August 9, 2020


When you are finally ready to be serious about your health and stop following the gimmicks of the health care and fitness industries, there is only one place to ever consider: Stark Nation

By Jack Wu, California Business Journal

Living on or around the beach in Newport Beach, one thing is clear:  fitness is a dominating focus in the lives of the locals.

It’s impossible to miss all the beautiful people riding their bicycles on the boardwalks, playing volleyball on the sand and surfing along the dazzling California shoreline. It’s a crowd that you marvel at in the way they manage to maintain such enviable physiques.

At a closer look, though, you might find that there are varying shapes and sizes of “fit” and “firm.” At an even closer look, you might find that many are not quite as healthy and svelte as they first appeared.

Yes, they are working out on the beach, and yes, they are running up and down the steps in Corona Del Mar week after week.  Despite the efforts, it’s easy to see one thing: no one is getting significantly fitter.

At least not “Stark” fit.

How many of you reading this already go through this routine?

You want to start eating healthier, so you go see a nutritionist.

You want your back to stop hurting, so you see a chiropractor.

You want to lose that belly fat, so you have a personal trainer.

At the end of a long week running your business, you forgot how to eat healthier, you forgot about how to properly stretch as the chiropractor instructs, and you are paying more attention to the girls on the beach than your form as you do 50 sit ups. And your chiropractor is telling you that your workout routine is undoing the chiropractic work. It’s a trying cycle.

You try not to stress out much, though, because you are young and healthy and your body and muscle memory will always take care of you, right?

Next thing you know, you are approaching 50 years old and all those excuses inevitably add up to the same results. Pills to handle the high blood pressure and cholesterol. Pills to take care of the back pain. And more pills to try and lose the belly.

Sounds a little too familiar for most.

When the excuses catch up to you, and you get serious about making changes to your lifestyle, you do what Chris Simonoff did: go to Stark and make the improvements necessary so that you can take charge and live a longer, healthier life — for your kid’s sake, if nothing else.

Simonoff was a college athlete and had gone the personal training route thereafter, but he wanted to find something that truly integrated all the most important aspects of being healthy and fit.

Just like every other successful businessman, he didn’t have the time to go to all the different specialists that he needed to go to.  It was especially difficult since he lives in Newport Beach yet has all of his businesses in the Port of Long Beach.

Until he found Stark.

With three full time doctors on staff, in addition to the personal trainers and coaches, all these components are in one place. They work together to coordinate a truly comprehensive and balanced plan to make him healthier.

If you’ve worked with nutritionists, chiropractors, and/or trainers, you have probably had an earful from at least one of them about the instruction of another specialist undoing the work they are doing with you. Each specializes in one area, not necessarily with the expertise and consideration towards the effects each area has on the other aspects of health and performance for your unique and individual body.

At Stark, they go above and beyond, making clients like Simonoff fully accountable. The staff keeps in touch with him throughout the week, outside of his four visits per week, to ensure that he follows through with the plans — and the goals — that are established.

This is what Stark co-founder Todd Vande Hei takes pride in.  You can see it in the way he carries himself as he gives the tour of his medical facility and gym: he is truly proud of what he’s accomplished at Stark in just seven years.

Vande Hei has successfully brought previously competing interests together to provide his clients with a comprehensive and complete solution. He is enabling his clients to get more fit, but also focusing on making them healthier in all areas, because that is what is critical for long term success.

And the first thing Vande Hei will tell you is that he’s about “changing the future of health and fitness.” He doesn’t want you to take a pill to get rid of the high blood pressure or cholesterol.  He wants to you eat healthier and properly exercise to fix the problems, not just temporarily control or mask them.

As he says, “It’s about the complete job.”

He wants his students to go through his training method to actually accomplish something beyond a workout routine. To put it in the terms that even a shrewd business person would understand, “I want our students to see the financial value in their health.”

A look at Vande Hei’s website highlights an impressive array of leaders of the Newport Beach area who proudly announce their non-business successes. The many reasons so many savvy, successful individuals spend their time and money at Stark is best summed up in their tagline: “hire a trainer – get a team.”

Editor’s note: California Business Journal features articles on small businesses. For more information, contact Rick at CalBizJournal dotcom.



Todd Vande Hei, CEO


17524 Von Karman Ave. Irvine, CA 92614

(949) 722-7070

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