By: Marisa Herman Associate Editor
Tucked back in a warehouse district of Boca Raton, the world’s top athletes head to BTB where they train in a boutique facility that is more of a laboratory than a gym.
Equipped with top-of-the-line machines sourced from across the world, these are not treadmills you find in your community’s gym.
Last month, several New York Knicks players were wrapping up training at BTB and the undisputed middleweight world champion Claressa Shields was gearing up for a Showtime match scheduled for Oct. 5.
Before the match, you will see BTB featured along with owner Steve Stoliker and professional boxer and co-owner of the boxing side of BTB, Andre Dirrell.
Stoliker has worked with olympians, NFL players, NHL players, NBA players, UFC fighters, MLS players, tennis players and lacrosse players at BTB.
The only sport missing so far, golf.
BTB keeps a low profile. Stoliker said he barely uses his website, doesn’t promote the gym and rarely posts on Instagram.
And he said that is what his clients often prefer, especially the professional athletes. They want a truly private place where they are trained individually.
His clients mostly come from referrals. But word does spread and there are non-professional people who work out there, too.
“This is not a gym, it’s a lab,” he said as he explains the high-tech functions of the machines. “There is no cookie cutter training here.”
Every client is given a personal assessment and given a special regiment that is tailored to their needs. The process isn’t just an intake checklist. It is in depth and covers 39 different steps.
The goal is to create a plan that is constructive, not destructive, Stoliker said. That means, you aren’t beating up your muscles to where it feels like you were run over by a truck the next day. Rather, the work out will allow you to train seven days a week, head to toe. No work out ever repeats, either.
Plus, those taking a boxing class are learning and working hands-on with professionals like Dirrell.
Stoliker said BTB mixes modern science with the roots of the building, a down and dirty boxing gym.
BTB, which stands for Big Time Boxing, began as an underground boxing circuit for professional fighters. Scenes from Creed II were even filmed there.
Within the last 18 months, Stoliker has taken the place beyond the boxing ring.
While keeping the charm of the old school boxing gym, he has introduced the old to the new school mindset of human performance.
He has invested about $2 million into building out the boxing side with two rings, creating a human performance playground and building a baseball academy.
The three different focuses are housed in separate bays of the space. The boxing area has two rings and tons of punching bags. The human performance section features machines outsourced from across the globe. And the baseball academy, which will be led by Bryan Jones of the Detroit Tigers, has a real pitching area and batting cages. Top of the line technology measures swing speed, ball pitch and analytics that recruiters will look at when division one players are practicing.
Stoliker already has a commitment from 130 MLB players to train there in the off-season and 150 division one and prospective players plan to use the academy.
Stoliker’s background is science and human performance and the gym world. He worked in the corporate world for several big box gyms.
The biggest challenge Stoliker faces is creating a program for an NBA player coming off an injury and then turning around and coming up with a regimen that will work for a woman who just had her third child. Keeping both clients challenged and enthusiastic is what keeps the job busy for him and the other trainers.
As he gears up for the baseball acsemdy to launch, he is looking forward to the idea of expanding the concept to other cities.