Even before he founded PowerFit Bootcamp, JR Spear always felt a calling to transform people into fitness machines. A fourth-degree black belt and studied martial artist, Spear spent years training future Marine Corps officers and Iraqi soldiers in self-defense and combat skills. Later, Spear taught his own MMA fitness and cardio-kickboxing classes, along with personal and group training sessions. At PowerFit Bootcamp, he and his staff of fitness instructors encourage each student to persevere by leading motivational and high-energy classes. At 14 indoor and outdoor locations, students undergo full-body workouts designed to jettison fat and tone muscle. Trainers welcome students of all stripes, giving them a period of time to complete each move, rather than a number of repetitions, encouraging each student to do as much as he or she can without feeling uncomfortable, overexerting, or resorting to time travel. Along the way, coaches track progress and motivate students by noting benchmarks during physical fitness tests on the first Monday and Tuesday of each month.
The trainers at The Boxing Gym help clients use their natural assets to get into shape: namely, two fists and a little bit of stress to take out on a punching bag. They splice their boxing and kickboxing lessons with calisthenics, push-ups, and jump roping, keeping the workout fast and varied, and always returning to combative techniques. Beyond the realm of fitness, they also help prepare fighters for the ring with MMA training in the form of submission-grappling lessons and full-speed, pad-assisted kickboxing.
St. Louis Fitness Results Boot Camp for Women busts up gym monotony and promotes healthy lifestyles with outdoor sessions of body-trimming cardio, strength, and flexibility exercises. Each four-week camp begins with an initial fitness assessment, in which instructors take before photos and body measurements, appraising general fitness levels and offering opportunities to voice concerns or hummed renditions of Beethoven's Fifth. Then, hard-bodied fitness friends employ progressive programming over 12 one-hour sessions to ensure every participant is safely challenged no matter what her starting level of muscle mojo.
St. Louis Fitness Boot Camp's creator and head trainer, Johnny King, knows how hard it can be to start working out. Enormous corporate gyms seem designed to intimidate the new exerciser, and the workout genies trapped inside at-home DVDs can only offer motivation after they’ve been put in the player. That’s why he made it his mission to design an exercise program geared toward beginners, providing a low-stakes introduction to training and plenty of positive motivation.
He constructs easy-to-follow circuit training routines that alternate between working the lower body, core, and upper body, relying on the combination of exercises over time to whip bodies into peak shape. His small groups of trainees often encourage one another and help keep one other accountable to exerting their maximum effort during routines. Within the climate-controlled facility, exercisers shed sweat and pounds on spring-loaded floors that ease impact on joints. To supplement the workouts, he and the trainers provide nutritional counseling and even emotional counseling, gently reminding each student why they chose to start working out.
The Traveling Fitness Center trainers are nationally certified fitness gurus, ready to transform your home space (as long as it's located in the St. Louis County area) into an impromptu shape-up spot. They'll bring all the equipment (Bosu balls, step board, body balls, resistance bands, free weights) necessary to sculpt your physique into the taut, trim profile of a precisely licked ice-cream cone. Each session will last 45 minutes to an hour and will give you the guidance you need to take the first steps in a healthier direction. Two or three people can join in (space permitting), so buy extras and invite some flabby friends over.
Though students at Fit or Fight's gym are only required to wear standard workout clothes and a mouthpiece, they might sometimes find themselves sporting MMA gloves, shin guards, and hand-wraps. That's because, in keeping with its name, the studio places almost equal emphasis on exercise as it does self-defense skills. This doesn't mean that students are required to fight—rather, the gym provides much of its training to boost strength and endurance or make users more intimidating if they ever run for public office. The studio offers 12 programs, ranging from general fitness—such as Zumba and cardio kickboxing—to intensive sessions in no-gi jujitsu, boxing, and MMA wrestling for youth or adults. In every program, clients are encouraged to work at their own pace while training as much as possible both on and off the mat.