Fitness plays a major role in today’s society thanks to a plethora of celebrities, creatives, and artists taking pride in their overall health and image. Kirk Myers is one of the masterminds behind the cultivation of the fitness, health, and wellness spaces nowadays.
Myers is the CEO and Founder of DOGPOUND, the creme-de la creme of fitness facilities where celebrities, models, creatives, and artists train. He’s had the pleasure of training Victoria’s Secret Angels, top Wall Street bankers, celebrities such as Hugh Jackman, Ashley Graham, among others. Not to mention, he has traveled around the world hosting fitness pop-ups in locations such as Dubai, Miami, and more. On top of playing a major role in fitness and cultural spaces, DOGPOUND made a recent fashion debut participating in a special sneaker collaboration with Balmain in November of 2021.
Myers and I took the time to discuss all things DOGPOUND, his overall mission, projects, and more.
Kirk, where are you originally from? If not from NYC, what drove you to come to the Big Apple?
I’m originally from Kansas City and moved to New York a little over 10 years ago after recovering from congestive heart failure for the second time. In high school, I weighed over 300 pounds and when years of an unhealthy lifestyle landed me in the hospital, I knew I had to make a drastic change. In about two years I lost 130 pounds, which led me to my love of fitness and thus, I became a trainer.
What inspired you to delve into the fitness industry and did you always want to be a trainer?
For the last 17+ years, my passion to help others achieve their own fitness goals and live a healthier life has been my motivation. I realized if I could help myself, then I could help others. When I began as a trainer, I wanted to help people. My initial goal was to have ten clients and through fitness, help them change their lives the way I had mine. But I started to realize that many people came in to not only get “fit” but also to talk about their lives and find genuine friendship and support. This led to DOGPOUND – which is not just a gym, but also a community of friends that want to see each other succeed, uplift each other, and help one another grow. As the company grew, we developed the five pillars of our brand – Teamwork, Passion, Authenticity, Positivity and To Giveback – all of which we believe has really led the vision to grow and helps define our purpose.
What are some challenges you’ve experienced throughout your journey as a personal trainer?
The biggest challenge in recent memory has to be the pandemic. I don’t think anyone will see the last 2.5 years as anything but a challenge, regardless of the industry. We’ve had to roll with things that have come at us like closing the gym for a certain amount of time in 2020 during lockdown. But, as a team, the company was able to work together to not only bring back our business, but bring it back better! We were able to introduce our virtual training which makes me happy because we are able to help people stay in shape, wherever they are!
How did you get into training celebrities and who was the first celebrity you’ve ever trained and how did you stumble upon this opportunity?
While still working out of other gyms, I landed Hugh Jackman as a client. I truly believe that I manifested this and everything else that has happened. By surrounding myself with positivity, the right people and hard work, I was able to change my company into something more than just a gym, but a lifestyle brand. Fabian Baron was key in this move as well, as he was also one of my first clients and we started talking about what it was like to build a brand – he still works with us today to ensure our brand standards are everything they should be. Jasmine Tookes was also an early client, and from there the buzz just grew.
When did you first open the doors to DOGPOUND and what inspired you to call your business DOGPOUND?
When I first started, our client, Hugh Jackman would bring his dog in with him and it just became the theme of the gym as others would then bring their dogs, so it made sense to call it DOGPOUND, and to this day, we usually have one to two dogs in the gym most of the time!
Where did you first open your first DOGPOUND location and why this specific city?
New York City because this is where most of our clients were originally based. We opened Los Angeles in 2019 as it made the most sense geographically with our client base.
Tell me about DOGPOUND collaboration with Balmain. Who approached DOGPOUND for this collaboration?
We have been fans of Balmain and Olivier’s work forever. Luckily, we were able to make it happen in a truly organic way. We had a lot of fun launching the collaboration and are so appreciative for the opportunity to work with such a high fashion and credible design house.
If you had to do a staycation in the New York area, where would it be?
I would probably go to a spa/hotel right in the heart of NYC for a staycation/weekend. I love massages, sauna, manicures, pedicures, meditation, and just getting to relax in a quiet space.
Are there any upcoming collaborations for DOGPOUND? If so, would you be able to give us a sneak peak of what’s in the works?
We are always working on new projects and partnerships. Follow our social media for all of our news! Instagram: @dogpound.
Indeed, this candid conversation with Myers is one to impact society. Although he continues to gain accomplishments in the fitness and wellness spaces, as well as work with major players in high profile industries, Myers remains kind and serves pieces of his humble pie to continue uplifting society.
Want to keep up with Myers and DOGPOUND? Follow him and the gym on Instagram via the following handles: @kirkmyersfitness and @dogpound.