2012-05-30 / Front Page

Edison brothers bring intense workouts to the masses

Former J.P. Stevens wrestling standouts launch fitness program focused on threshold training
BY KATHY CHANG Staff Writer


Jeff Zannetti demonstrates a portion of the workout. Jeff Zannetti demonstrates a portion of the workout. EDISON — If there is one word to describe the Z-Fanatical Fitness workout, Mike Zyskowski, 17, would go with “crazy.”

“I like it,” the South River High School junior said, completing the group workout for the first time. Zyskowski and other members of the East Brunswick-based CJA Wrestling Club participated in the Z-Fanatical workout on May 16 at the wrestling club on Cornwall Court in East Brunswick. The post-wrestling practice workout involved the silver and gold levels, two of ZFanatical’s five progressive workout levels.

“It’s all about aspiring to get to that next level,” said Jeff Zannetti, 25, who cofounded Z-Fanatical with his brother Gene, 27, both graduates of J.P. Stevens High School, Edison.

Nick Carbonaro, 16, a junior at Woodbridge High School, found the workout to be fun.


Jeff Zannetti high-fives Scotch Plains wrestler Anthony Tufaro during a fitness class. 
PHOTOS BY ERIC SUCAR staff Jeff Zannetti high-fives Scotch Plains wrestler Anthony Tufaro during a fitness class. PHOTOS BY ERIC SUCAR staff “I like fast-paced workouts,” he said.

The Zannetti brothers started wrestling at the CJA Wrestling Club when they were kids and had success on the mats throughout their time at J.P. Stevens. Both went on to wrestle Division I at the University of Pennsylvania. The brothers were ultimately ranked among the top 20 Division 1 wrestlers in the nation.

Gene graduated from Penn in 2007 with a degree in psychology. He received his master’s degree in exercise science and sport psychology at Springfield College in Massachusetts in 2011. Gene is a peak-performance specialist, sports psychology expert and motivational speaker, as well as a sports nutritionist.

Jeff graduated from Penn in 2009. The two brothers are American Sports and Fitness Association-certified personal trainers — something they’ve been working toward since they began formulating workouts as young kids.


Jeff (l) and Gene Zannetti conduct a group workout session with members of the CJA Wrestling Club in East Brunswick on May 16. Jeff (l) and Gene Zannetti conduct a group workout session with members of the CJA Wrestling Club in East Brunswick on May 16. Z-Fanatical Fitness offers group fitness, personal training, mindset consulting and corporate wellness services.

The concept of the workouts is threshold training, where people get results in a short period of time. The Z-Fanatical trademarked progression system includes the levels of beginner, bronze, silver, gold, and fanatical, and there are modifications for all exercises. This approach, they said, allows a large, diverse group to train based on each individual’s threshold in order to maximize results.

“This is for all levels,” said Gene, who noted that participants are encouraged to jump levels.

There are no weights or equipment involved.

“We would be doing these exercises in our hotel room,” Jeff said.

The exercises range from various types of pushups to squats and other movements.

The brothers’ business had its beginnings when they would help family members and friends work out and learn their exercises in order to get into shape. About a year and a half ago, they received their business license and are now working to promote their brand.

“Threshold training is what is most effective, whether it is low or high intensity,” Gene said. “With middle school students, we tell them to train like high school students. For high school students, we tell them to train like college athletes. And for college athletes, we tell them to train like Olympians.”

The Zannetti brothers are currently holding group classes at Robert Wood Johnson Fitness & Wellness Center in Rahway, USA Karate and Fitness in Springfield, and at various wrestling clubs and gyms in New Jersey.

Group classes are being offered to high school and middle school students and athletes. The goal is to get them to train like Division 1 college athletes.

“The workouts are approximately 45 minutes and focus on building strength and endurance using nothing but their own body,” he said.

Gene said the brothers have been going to various gyms in the area to talk about their program and grow their business further. He added that they are looking to create DVDs of their workouts in the near future.

For more information, visit www.zfanatical.com or www.facebook.com/zfanatical.

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