New York

Five Questions For David Barton On His Gym’s 20th Anniversary


Tonight at Copacabana, there’s an invite-only bash for David Barton Gym’s 20th anniversary [in honor of the third annual Diane’s Day, named after David’s sister].

So I posed Barton a quintet of arm-flexing, abs-inducing queries.

Here were the eye popping results:

1) Hi, David. Congrats on the big occasion. What is the key to longevity in the fitness business?

Building a gym is easy, doing it well is hard. Work your ass off.

2) What are some of the more outrageous and/or heartwarming things you’ve experienced as a gym owner?

Heartwarming? Diane’s Day, our annual ovarian cancer fundraising initiative in honor of my sister, Diane, and our Annual Toy Drive.

Outrageous was one time when people snuck in with a film crew and did a commando porn shoot before we caught them. (I have the footage–I own the rights.)

Before the gyms, I was a trainer. I remember the first client to radically change his body. His body went from one he hated to that of an absolute Adonis–it took 8 months. His whole life was different. At that moment, I knew I wanted to do this on a bigger scale.

3) Are people more or less body conscious now than 10 years ago?

More. Today, an average person walking down the street has a six pack or a firm ass. Tight bods used to stand out. Now the flabby ones do. Who doesn’t want to look better naked? In a culture obsessed with image, the standard has shifted from the skinny waif to a more athletic body–which I obviously support.

4) How would you characterize your relationship with your ex wife Susanne Bartsch and your son Bailey?

Susanne is beautiful inside and outside. We’re never bored of each other. We’ve had our ding-dongs but I love her very much. Bailey? We are very close. I am a great father and he is the best son anyone can wish for.

5) How did you get into drumming for the band Liquid Blonde?

I’ve been playing since I was nine. I was a punk rocker and always thought music would be my career. A year ago, I saw Liquid Blonde play and loved their sound. I loved Tyler Stone’s songs but I knew they needed a drummer that could beat the shit out of the drums. I perform all over New York. When we performed last summer at the Roxy to mark the gym’s launch in the LA market, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. They had to drag me out by my drum sticks….

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