Tony Bria can easily be compared to the Energizer Bunny…just swap out the pink fur and drum for sculpted muscles and dumbbells.
For the Warminster native and William Tennent High School alum, a “typical” day would have most people passed out from exhaustion by noon. When The Times sat down with Bria last Tuesday, he had instructed four high-intensity workout classes and clocked more than 11,000 steps…all before 10:30 a.m.
Did we mention he had five more sessions scheduled and wouldn’t be heading back to his Doylestown residence until 9 p.m.?
But Bria doesn’t mind this hectic schedule in the slightest. The husband and proud father of two daughters is finally living out a dream he’s envisioned for multiple years – owning his very own fitness studio. On Saturday, June 8, Bria officially opened the doors to Bria Method, located at 720 Johnsville Blvd., Unit 11, Warminster, a space he worked tirelessly to make one-of-a-kind for the area
“People love to work out somewhere where they feel comfortable, that feels nice, that feels luxurious. People like that, they’re attracted to it and then they come back,” Bria said. “I needed to have that urban edge, that new, cool kind of feeling to it. I basically created the mood in here off something that’s in your big cities, Miami, Dubai, New York. I wanted to have this cool gym feel that gyms around here don’t offer.”
The space features a cozy lounge area, where clients can relax and chat over coffee after class, two showers, which are equipped with toiletries (and hair ties for women), and two main workout rooms. Meal preps will be offered in the near future.
Bria’s pride and joy is the ultra-modern HIIT room. Here, locals can enjoy “high intensity interval training” group workouts in a sleek, dimly-lit setting, which features eye-grabbing, hand-painted graffiti on the walls, mirrors, heart-pumping music and a slew of dumbbells, kettlebells, treadmills, medicine balls and, Bria’s favorite, assault bikes.
The HIIT room is primarily used for strength training and increasing heart rates, especially during Bria’s signature class “Hurricane” – something he’s been offering as a personal trainer since 2007. The 48-minute session consists of four 12-minute rounds, each including six minutes of cardio and six minutes of strength. Low-skill level exercises are utilized for a high-intensity experience, something Bria said gets the best results.
“I love going back and forth between cardio and weights,” he said. “It’s torture. It’s just a whirlwind of exercises and by the time you’re done, you look disheveled.”
A few feet away sits the LIT room, a naturally-illuminated space where clients can enjoy “low impact training” through power yoga and barre. These classes focus on core, arms, legs and, according to Bria, “lots of booty work.”
“That room is about recover, refresh, restore, but have fun. And it’s uptempo,” said Bria. “It’s good on the body, easy on the joints, but will torch calories and torch your muscles.”
In Bria’s opinion, it’s this mixed offering of HIIT and LIT that sets him apart from the competition.
“Just HIIT and lifting and running isn’t enough. What else do people need? Where do we lack?” he said.
In 2016, the answer came to him – people needed a place to get fit and burn calories, but also stretch, improve strength and posture, and release stress after sitting at a desk all day. Since no gyms were offering such a fully-balanced fitness routine, Bria took it upon himself to create one. After a decade of serving as a beloved private trainer in the area (more than 20 longtime clients flew to Cabo San Lucas for his wedding), it was the perfect way to expand his expertise to the larger community.
“I love motivating and helping people, whether it’s fitness or just anything. I have people that come to my office and we just talk,” Bria said.
Instead of simply shouting out instructions during class, Bria’s mission is to educate his clients on everything from proper form to nutrition. He teaches how they can, in fact, enjoy indulgences like pizza and beer – as long as it’s in moderation.
“As a trainer, I always preach consistency. Consistency is the most important thing when it comes to life, and especially when you want to reach goals. Any goals, not just fitness,” he said. “Pick and choose. If you’re going to eat a really unhealthy dinner, then eat really healthy at breakfast and lunch. Try and plan for what you’re doing.”
Bria is a prime example of someone who practices what he preaches, and follows the mantra BYOB – “Be your own billboard.” After growing up under the tutelage of athletic parents, playing half a dozen sports and having friends inquire what the “bumps” were on his stomach (his mother had to inform him they were abs), fitness is something Bria can’t imagine living without – and it shows.
“I thought that if I did what I really believed in, and people really believed in me as a trainer, I can’t go wrong there,” he said. “That’s the kind of energy you need to bring to the room.”
Classes at Bria Method begin as early as 5 a.m., giving busy professionals the opportunity to get a workout in, shower and return home to get the kids ready for school. Several levels of membership are available, with the first week offered free as a trial period. Those interested can choose strictly HIIT or LIT classes, or combine the two. Exercises can also be altered to accommodate all skill levels.
For information, visit briamethod.com or call 215-344-7752. ••
Samantha Bambino can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org