What’s Up Team?!
My name is Frank D’Agostino and I want to make this clear right from the start—lemon water makes everything better and I have never ever had a piece of gum before. Literally not once.
Okay, let’s get serious.
For as far back as I can remember, I have ALWAYS had a passion for wanting to raise the bar, dream big, and make something special of my life. Here’s the thing—the purpose of this has always been tied to actions and intentions that would allow me to help make a difference in other people’s lives as well.
- I think the terms “normal” and “realistic” are overrated—not always, but often.
- I strive to cut the puppet strings that life tends to tie to us… and with that, I think weird is cool. Weird is in.
- I believe in positive thoughts, positive action, and positive energy: what goes around comes around (thanks, Mom) This has helped me progress in my personal life and, most recently, with my career.
Since I was young, I’ve had a crazy interest in muscles and superpowers. I was seriously obsessed with the muscles on my favorite heroes: Spiderman, Batman, and Superman. I went through awkward, delusional stages where I thought I actually was Spiderman for quite some time, shooting invisible webs out of my hand and unsuccessfully climbing up my living room wall.
Thankfully, I have two amazing parents and a cool as shit sister who went along with every one of my “creative obsessions” …I still have many, and they’re still supporting.
You know, thinking back on that, it’s probably one of the most crucial aspects of my upbringing. With all the crazy business ideas, all the obsessions and “inventions,” my family always supported me. Even when they thought this kid is crazy, they still instilled tons of confidence in me to, at the very least, TRY.
My dad was always brutally honest—he kept me grounded in reality. Let’s say my parents came to one of my basketball games and I had an off night; my mom would say, “It’s okay, Frankie, you tried your best! Next time, you’ll get it.” My dad?
“You sucked tonight, Frank… you weren’t playing with your head.”
So it came from both ends. A beautiful balance.
As for school…
I was an A and B student with C’s, D’s, and checkmarks in CONDUCT all throughout grammar school. In high school, I failed math 2 years in a row.
Senior year, a few of us failed math, and I actually spearheaded one of the first-ever “in-house” summer school programs at my school. My guidance counselor was amazing—she supported the whole thing, and so did the assistant principal!
I refused to go to summer school for 2 months for failing math. When the hell was I ever going to use a+b=503… literally never.
But I did learn this equation: Problems – (minus) Narrow Minded Minimalistic Thinking = Solutions (EXTRA CREDIT?!)
I don’t say this to impress you… I say it to impress upon you that through failures, I learned. Through failures, we all can learn, if we just flip the script and choose a positive perspective.
I mean, I seriously tried to start a landscaping company at like 8 years old—I called it “Landscape Maintenance.” It was the first time I’d heard the word maintenance and I guess I thought it was cool. My mom took me to Staples to buy those fake “Print and Play” business card sheets, and my sister and dad helped me design my first business card.
Then I created a flyer. The headline was sickkkk, check it out…ready?
“The Leaves Are Falling”
…It was the middle of fall and I figured, alright, I can rake some leaves.
The best part of this whole thing was that we went as far as stapling my business card to the flyers and walked around my entire neighborhood sticking flyers into doors and mailboxes.
Actually, no, this is the best part: I had no equipment, no car, and no clue how to do anything that involved landscaping… I had just learned how to walk like 7 years prior.
I sat home with my dad’s oversized work gloves on and waited by the phone for 2 weeks. Not one person called. I was crushed. That was my first failed business—but they supported me. AND I LEARNED A LOT!
I have to hand it to my dad, aka my future best man. I’m dead serious, my dad will be the best man at my wedding. Anyway, my dad is where I get my entrepreneurial spirit from. Thanks dog!
So, where did my love affair with exercise and a variety of alternative medicine and natural remedies come from? How did a kid who wanted to be a pharmacist freshman year of college bud into a plant freak?
Thanks to my mom, aka my #1 fan, I’ve always been an athletic kid. When I was really young, she enrolled me in gymnastics, which I used to look back on and be embarrassed about… now I wish she would have fucking kept me in it! I take backflip lessons now for $100 a session.
I have always been into health and fitness. My passion first began with my mother. As a kid, I would wake up, run downstairs, and see my mom dancing, jumping, and punching her way through my modest-sized living room. She was kicking it to old-school VHS workout tapes… yes, VHS tapes.
Billy Blanks Sr—she had every single VHS from him; I remember all the different colors. She loved challenging herself. So naturally, I began to enjoy exercise through her love for it.
Oh, by the way, I think speaking in a British accent makes everything sound much cooler. Which leads me to my next random thought.
At 17 or 18 years old, I started working at The Vitamin Shoppe. This job was like a paid internship, and I can’t thank the individuals I worked with enough for helping me change my life. These were pivotal stepping stones for the path I’m on now.
I began working at VShoppe with only a small amount of knowledge on sports performance
supplements… protein, BCAAs, pre-workouts, testosterone boosters, etc.
Then, I met two individuals who were assistant managers of the store—Janice and Dakota.
They each were and are masters of their craft and geniuses to say the least. They took me in, each teaching me all they possibly could about herbal treatments, ways to improve nutritional deficiencies, and methods to just enhance your everyday YOU to make for a more efficient being—faster muscle growth and development, healthy food choices, boosting the immune system, and radical ways to quickly and more effectively burn fat.
I began to learn about ingredients, labeling, teas, digestive aids, heart health, brain support, repairing and preventing bone and joint issues, healthy fats…
I mean, honestly, this world was better than Hogwarts. Yes, this is where I was going with the British accent reference above.
(Let’s take a quick break for this one.
So, the first time I read a Harry Potter book was because I got punished. My mom said I couldn’t leave my room, and I saw this this thick bound book on my shelf, so I picked it up and dusted the face off… it read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I sat on my bed, legs crossed, and loved getting punished from there on out. Let’s get real for a minute—what parent is going to punish you from reading?)
Okay, so these two individuals changed my life and opened my eyes to the other side, which became one of the most profitable and bestselling points for me as a fitness professional.
I asked more questions in one shift than should ever be allowed; God bless them for keeping up with my curiosity. After 3 amazing years in this store, I decided to hang up my jersey (button-down dress shirt) and move on to pursue other ventures.
But this wasn’t before a now-friend of mine, Greg Watson, walked into Vitamin Shoppe and helped guide me towards the path of becoming a personal trainer. He told me all about different certifications and even put me in touch with the training managers at Equinox, recommending me for an interview. You never know the impact someone can have on your life. Little things like this make all the difference.
Don’t Burn Your Bridges and Never be Afraid to Cross Them.
Frank (that’s me) Finds Fitness
Here’s where I really dove head-first…off my couch…into a glass table (bump on my head the size of a golf ball or two)… into the world of fitness.
Dragon Ball Z: This show hit me during the post-traumatic stress era after Pokémon was no longer relevant and my Charizard reached level 100 (without GameShark or the Rare Candy cheat). Dragon Ball Z was the pivotal point of trying to turn myself into a physical freak (kind of sad, but still so awesome). Running home after school, watching the show, doing pushups, bicep curls, pretending I could fly, screaming loud—really loud, for like 10 minutes at a time—attempting to form an energy ball in-between my hands (never worked). These guys were awesome, jacked up, crazy aesthetics, and they could fly! All this, around age 10-13, had me focused on the kingdom of fitness and exercise.
Okay Frank, you might be thinking, but what about sports, bro?
I absolutely love sports. I played football, basketball, and baseball when I was young. I also did karate for a few years. In high school, I stuck with football and track. As much as I love playing sports, I am not a huge fan of watching them on TV. I don’t partake in fantasy football, I hate watching baseball games straight through from start to finish, football games I can handle, and during playoffs, I follow basketball closely.
Where the Magic Happened
During senior year of high school, everyone was getting ready to go to Spring Break in the Bahamas, and that’s when I really started digging deep and began self-education on muscular development and exercise in general. I mean, I wanted to look hot and get with girls.
In college, I began studying for my personal training certification and soon after, I started teaching bootcamp classes on campus.
I went from what I would like to call a “paid internship” at Equinox (yes, thank you Greg, I got hired—oh, don’t forget getting fired) to working at the original Transform Fitness.
Thank you, Equinox… do you guys remember my formula from earlier?
Problems – Narrow-Minded Bullshit Thinking = Solutions
Failure x Persistence = Success
At that time, Transform Fitness was a studio located on in Eastchester. It started as private training and boot camp facility then advancing g into a structured class schedule as well as team athletic training. It was owned by my friends Brian Harrington (now one of my partners) and Anthony Delvecchio.
Back then, I was still attending school at Iona College in New Rochelle. I had a full schedule of classes but was determined and with that – I worked my way up to about 24-28 training sessions per week as a student. During a few great weeks, I broke 30 sessions. I was going to class late, calling or texting teachers apologizing, leaving classes early, and everything in between.
I’m not saying what I did is good for everyone, but it was great for me.
By the time I graduated college, I got the call that I had been waiting for, which was about another passion of mine. I was called to become a firefighter in the city that I was born and raised in my entire life. A Yonkers firefighter.
I was called into the academy right after the summer I graduated college, and I put my training career—as well as my newly-formed blog, frankdag.com—on hold. Yes, what you are reading now is actually my second website.
FAST-FORWARD & Welcome to the Blue Jungle
I graduated from the academy (one of the happiest days of my life).
1 year later, I teamed up with my partners, Brian Harrington and Ryan Boyle, and we revamped the business model for a new Transform Fitness. Several months after that, we opened up a 5,000 square foot facility in Tuckahoe. This Is Our Team. This Is Our Family.
Squeezing Lemon & Punching Unicorns
Everyone who shares any kind of interest in the work I do, and all who support myself and our team, thank you so much for the constant love and reassurance. All jokes aside, I am seriously humbled to say that I can wake up everyday and truly love and enjoy the work I am getting paid to do.
Don’t settle, Find what you love & profit from your passion, not just financially but also emotionally… and never forget to Pay Fit Forward.
Squeeze the day and punch a unicorn in the face.
In Good Health,