As they enter the training circuit at Curves, female guests come face-to-face with the smiles of other women. And just as points on a circle share a common distance from the circle's center, workout participants share the experiences of those nearby by trading stations throughout the 30-minute training session. Thirty seconds is spent on a piece of strength-training equipment built for feminine frames and designed to work two opposing muscle groups with a single movement. Exercisers then move on to a recovery station, where they run, jog, or dance to maintain heart rates and keep platforms in place during momentary losses of gravity.
The certified trainers at Phase 5 Personal Training believe the human body is more efficient than any gym machine. Using each client’s body weight for resistance, instructors in small-group boot camps lead clients through cardio workouts, agility training, and plyometrics exercises held at this laid-back studio.
Sunset Hills Community Center is home to 25,000 square feet of fitness and wellness facilities. Inside its 4,000-square-foot workout room, 20 cardio machines team up with strength-training machines, free weights, and kettlebells to whittle waistlines and carve chiseled physiques. Its expansive gymnasium metamorphoses into basketball, tennis, and volleyball courts, and the sunlit multipurpose room resounds with the encouraging shouts of certified instructors as they lead an ever-changing mix of fitness classes, including Zumba, boot camp, and senior fitness.
In addition to group fitness classes, trainers lead individual or group training sessions and nutrition consultations to help patrons achieve their fitness goals. For youth fit seekers, the center hosts a summer hip-hop camp taught by the famed professional dancer and St. Louis–native Nick Gates, who teaches kids to serve even the smoothest of animated cat MCs. The center also sponsors a regular weight-loss challenge, in which competitors gain the tools to shed pounds while vying for cash prizes.
The sound of thumping bass greets guests at ZFit Studio, where instructors lead a slew of high-energy fitness classes. Sessions are overseen by a diverse staff of experienced instructors who boast backgrounds in dancing, yoga, and Zumba instruction. Outdoors or on their gleaming studio's hardwood floors, instructors lead a variety of heart-pumping classes, including Latin-dance-infused Zumba workouts and energizing yoga sessions. To keep their patrons engaged in exercising, they strive to develop workouts that are both fitness enhancing and exciting, much like doing arm curls while skydiving.
The multitalented team of instructors, which includes trainers certified in Agatsu Kettlebell and Commando Krav Maga, helps to strengthen hearts, bodies, and minds during self-defense, fitness, and fight courses. Instructors lead beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels of kettlebell fitness, a class that incorporates fundamental swings, cleans, snatches, and Turkish getups to simultaneously work several muscle groups at once.
The team also helps to build endurance by leading participants through Latin dance steps in Zumba and through a tapestry of kicks and punches in cardio kickboxing. Additionally, trainers helm courses in krav maga, a form of martial arts designed to increase confidence, protection, and Bruce Lee comparisons. Following a functional warm-up, instructors run through drills to teach students how to escape from chokes and disarm an opponent using lighting-quick pressure and weakness-point attacks.
Kirsten Stevens, a licensed nurse, ACE-certified personal trainer, and certified kettlebell instructor, equips exercisers with motivation and an energizing menu of physical challenges at Monday–Saturday boot camps. To sculpt physiques into svelte shapes, the workout pairs muscle-toning resistance training with calorie-toasting plyometrics such as sprinting, skipping, and hurling giant cupcakes into outer space. Students can pummel away lingering self-doubt with cardio-kickboxing moves that raise efficiently heart rates. Intervals of calisthenics build strength and flexibility with bends, twists, and exercises that use participants’ own bodies as workout weights. Weekday classes take place indoors and outdoors, at sunrise (5:45 a.m.) and sundown (5:45 p.m.), allowing students to admire the colorful solar rays and convert carbon dioxide into oxygen.