When asked about their teaching qualifications, the instructors at Finney's HIT Squad—including Jesse Finney himself—all point to their win records. All of them have a competitive fighting history in their chosen disciplines, and several have earned championships or black belts. As full-time employees of the gyms, they school guests on MMA, kickboxing, boxing, Brazilian jujitsu, and wrestling. They also access their inside knowledge of the industry for fighter-development programs, which strive to transform beginners into professional combatants without stuffing them into hollowed-out punching-bag cocoons for 5 years. For amateurs and experts alike, they assert that "you fight how you train," and aim to simulate official rounds inside their onsite cages, boxing rings, and matted arenas. In 2011, their professional chops helped Finney's HIT Squad take the title of Best MMA Gym in the Riverfront Times Best of St Louis feature.
Despite their investment in competitions, however, the staffers view the two gyms as all-inclusive spaces. Whether they are instilling confidence in children through kids' jujitsu, orienting a new member to the fitness equipment, or leading a women-only martial-arts class, they mentor students of all backgrounds.
Finney’s Hit Squad's clients have diverse goals—learn to throw a punch, train for a fight, shed pounds, or generally have fun—but the perks are the same for all. Exercise enthusiasts find a full-service gym with all the strength and cardio tools needed to achieve total fitness, and a packed schedule includes classes that range from Zumba to Brazilian jujitsu. 3,000 square feet of Hammer Strength weightlifting equipment inspires members to build bulk, while a competition cage, boxing ring, and grappling area offer an easy place to test the skills learned in coed boxing classes or from watching Rocky 90 times.
During her extensive dance training, K.I.S.S. Fitness Studio owner Kem Smith grooved alongside Zumba and pole fitness pioneers, mastering the steps that she now showcases for her own students. Offering simultaneous classes in three different studios, her staff covers everything from entrancing pole spins and belly dancing to gospel yoga, and strength training in the studio's rhythmic curriculum. Recently added amenities include spa services, such as eyebrow threading and lash extensions, as well as a caf? area. The studio also hosts private parties that impart empowering moves and help attendees break in high heels without resorting to foxy kickboxing.
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.
At Santé Fitness & Wellness at the Chase Park Plaza, 18,000 square feet of space, an outdoor swimming pool, and an expansive schedule of fitness classes skim the surface of its lavish facility. Guests can take advantage of WiFi, personal TVs, upscale fitness machines, and protein shakes and beverages; personal trainers can plan private Pilates sessions and individual health coaching.
The certified and experienced instructors at No Excuses have one goal: to help their clients achieve more than they thought possible. To get them there, the trainers offer high-energy, focused workouts along with meal planning, grocery lists, weigh-ins, and a team-like atmosphere. Held in a no-frills indoor/outdoor gym, the Zumba, boot-camp, and Kangoo classes help participants burn fat and build muscle.