Long Island for four years. If there is something going on in the NPC, Steve knows about it. Steve, along with Bev, are the promoters of the three National Qualifiers in NYC, sometimes in concert with other partners.

Dino Doria
Dino first joined Bev's gym to workout with friends. He was impressed with the attention and help he received from Steve Weinberger as soon as he told Steve he wanted to compete. He's most impressed with the organization of the place and how weights are always in their place.

I was impressed with Dino the first time I saw him at the 1995 NPC Metropolitan Bodybuilding Championships when he placed 2nd in the Light-Heavyweight Class. He went on that same year to win the overall titles in the NJ Suburban and the Tri-State Championships. Dino is a balanced 5'9" 213# bodybuilder (196# at competitions). He has good looks which audiences always like. He has a 32" waist and his jacket size is 48-50. His strongest points are his tightness and symmetry. When Dino is getting ready for a contest, he's disciplined about his diet. He maxes out on turkey, fish, and egg whites for protein. For carbs he eats rice, potatoes, and oatmeal. His supplements include creatine monohydrate, vanadyl sulfate, and "of course" MetRx.

Chrissie Gillett
Chrissie is an experienced and knowledgeable title-holder having won the 1995 NPC Masters' Nationals and the 1996 NPC Junior Nationals. She is 5'6", 149 lbs., and 36 years. Chrissie takes contest dieting in stride eating three pounds of fish, MetRx, and ProMax each day. Chrissie is still pushing in the competition circuit and will be competing this year.

Bev Francis is the main reason Chrissie gives for joining this gym. She looked forward to taking advantage of Bev's experience and knowledge about the sport. Chrissie credits a lot of her success in the sport to the motivation she got from Bev. She is a full-time trainer at Bev's Gym and should be seriously considered if you are looking for a trainer. She is always pleasant to run into and easy to talk with which is essential for a good trainer.

Rob Russo
Rob proved himself to be a truly prominent name in the sport in 1996 with an impressive Light-Heavy and Overall win at the Junior Nationals.

Rob's sport used to be football which carried him into bodybuilding in 1989. He joined Bev's Gym in 1992 and still trains there. Rob comes from Long Island where he works for Nutrition Warehouse in sales and promotion. Rob is 28 years, 5'6" and 191 lbs. when contest-ready. He's 218 lbs. off-season. Rob claims his legs as his best bodypart. Although Rob's upper body is full and hard, I'm going to agree with him on this one. On more than one occasion his impressive legs pulled the judges' and audiences' attention. When a competitor is able to exercise that much control over the judges and the audience, it is the mark of a great bodybuilder.

I first saw Rob when he guest posed at the 1995 NYC Bodybuilding Championships. The improvement he has made since then is outstanding. Rob is now shooting for the 1997 Men's & Women's Nationals on October 31, which will give him pro status. I'm expecting a lot from Rob in 1997.

Mike Ryan
Mike first came to Bev's Gym to join the NPC. He took a look at the place, liked it, and joined in spite of the 40 minute drive he had to take each day to get there. Mike is a 25 year old bodybuilder from Queens who is really accomplished in this sport. He is 5'4", 190 lbs., 30" waist. He made a big win at the 1995 Atlantic States Bodybuilding Championships when he won the Lightweight Class and the Overall title.

Mike and his training partner, Eric Munsch (Open/Middleweight Winner, 1996 NY Metropolitan Bodybuilding Championships), believe in a routine of four exercises per bodypart. They break the body up into four workouts following a schedule of 2 days on/1 off/3 on/1 off:

  • Chest/Biceps
  • Quads
  • Shoulders/Triceps
  • Back/Hamstrings
They follow a diet high in protein and moderate/low starch and vegetables. Mike and Eric take MetRx, Pro Max or Designer Whey Protein, Creatine, and Vanadyl.

Mike is available for corporate training and personal training at Bev's Gym. Consider this guy if you are looking for an experienced bodybuilder who takes training serious and is easy to talk to.

Frank Sepe
Frank is one of the most prominent names in our sport and is rapidly gaining in popularity. Three weeks out of each month Frank is working out at Bev's Gym under Steve Weinberger's coaching. One week each month he is in California on photo shoots.

Frank has no plans of leaving Bev's Gym because of the coaching by Steve he has grown to depend on. Keep your eyes on Frank. He's growing fast. You can get more info on Frank by reading our profile of him.

Bev Francis Powerhouse Gym
235C Robbins Lane, Syosset NY 11791
516-933-1111 | 516-933-1135(fax)
Weekdays | 5:00am-Midnight
Weekends | 7:00am-9:00pm

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