In the Manhattan neighborhood of Tribeca, there is a little studio where models, athletes, and television and movie stars have all flocked to. We’re talking about the likes of Tom Brady, Petra Nemcova, and Val Kilmer—not to mention, NYC’s chic socialites, like CEOs and high-end executives. It’s been around for close to two decades, and it’s a little place called O-D Studio, a personal training gym.
O-D Studio was opened in 2003 when Oscar Smith, Certified Personal Trainer by the ISSA (International Sports and Science Association,) had the idea to bring a space for people to work out one-on-one with a personal trainer, where clients would be paying for the trainer, not for simply using the building or equipment.
But why O-D Studio? It’s largely because of Smith. He has a degree in physical education, with a minor in business. He went on to receive his master’s degree in kinesiology and biomechanics. But his formal education isn’t all there is, as the man himself has a vast array of empirical knowledge on the workings and capabilities of the body.
Smith has over 25 years of experience gaining titles and ticking off a vast array of accomplishments—like Certified Flexibility Technician, Gymnastics Coach at the USGF (United States Federation of Gymnastics), Kinesiology and Biomechanics Specialist, Senior Ocean Lifeguard and Ocean Rescuer, USLA Competitor (United States Lifesaving Association.) He’s also a six-time triathlete and a New York City Marathon participant.
With a resume like this, Smith is overflowing with a wealth of physical knowledge and training. The studio in the chic area Tribeca quickly came to attract a clientele of a certain caliber, because of the one-on-one aspect of the studio. He came up with the idea to bring about his studio, so he could offer his knowledge in a more personal setting.
The intimate, more private training gyms were still relatively unique in 2003, making the concept stand out on its own. Celebrities and other high-profile people quickly realized that they could receive the attention of a dedicated trainer while away from any prying eyes in public.
Soon, driven by the setting of the studio and Smith’s expertise and warmth, models—like May Anderson, Lara Stone, and Anais Mali—and other celebrities—such as Katherine McPhee, Ed Burns, David Blaine, and Val Kilmer—started to train with him. He does everything with them—from boxing, jump roping, cycling, weight racks, sit ups, running, sprinting, squats, chin ups, and everything and anything in between. And all of it is tucked away within the studio neighborhood.