After hanging up his gloves and hopping out of the ring, retired professional boxer Danny Campbell and his business partners opened the first Title Boxing Club in Kansas in 2008. The club?s boxing and kickboxing classes were such a hit that they opened two more locations, and in 2010, the first franchise location opened in Prairie Village, Kansas. Today, more than 100 nationwide locations house the same fitness classes and personal-training programs that earned the admiration of reporters from The Columbus Dispatch in 2012.
During each session, students tape up their hands and don gloves before aiming jabs, crosses, hooks, or kicks at evenly spaced bags as instructors lead them through a cardio workout designed to burn calories and build muscle. Training sessions also include conditioning with medicine balls, which are more effective at boosting health when lifted than when swallowed.
Though its name may conjure fantasies about sprinting down crowded streets or bench-pressing buses stalled in traffic, Urban Active Fitness grants its members abundant space in which to spread out and follow their workout proclivities. At dozens of locations across the Midwest and South, members can sculpt their bodies in whichever manner they choose—from personal training with resistance machines and free weights to group classes in cycling, Zumba, and Pilates. A number of group classes draw on the gym’s urban theme for inspiration. Urban Iron, for example, focuses on building muscles that resemble the cast-iron beams of skyscrapers, and Urban Yoga closely imitates the poses necessary to squeeze onto a subway train at rush hour.
As a former collegiate football player on scholarship, Corey Logan knows firsthand the importance of physical fitness. He decided to put this knowledge to use by coaching others on athletic fitness and weight loss, earning his ACE and NASM personal training certifications and opening Punch Fitness. He strives to bring the same explosive energy that he used on the field to his boxing-themed classes and one-on-one sessions. Along with his team of trainers—all of whom have completed college degrees and hold at least one national certification—Corey cultivates a demanding yet non-judgmental atmosphere, pushing for fast-paced punches while at the same time respecting the learning curve of each client. Regardless of the classes, the team consistently doles out encouragement as students swing kettlebells, suspend their limbs from TRX cords, or throw jabs in sync to hip-hop beats.
Children can also practice their air-crushing punches during classes designed for 4–15 year olds, which aim to develop coordination and strength of character.
At Shape 4 Life, experienced fitness instructors who achieved their own weight loss transformations now help clients shape up in similarly dramatic fashion. 50-minute Spin & Tone sessions use exercise bikes to incinerate fat, and BodyBlast boot camps provide customized training that can be geared toward exercisers of any age or fitness level.
At Victory Fitness Center, members pump iron in the weight room and pedals on the stationary bikes before giving weary muscles respite in the whirlpool or sauna. Besides providing fitness coaching to keep everyone on the right track, the gym also provides an environment free of intimidation with men- and women-only workout areas. To supplement those workouts, the staff designs easy-to-follow weight-loss programs, and certified trainers lead group classes such as Zumba, boxing, and boot camp.