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Hard-Core Fitness Center Presses Into Forest Hills

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska | March 22, 2013 12:30pm

QUEENS — The owner of a new fitness center coming to Forest Hills next month has an intimidating nickname — and a training regimen to back it up.

Ari (Evil Bastard) Harris, 41 said he has new ways of getting you in shape at the soon-to-open Pharaohs Army Fitness, which is coming to Forest Hills in April.

From kettlebells that allow for greater movements and rope-like suspension sets instead of traditional equipment, Harris also promises military-style training, during which gym-goers won’t be allowed to relax.

The gym owner, who worked at a local New York Sports Club for eight years, said that he chose kettlebells instead of regular weights for his new facility, because a typical gym “is primarily a bunch of machines where you look at the screen. People get locked into machines in fixed moving patterns,” he said.

Harris, who has certifications from the Russian Kettlebell Challenge and StrongFirst, says kettlebells are also more effective than free weights.

“With kettlebells you are doing all kinds of ballistic movements that train the entire body rather than one muscle group at a time,” he said. It gives gym-goers both strength and cardiovascular training, Harris said.

It’s not easy at first, Harris warns, so he offers an introductory class for those who have never tried kettlebells before.

The gym will also offer TRX Suspension Training, created by the Navy SEALs, in which participants exercise using portable suspension sets.

“People can get a full three dimentional workout, moving up and down, left and right, forward and backward, they can rotate…” Harris said. “You can do hundreds of exercises and it leverages gravity,” he said.

The name of the gym came from Harris's old e-mail address 'MyMightyPharaoh.' When he started his groups, he said, he liked to call them his army. “And then I said, 'wait a second, it’s Pharaoh’s Army,'” he said. He decided the name was catchy and it became the name of his new gym.

All his programing, Harris said, is class-based and each class will have no more than 15 participants to ensure “quality training,” he said.

The gym will be located at 116-16 Queens Boulevard. Gym-goers will be obliged to a minimum 3 months commitment. To attend 1 class a week for 12 month will cost $108 a month; 6 months of unlimited classes will cost $368 a month.