It all started with a book no one has ever read. How to Look Better Naked is a book Joe Carabase wrote in college. At the time, Joe had trained for a couple years in various locations — on the University of Massachusetts Campus, at several Gold’s Gyms throughout New England, and in a Health Club in Brisbane, Australia. Through his experience working with a diverse range of people — college kids, professors, business professionals, the elderly, and people with severe health issues, he realized the training principles from one population to the other are not that different— it’s just a matter of modifying accordingly.
Joe also began to realize that if the program is designed properly, 60 minute workouts are unnecessary. He started to discover how to deliver better results in less time. So, he figured why not create a book for everyone to read to look better naked?
This was the moment the seed for m.e.l.t. was planted, he just didn’t know its potential. Young and naive, Joe figured why not create a book? Without researching publishing or seeking professional advice, he wrote it.
Joe quickly realized he had no idea what to do with this book. For some reason, big time publishers were not knocking on his door! It became clear he needed to go in a different direction. With the help of his uncle’s web background and a 16 year old from India who Joe kept up late and woke up early to communicate with due to the time difference, he created the website www.carabasetraining.com.
During the second semester of Joe’s senior year in college, he landed a very secure job at Gold’s Gym in Amherst, MA where he interned and provided personal training while working on his website. Joe dreaded the 30 minute drive to Longmeadow (where he worked) and all he could think about when he was there was his website.
He knew there was something bigger for him out there, an opportunity to really make an impact and help a lot of people. Anxious, scared and most of all inspired, Joe quit the internship, declined their full-time offer and decided to start a training business upon graduating.
So with no money, no business plan, no clients and a few pairs of rusty old weights, Joe started his onsite training business out of his trunk.
For the next year, Joe traveled anywhere, trained anyone and did whatever he could do to gain experience. His business operated under “Carabase Training,” “Fit Body Bootcamp,” “Fat Burning Bootcamp,” and “The Fit Tribe.” Joe had in-home clients in Stonington and Wallingford, Connecticut, a bootcamp with 1-5 people at 20 Church Street in Hartford and a bootcamp with 1-6 people in South Windsor at varying locations. Some days Joe would be training five people, others one and sometimes no one, which was a feeling he will never forget.
During his first year in business, someone advised Joe to apply for a job as a Personal Training Instructor at Branford Hall Career Institute.
He started teaching part-time and shortly got promoted to direct the department, while trying to grow an on-site personal training business. Branford Hall was a great experience for Joe. It gave him HUGE respect for what teachers do day in and day out, year after year. He learned a lot about communicating a message, instructing people double (and even triple his own age) and personal development. But the three best parts of that job ended up being three people:
- A very smart and hard working girl named Nicole, who had a massage and retail background, who asked a ton of questions, was always nervous about her grades yet aced everything. She now runs the Communication and Billing at m.e.l.t.
- A young guy with a great sense of humor named Aaron, who played college sports and was looking to start a career in fitness. He is now the Fitness Director in South Windsor.
- An extremely shy woman named Sue who had a full time job but was looking to learn about fitness and wanted to do something that helped people. Sue is now a coach at m.e.l.t.
Aaron and Nicole were both graduating and wanted to intern with Joe. He had no idea how to have interns or what to have them do, but he felt there was something there and knew he would figure it out, so Joe brought them on board.
After a year and a half at Branford Hall, he hit a crossroad. Joe felt there was no more room for personal or professional growth and he knew something had to change for his business or else it wouldn’t survive. Joe attended a seminar in Kentucky and heard a quote that changed his life. Pat Risgby, one of Joe’s mentors, reminded him: You don’t know your limits. Whatever limits you see are self-imposed. You can’t fail if you learn from the situation. Something clicked. In that moment he decided to open his first location in South Windsor. The next week Joe signed a lease to start in two months.
Joe had a planned vacation to cruise the Caribbean right after signing the lease. On the boat, he was jotting down ideas for what he wanted the company to be about and what is was going to be called. After about an hour of writing, “m.e.l.t. more energy, less time” struck Joe. It embodied his training philosophy and sounded pretty damn cool. Fast forward to today.
Growing & Helping More People!
The original m.e.l.t. location in South Windsor that opened in 2010, has moved to a place 3.5 times the size where m.e.l.t. has some exciting renovations and future expansions planned. m.e.l.t. Glastonbury started in a long, narrow space in spring 2011, then moved to a place 3 times the size, and currently is in a building almost double that size!
The Simsbury location opened in April 2014 and West Hartford opened in June 2015!
There is also the “m.e.l.t. At Home DVD” which is comprised of 7 at home workouts you can do anywhere!
Voted Best Of Hartford!
m.e.l.t. has been voted “Best Gym” by the Best of Hartford magazine and Joe Carabase has been voted as Best Business Leader!
In 2014, Joe was a top 3 finalist for Men’s Health Next Top Trainer.
In 2016, Joe was a top 11 finalist chosen to live in the Beachbody Hot House to compete to win a product development deal with Beachbody!
As for Joe’s book, How to Look Better Naked, it’s still lying under his bed. But showing himself he had the ability to write a book, led him to write and co-author five other books:
• Co-author of Total Body Breakthroughs (an international best seller)
• The 1 Hour a Week Workout
• Get Dress Ready
• Food Logging Made Simple
• Co-author of The Little Black Book of Fat m.e.l.t.ing Workouts
- M30 Day Fitter Faster Challenge: Results from Day 1