THE 3 D's - DEDICATION, DISCIPLINE AND DESIRE A KEY TO LIFE

 

Scott Appelbaum started his aspirations as a bodybuilder like many young boys at 13-years-old when he received a 110-pound weight-set and bench.  He spent countless days and nights in the basement with those weights trying to build his body. Scott was a typical skinny little kid. To tell you how skinny he was; when he went to High School he was 5’5” and approximately 100-Lbs. It was there that things started to change. In the Fall of 1978, he made the decision that would ultimately change the course of his life, he tried out for the Varsity Wresting Team at Wagner High School. As luck would have it, he made the team and as the season was about to begin, he became the team’s starting 105-lb division wrestler. Even though his 1st season was pedestrian, his coach, who became a real integral person in his life saw something in him. So when the season was over, Scott knew what he had to do. From that moment on there was no off season. He implemented what he called the 3D’s Dedication, Discipline and Desire. So, in the off seasons he went to Wrestling Camp where he would place a mat on his basement floor to practice with daily and he also trained at a gym that one of his teammates from the wrestling team had in his backyard. In fact, the brother of his teammate was a bodybuilder, so the gym was very well equipped. So, it was bodybuilding training and wrestling that became his whole life. His love for bodybuilding was equal to his love for wrestling. Those were his two passions. Two things of note; it was in 1980 that Scott saw his 1st bodybuilding show, it was the Mr. Staten Island Championships that took place in Mario Strong’s Gym. In addition to his weight-training at his teammate’s home gym his father would take him to the local Nautilus Gym as this was the age of Arthur Jones “The Father of Nautilus”. Scott went thought brutal workouts there but loved the pain as he told his mother countless times when he returned from his training sessions. So, he started his sophomore year, his bodybuilding training, home wrestling practice and wrestling camp helped to create a great improvement in his physique and in the results in wrestling matches. During Scott’s Junior Year he was made Captain of the Wrestling Team and became the silver medalist in NYC for his weight class. His weight had increased from 100-lbs to 135-lbs by his Junior Year. He was then Captain of the team in his Senior year as well and won the Silver medal again. Now it was time to go to College, this became another transitional time for the life of Scott Appelbaum.


When deciding where to go to college he had a very pivotal decision to make, whether to take an athletic scholarship for wrestling at a very highly prestigious D-1 school or go to a really good Division Three school that he was able to afford. The reason for this is that Scott did not know if he was going to wrestle all four years as the ‘sucking of weight’ had taken its toll on him and deep inside he still had the deep passion for bodybuilding. The expense would overwhelm him by going to the very prestigious school if he decided to stop wrestling. It was a hard decision but at the end of the day he decided to go to Oswego State University in Upstate NY and pay for school himself with student loans. He did not want to be beholden to Wrestling all 4 years with the scholarship hanging over his head. Oswego State was one of the top wrestling programs in Division III. During his four years of college he made the decision to stop wrestling, as much as he loved it, and pursued bodybuilding. The weight training room as luck would have it was right across from the wrestling room. It housed two Universal multi-station machines and a room caged off with Free Weights, benches, squat-racks and dumbbells. It was very rundown. At the time he was living with a bunch of guys who all trained together, they were powerlifters. Scott felt that powerlifting would give him a good base for bodybuilding. Oswego was located right off Lake Ontario and him and his training partner use to walk two miles, in the winter snow, to train instead of taking the bus. They felt that walking to the gym in the snow and wind would make them tougher. That was the spartan attitude they had. Training with this crew was an awesome experience. The six of them ate together, trained together and lived together. They all became the best of friends, supported each other and got Scott to compete in powerlifting, he did okay but was not a top-level powerlifter. He liked it but did not love it anyway.


Eventually, Scott and his roommates decided to organize the weight room and form a weight training and fitness club that was recognized by the school, which helped it receive funding from the school. It enabled them to put together a robust facility that was great for the student body and was very attractive to potential students. Scott was the Vice President of Oswego State Weight Training and Fitness Club. It soon became recognized as an organization which helped increase the amount of funding they would receive. Eventually it increased to two facilities, one in new campus and one in old campus. It rivaled any fitness facility in the SUNY system. It was a nice legacy to leave when Scott graduated.


When he graduated in 1984, Scott Appelbaum came back to Staten Island and started working on Wall Street, that’s when he got serious with bodybuilding. He joined a Gym called Bodymaster located in Great Kills, Staten Island. He would work all day on Wall Street, and he would rush home to train every night at 6:00 pm. It was the fall of 1986 and he had his eyes on competing in the 1987 Mr. Staten Island competition.  At that time, it was well known that California was the Mecca of Bodybuilding and that’s where all the knowledge of bodybuilding was. One day, Scott met a guy who was a significant cog in his bodybuilding career. He was a fellow Staten Island Bodybuilder who competed in many shows and who recently returned from California where he trained with the best of the best. His name was John Polly and they became training partners. John prepared Scott for his 1st Show which was the 1987 Mr. Staten Island. Bodymaster was also the place he met the famous Leon Brown, the most famous bodybuilder ever from Staten Island.  Scott competed in the lightweight division and took 2nd place. He was very happy with his condition and had a respectable placing in his first show. He maintained his conditioning from that point on. Later that summer, while working on Wall Street, he learned of a bodybuilding show on the Pier by South Street Seaport. He went down and competed and won the title of Mr. Wall Street and was featured on TV and in the newspapers, this was his 15 minutes of fame. From that point on he had the Bodybuilding Bug. He took his background of Nutrition and Health Sciences, his minor in College, and read and studied everything he could get his hands on in regard to nutrition and fitness as it related to bodybuilding. Scott kept competing year after year and won a bunch of overall titles, climbing the ranks regionally. He competed up until the mid-90’s and then he had a career change. He had the opportunity to work in the fitness industry; he was tasked with managing a 50,000 square foot Gold’s Gym in Brooklyn NY. Managing that gym was a bridge into the next big opportunity in his life.  One evening a gentleman from Gold’s Gym Corporate was giving a seminar on “the science of altering body composition“. His name was Neal Spruce and all Gold’s Gyms had the opportunity to install a program in their clubs called Nutritionalysis. This was Scott’s calling. So, he went from General Manager of the gym to running the Nutritionalysis System in three Gold’s Gyms as his own business. These three locations were so successful that two other clubs hired him to consult on their Nutritionalysis, Training and Supplementation program as well.


Nutritionalysis was a DOS based software System so the President, Neal Spruce, seeing that is was a bit antiquated went out on his own and developed a Windows based software system.  He called is Apex Fitness. All the gyms followed him as he was the driving force and identity. Apex saw how well Scotts locations were doing and asked him to join Apex’s corporate team. At this point Scott and his team helped 100’s and 100’s of clients change their bodies. Soon Scott was going to be able to indirectly affect 1000’s. Upon Scott coming on board Apex acquired NASM the most highly recognized Personal Training Certification program in the country. Scott, first ran the Northeast Territory for Apex Fitness and then was brought on to work in the corporate office to develop curriculum, Teach Apex Certifications and NASM preparatory classes. He traveled nationwide for several years teaching the science of altering body composition. His competitive bodybuilding career had to take a backseat to his corporate position as it was virtually impossible to prepare for contest while being on the road 3.5 weeks a month. He still of course trained, ate and supplemented correctly. But after several years on the road Scott became burnt out, he was headed towards 40-years-old and didn’t want to travel as much anymore because it was physically and mentally exhausting. He also still had the yearning to compete, so he made a pivot in his career and focused on recruiting and staffing. Scott worked for a company for 10 years and then went out on his own and started his own company, Redwood Global Partners, where he still is today. After several years off the competitive stage he went back and competed in 2007 and won the Mr. Rhode Island. Boy did he feel good to back on stage again. He also won his class in the Gold’s Classic in NJ a few weeks later. So, he was running his business full time, competing and still worked with individuals during his off time. In 2010, he won the Mid Atlantic Classic, both the Master’s and Overall Divisions. He chronicled that prep with a documentary film (CLICK HERE). He is now living in Florida but travels back to Staten Island every now and then. Recently, in 2018, Scott Appelbaum won the Master’s and Overall at a show in FLorida and then again the following week in New Jersey. He is still prepping athletes for contests and working with other individuals helping them change their bodies to this day. Some say he is retired from bodybuilding, but bodybuilders never retire, they take breaks. At the time of this short bio things have come full circle, he started out training in his basement at 13-years-old and now, at almost 57, he is back training in his garage because of a Government Covid-19 Quarantine. To Be continued….

 



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