Okay, admit it. You have, somewhere in your home, a treadmill, weight machine or some other “dust gatherer.” Really, it’s okay, because most of us have the same situation at home. The problem with home gyms, perennially, has been two things. The most obvious problem is the lack of diversity in the equipment we typically have available in the home. The second, more underlying problem is lack of continued motivation to use the equipment we do have.

The typical answer has been to join a gym or health club. The facilities offer a mind boggling array of generic fitness equipment and trainers who will help and motivate, for a fee. Well, if this does it for you, that’s fine. For those of us who do not have the time, work untraditional schedules, wish to avoid the “paparazzi” or to just work out privately without signing two hundred autographs, I suggest calling Mark Harigian of Harigian Fitness. He understands and has built a fitness business on catering to the unique needs of high profile, discriminating clients the world over.

Mark’s success story is not so uncommon, to a point. A great athlete in school, Mark was forced to deal with a major injury and the rehabilitation that accompanies such set backs. It was during this rehab process that Mark, a budding artist and engineer, began to see things in a different light. Mark remembers, “I began to look at the machines I was working on to build back my strength and saw that my body was also a machine of sorts, working in unison with the weight equipment.” It was there that he decided to dedicate his life to helping other live a happier and healthier life through fitness.

In the mid nineteen eighties in California, it seemed everyone was going to a gym, a club or seeing a personal trainer. Hollywood’s elite were no exception. While some were truly seeking to improve, many were treating personal fitness as a status symbol, merely interested in “being seen” or having the “best trainer.” Enter Harigian Fitness, and so Mark’s success story takes a radical, risky turn that paid off.

While most personal trainers were doing everything in their power to promote, to recruit and to publicize their name and services, Mark went another way. He began with a few clients, set up his training facility “off the street” where privacy was the key, and soon began receiving referrals from stars and executives. They recognized the idea as sound: to train, in private, away from the glare of fans, prying eyes and cameras, with a highly motivated professional. Another departure from the “norm” was Mark’s decision to only work with people who would dedicate themselves to his program. Looking back, Mark says, “I had to let several high profile clients go in the beginning, because they were not putting any effort into the programs we had mutually set up and were just telling people that I was training them. That was not acceptable then, and it isn’t now.” To this days, if you are not willing to commit–really commit–to Mark’s program, find another trainer, please. It is this integrity that has separated Harigian Fitness from its competitors and catapulted Mark to “Guru” status among the rich and famous.

As his facility was taking off and his client list was growing, many of Mark’s busiest clients began to ask him about training in their homes, to take advantage of the unusual schedules forced on many in the entertainment industry. This set Mark to thinking again, which led to another innovative twist to his success story that has been the focus of his attention ever since.

Dealing with high-end clients needs led Mark to approach several top interior designers and architects. The idea was to offer a custom designed area, with individually designed equipment, that would fit the client’s home and personality. This innovation was embraced on several levels by many of Mark’s friends and clients. The thought of incorporating design and architecture appealed to everyone. The thought of custom designed equipment was a blessing to many like Shaquille O’Neal, whose size had always limited the type of equipment he could use.

To accomplish the equipment design, Mark started his own fabrication facility. Here, every piece is custom milled, cut, drilled and welded by hand, of the finest materials available anywhere. A good example of Mark’s attention to detail would be something as simple as the plates used on his weight machines. Instead of cast iron or lead, Mark chose stainless steel with integrated ball bearings, so the weights slide quietly and smoothly on their tracks; no clanking or banging allowed. Another touch includes a dazzling array of finishes available for the equipment. Any interior can be copied, from Mahogany to Italian marble. This allows Harigian Fitness equipment to blend seamlessly into any interior, producing a “Wow” effect never elicited from any home gym.

To accomplish the interior design, Mark relied on his artistic eye, the advise of top minds in architecture and interior design, and the specific needs of each client. Mark will typically begin with a client by getting blue prints of the area they wish to devote to their new gym. The next step is typically a personal visit by Mark himself. “I spend a few days with each client to get to know them, assess their fitness goals and equipment needs, and get a feel for the style and design of the home itself.” After this process, Mark will give the client three different proposals from which to choose. These proposals usually include one with a basic system, on e with a client-specific system, and the final being one with Mark’s “dream system” for that client. Mark laughs. “It amazes me, but no one ever chooses anything but the “Over-the-top” one; it’s quite flattering.”

So, having decided to have Mark design and build your personal “workout area,” what happens then? To start, beefy sub-floor is installed under the proposed gym area. This will deaden the sounds from the equipment to the rest of the house, as well as support the heavy machinery better. Finishes are then chosen and fabrics and leathers selected. Personal measurements are taken to facilitate the construction of the specific pieces to be fabricated, as well as surrounding accessories and furniture. Mark stresses, “No two gyms are ever alike. We can do anything that’s possible, and a few things that aren’t!” Once ready, Mark personally supervises every detail, from placement of the individual pieces to cable connections. He has done this with every single client, and it reflects Mark’s sincere dedication to perfection.

When thinking about your “dream gym,” Mark encourages his clients to open up their imaginations. Would you like a half court for basketball, a sauna or Jacuzzi tub? Perhaps a pool or an indoor, motorized climbing wall suits you better. Never fear, most times the only limit to Mark’s capabilities are the architectural limits of the house, and those can be changed as well, if need be. Mark’s credo here is, “If your home is not generic, then why should your home gym be?” The basic though here is to offer an area that you will WANT to spend time in and to give you all the workout options you LIKE to do. It follows that you will be more dedicated to doing work outs that you like, not feel enslaved to.

With your dream gym finished and ready to use, Mark once again goes “over the top” for his clients. Instead of merely showing you the workings of the individual pieces of equipment you have selected, Mark personally leads you through the custom designed work out program(s) selected for you needs and goals. The purpose of this is two fold. Firstly, Mark can make sure the routine(s) will work in practice as well as theory. Lastly, these workouts are videotaped from the client’s angle of view. This feature will allow Mark to guide you through the workout routines and keep you motivated, even if you choose 2:00 a.m. to do this workout. It’s just another unique feature from the mind of Mark Harigian.

Mark is constantly on the move these days. Whether it is Dallas, Tokyo or Singapore, the fitness guru is in demand. Harigian Fitness’ client list is lengthy, distinguished and, most importantly, confidential. While many of his friends/clients are happy to lend their name as endorsement, Mark has always respected the choice of anonymity that many of his clients prefer. Suffice to say that many of Mark’s clients are Opulence subscribers and are smiling right now as they read this. In reflection, Mark states, “I am truly lucky. How many people get to pursue their passion as a career and to interact with the people I do? I don’t take that lightly.”

So, here we are. Since you are reading this article, you obviously are in tune with “the best the world has to offer.” If fitness is a goal you have not reached or if a home gym has never really excited you, I highly suggest a call to Mark Harigian. Let him show you how to “enhance your life through fitness” and enhance your home, and motivation, with a workout environment of such quality as you have never seen (unless you know one of Mark’s customers already). From personal fitness training to outdoor-themed celebrity trips to custom gyms. Mark has succeeded in taking the “Road less traveled by …” and, in so doing, has fused together two very different disciplines to work in unison to enhance the lives of people For many reason, including his approach to life and dedication to his craft, Mark has earned the title: “Architect of Anatomy.”