A Good Bet

We sat down with fitness pro and entrepreneur Marcisco Morrison to talk about the philosophy behind his gym Four Fitness as well as his personal style, proving that getting in shape is as much about having confidence as it is about training muscle groups.

Photography by Justin Bridges

Take one look at Marcisco Morrison and no one would blame you if you were intimidated. Considering his 6’6”, 285 pound frame is what he calls “offseason” shape, the fitness pro and owner of Four Fitness Jersey City cuts an imposing figure in and out of the gym. Spend the day with him however, and Marcisco’s generosity of spirit resonates in a way that is magnetic, endearing, and at ground-level. On the street, he encourages each passerby to join him for a training session with the genuine belief that he can transform not only their health but their confidence.

What Morrison understands is that confidence is also a muscle, one that requires the same repetition and training as any other. Style, dressing well, is key to that confidence—part of the regimen needed to take care of the body. “I wouldn’t say it’s about my giving advice, but just by being comfortable in yourself—speaks volumes.” Dressing comfortably hasn’t always been easy; especially at his size, though it hasn’t been for want of trying. “I’ll go to a store and find something that I like… in order for it to fit me I have to cut it short, get it tapered… and add maybe an elastic band to it or I roll the shirt up—three-quarter sleeve… or cuff the leg opening and just make it work for me.” Marcisco is candid about the challenges, “I tend to look for clothing that speaks value, quality materials; I don’t think brands think much of big, athletic guys when it comes to details…. One of the saddest things when shopping is you think this will fit great and you attempt to put it on and that sucka doesn’t fit; man, it depletes you.”

A native of St. Catherine, Jamaica, Marcisco is proud to share precisely the kind of detail he feels today’s fashion brands miss—revealing his unexpected menswear genealogy, “My family background came from tailoring—grandmothers, aunts, my dad is a big tailor—back in Jamaica… I learned how to sew but didn’t continue when I came to the U.S. My sense of style comes from my family tree.” Morrison recalls the exact day he arrived in the United States, “1994… December 21st, it’s funny I remember that. My mother was living here, she sent for me and my four sisters.” To hear Marcisco invoke the memory is to listen to a visceral appreciation of time itself; the passage of which, makes him no less fond of the island country that is his birthright and the city he now calls home. “The beauty of living in the New York - New Jersey area, not finding clothes that fit and me being creative with my style fits right in. New York is a diverse city, everyone here tends to have a style to themselves.”

"I tend to look for clothing that speaks value, quality materials; I don’t think brands think much of big, athletic guys when it comes to details..."

A four-year collegiate basketball career at New Jersey City University led Marcisco to a semi-pro career in France. Morrison credits that formative time in athletics as the galvanizing impetus for his interest in nutrition and health. But it wasn’t until the off-hand recommendation of a neighbor in her eighties that Marcisco deeply considered committing to a life in fitness. “I tried it out and I never turned back… Four Fitness, the actual studio came about in 2014, May. Today is three years in—it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done. A good gamble, if there’s such a thing.” 

What separates Morrison from other fitness gurus is that he doesn’t cultivate a generic, transactional relationship with his clients in the sense of goods and services being bought or sold. He considers himself to be an “accountability partner,” someone who encourages others to meet the highest expectations of themselves whether in the gym or at home. “Busy folks always use the phrase they don’t have time to work out —and I came up on the idea of how to train people who are busy… to get them in and out of the gym but make it effective… to utilize their major muscle groups which are your legs, core, back, and chest, in that order. If I’m able to train someone utilizing those four muscle groups within an hour, I’ll be able to get their entire body fully trained.” Unquestionably, the best bet Marcisco has made is the bet he made on himself. And, from time to time, “When it’s there, when I find something that I enjoy, that fits me well, I indulge.”