CARLSTADT, N.J. -- Six years after opening his fitness training center in a small Wood-Ridge storefront, John Valenti, owner of Overdrive Training, has moved to a bigger facility.
The lifelong Hasbrouck Heights resident moved to Carlstadt, under the umbrella of East Coast/West Coast Strength Speed and Conditioning, previously CrossFit Meadowlands.
He traded in a 1800-square-foot site for a 6,000-square-foot facility and rebranded the company East Coast Athletics.
“We needed more space,” Valenti said. “They have unique clients, very serious clients,” he said of the new location.” That’s why we fit in here. The kids are serious.”
“The missing link was the athletes,” said Cameron Gardner, EC/WC facility operator. “We mesh well.”
Gardner also brought in physical therapists and a sports performance coach to provide additional support for the athletes.
Valenti coaches upwards of 60 athletes, 34 under the age of 11, and 14 adults. The adults are serious athletes involved in marathons and Tough Mudder competitions. The youth athletes are involved in various sports, including football, baseball, wrestling, soccer and track, from local recreation programs to high school and college teams. ECA offers Youth Training programs, which stress speed, agility, balance, and strength, as well as sport-specific programs to help athletes develop strength, speed and agility for male and female athletes. He draws athletes from several area towns, including Hasbrouck Heights and Lyndhurst.
“It’s not just about athletic ability,” Valenti noted. “We’re building a foundation, laying the groundwork for any physical activity, from intramurals through competition.”
Valenti’s passion for coaching and training started years ago. He has 22 years experience coaching high school football, wrestling and track, the same sports he excelled at in high school. He remains the throwing coach for the Hasbrouck Heights track program. His athletes have earned county and league honors and gone on to play collegiate sports.
Darren Iurato is one youth athlete who came to Valenti in eighth grade and trained throughout high school. The standout three-sport athlete eventually became a trainer, and is now partner in the venture. He currently is a student-athlete at Montclair State University.
ECA staff also includes Jess Sarubbi, who leads the running club, and Dimitri Ford.