In August as OsteoStrong set about establishing its first studio in Greenwich to help people avoid the effects of osteoporosis, the program’s inventor Dr. John Jaquish recollected to Hearst Connecticut Media how in researching the disease as he sought ways to help his own mother after her diagnosis, he came to learn that gymnasts have higher bone density than the general population.
The takeaway? The high-impact forces that gymnasts generate in their training represent a cure of sorts for bone mass loss as a result of osteoporosis — and Jaquish is now bringing that osteogenic loading concept to the masses via his machines that remove the injury risks that confront gymnasts.
“There are … studies since the 1970s proving that osteogenic loading builds bone,” Jaquish said. “There had just never been a safe way to apply this high-impact type of stimulus.”
OsteoStrong held its formal Greenwich opening in mid-September at 126 E. Putnam Ave., with another slated in a few week’s time at the Goodwives Shopping Center on the Old Post Road in Darien.
Local co-owners Allan Grossmann, Wesley Peixoto and Christine Moffatt secured four franchises this year for Fairfield County and Westchester County, N.Y., with the partners considering an additional Fairfield County location, possibly Westport or Ridgefield.
Grossmann and Peixoto met as Brazilian expatriates working in the area, with Grossmann having ample corporate experience in finance and strategy and looking for an investment opportunity and Peixoto hearing about OsteoStrong through an event featuring the motivational speaker Tony Robbins, who is an OsteoStrong backer.
“I’m a skeptical guy — a numbers guy. … I said, ‘let me see the data,’” Grossmann said. “We started our due diligence and we started talking to other franchisees around the country, there were about 30 or 40, and the first thing that got my attention is that every one of them were happy. We spoke to people who had 300 members in their center, and we spoke to people who had 40 members in their center … (and) they were happy.”
OsteoStrong is based in Houston and was created by Jaquish as a way to help his mother ward off osteoporosis, a condition which causes the loss of bone mass that can lead to other health problems.
Under a theory called osteogenic loading, Jaquish created weight resistance machines that to the naked eye do not appear radically different from those at fitness centers, but which are designed for people to work with higher levels of weight in short intervals, with comparatively minimal risk of injury. That is the key to building bone mass under the precepts of osteogenic loading, with the OsteoStrong program requiring only 10 minutes after an hour introductory session to go over the concepts and techniques.
In addition to bone strength, the program builds muscle density and healthier tendons and ligaments, with benefits for posture, joints and overall balance. OsteoStrong originally geared the studios toward physicians and chiropractors before embracing all comers, as the program’s benefits as part of an overall fitness regimen became apparent.
“These are small locations that have the energy of a gym, but with the professionalism of a medical practice,” Jaquish said in August. “Very non-intimidating — it’s a pleasant experience, … a spa-like experience.”
OsteoStrong has been offering free trial sessions in Greenwich, with the regular program costing about $200 monthly for scheduled, supervised sessions each week, with additional services extra. Information is online at www.osteostrong.me or by calling 203-900-1661.
“We’ve had people coming in from a really wide range of areas — it’s been really interesting,” Moffatt said. “There’s an epidemic of osteoporosis and bone density issues. … We want to be able to bring this kind of information to our community; we want to be a resource.”