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.
• For $63, new members get a two-month household metro membership plus joining fee (a $252 total value). • For $42, new members get a two-month adult metro membership plus joining fee (a $166 total value). • For $15, current members get $30 toward a class or program.
Jazzercise is 60 minutes of cardio, strength training, and stretching that incorporates moves from hip-hop, yoga, Pilates, jazz dance, kickboxing, and resistance training with handheld weights. Dancing with the Stars' two-time champion Cheryl Burke is a big fan of Jazzercise's improvisational workouts, though luckily you won't need her dance moves to get the most out of your class. If you're prone to first-class jitters, though, you can review the basic moves online before you go. Expect to burn off up to 600 calories with each go-round.
1-2-3's environmentally friendly machines (powered by neither electricity nor ground-up polar bears, just human energy) are easy to use and designed to maximize fitness without causing stressful joint impacts and muscle soreness. As you plow through the half-hour circuit-training sessions, you can guzzle free filtered water and mop up distracting sweat beads with complimentary towel service. Gym-goers will also receive four personal-training sessions with qualified, friendly trainers. The facility eliminates the stress and intimidation of larger gyms and gives working out the same familiar experience of the neighborhood pub. Shape up for shorter hemlines; rev up muscles to become more useful changing office water cooler barrels; or strut around with enviable calves after a few months of sessions at 1-2-3 Fit.
A championship tennis player until age 19, Michelle Maue began practicing yoga in 1997 to complement her athletic lifestyle. She grew to love the mind-body connection inherent in yoga, and opened Clayton Yoga, which has now been in business for 10 years. A roster of Yoga Alliance–registered teachers have led more than 5,000 classes, guiding students of all backgrounds and skill levels through the calming movements of Vinyasa yoga, which helps detoxify bodies and strengthen the core. Along with Vinyasa-yoga classes, which meet six days a week in sessions of up to six students, Clayton Yoga hosts Thai-yoga-massage sessions, yoga retreats, and dance classes. Clayton Yoga was one of the first yoga studios in Missouri to offer a certified teacher training program, and Michelle herself has trained more than 300 yoga instructors. The studio also runs numerous wellness- and yoga-based corporate programs, where employers and employees collectively practice breathwork and restorative yoga.
Located on the Barnes-Jewish Hospital campus, BJC WellAware Center is home to a highly trained staff of fitness professionals. They all have bachelor’s or master’s degrees in health- or exercise-related fields, most hold certifications from the American College of Sports Medicine, and many specialize in functional training, which is the exact opposite of holding a planet on your shoulder to get ripped. Their years of training are put to work on the facility’s top-of-the-line equipment and during a slew of programs, including group fitness classes, personal-training sessions, and nutritional counseling.