Cincinnati Fitness & Boxing's 7,000-square-foot space once held the clatter and clang of a steel mill. Today, the sound of metal on metal has been replaced with the sounds of glove against pad, but much of the industrial charm remains. High windows above exposed brick and cinderblock walls cast light onto two full-sized rings, where welter weights and heavy weights alike learn from instructors as tough as steel. Their ranks include professional boxers, kickboxers, and MMA instructors, all of whom have the experience to carve rock-hard biceps out of any arms. One of their teachers, Marty Slone, once even sparred 100 rounds straight, a staggering accomplishment done to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
Alongside experienced instructors, nationally ranked heavyweight boxer Danny Calhoun gets students fighting fit during boxing and martial-arts courses. Mr. Calhoun teaches students the same techniques for hand speed, footwork, and cardio endurance that he uses in his own pursuit of boxing's World Heavyweight Title. The facility's combat tutelage has drawn such professional athletes as Indianapolis Colts linebacker Tyjuan Hagler and UFC champion Rich Franklin to The Punch House's arenas. Inside the high-ceilinged gym, red walls frame the expanse of blue and black floor mats, bruised from the many ground-pound lessons during mixed-martial-arts classes. Heavy, full-length bags sway, only slightly malformed from the devastating combos students are taught to deliver.
The gym can be an intimidating place for unexperienced exercisers, which is why Better Bodies introduced its Healthy Start training program. During the initial session, the staff uses a computer program called the Virtual Fitness Planner to reveal basic biometrics and calculate the likelihood of health risks such as type-2 diabetes. Once you're informed, you can take action by signing up for a personal-training session, attending a group-fitness class, or lifting on the fitness floor's Hammer Strength machines. For busy parents or particularly ripped nannies, Better Bodies also provides complimentary childcare services for members.
Vision MMA began as a group of friends' informal workout sessions in Loveland High School's wrestling room. Although it eventually expanded to its own facility, Vision MMA's trainees still describe the gym as having a family atmosphere and feeling like a second home. The gym trains pupils in mixed martial arts, jujitsu, boxing, and muay thai, in addition to offering boot-camp and combat fitness classes.
Cincinnati Taekwondo Center fortifies its traditional martial-arts classes by also offering kimoodo classes. Known as "Korean tai chi," kimoodo imparts stretching, breathing, and meditation methods to students, resulting in physical gains such as greater flexibility, as well as mental and emotional benefits that may include better concentration and anxiety relief. These qualities carry over into the center's tae kwon do classes. Instructors don’t teach their students to pick fights or bully, but to defend and exercise compassion. As a result, kids and adult students build confidence and character, the frontlines of defense for most social encounters.
The Five Seasons Family Sports Club houses tennis courts, a dining area, fitness facilities, swimming pools, and a full-service spa under one roof. Within air-conditioned indoor courts or on outdoor hard or clay courts, racquet slingers compete in friendly bouts to sharpen swings, refine backhands, and showcase grunting abilities. Members can also break a sweat in exercise areas speckled with modern cardio equipment and weights or cool off in an Olympic-sized pool with diving wells and wading areas. Before meeting others for a postgame beverage at the lively café, clients can wander to the spa for a relaxing massage or partake in a sports workshop to gain a firm grasp on game mechanics.