Zak Bellante’s teen years were a nightmare.
Asthmatic with allergies and an eating disorder, he was underweight and unhappy.
He regained his health and confidence at the gym, but, in his black Slayer T-shirt and sweats, stuck out like the Grim Reaper in a sea of neon-hued Spandex.
“I was a freak way before I was fit,” says Bellante, 26, of Carnegie. “I was born loving heavy metal and horror movies. I thought there had to be an acceptable medium between fitness clothing and stuff I’d actually want to wear.”
Unable to find workout gear that suited his personal style, he started his own company, Death Comes Lifting. https://deathcomeslifting.com/
Launched in 2017, the brand offers clothing, accessories and online training for folks with a punk-rock attitude. There are T-shirts with clever takes on horror movie titles, such as “Night of the Lifting Dead” and “The Flexorcist”, and a water bottle with a coffin-shaped emblem that reads “Lift Weights Drink Blood.”
Bellante, a certified personal trainer, designs workout plans for people who, despite their love of onscreen gore, are intimidated by the gym (or just can’t find an open one due to COVID-19 restrictions).
The website boasts free training programs, including The Evil Shred, a six-week, self-guided conditioning-and-fat-loss plan. People who need more motivation can sign up for a membership through Patreon, https://www.patreon.com/deathcomeslifting which, depending on the subscription they choose, gives them a personalized regimen, nutrition and supplementation guides, one-on-one Zoom consultations, access to online tutorials and curated playlists featuring many local bands and ghoulish goodies. Prices range from $6.66 to $26.66 a month.
In October, which Bellante refers to as Bulktoberfest, clients can start a 13-week, Halloween-themed muscle-building training program so they can look killer in their costumes.
Amanda Kenberg, 26, of Ocean County, N.J., discovered Death Comes Lifting on Instagram. @deathcomeslifting