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 12 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.
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.
Since its 1965 founding in Venice Beach, California, Gold's Gym has dotted the globe with more than 600 locations where professional athletes and exercise newbies gather under the umbrella of personal strength. Nearly 3.5 million Gold's members chart and aim for their fitness peaks, perspiring beneath the gaze of certified personal trainers or pedaling beside peers at cycling sessions. In a diverse lineup of group classes, patrons strengthen cores with Pilates, finger-paint pictures of ninjas in martial arts, and amp up heart rates along to the pulsating soundtracks of Les Mills routines. Many Gold's Gym locations offer cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated.
It's fitting that the Central Institute for Human Performance is located inside a restored high-school building. Since the original lockers still line the hallways and the Karel Lewit Clinic for rehabilitation sits in what used to be the administrative offices, the glossy walls and floors often remind visitors of their athletic dreams when they once strolled through their own high schools. While the rehabilitation clinic treats injuries and physical trauma, the immaculate and spacious gym helps athletes improve or maintain their physical well-being. Fitness instructors challenge their students through innovative, small-group classes such as Strongman workouts. The center's consulting team, which earned a nod from Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak, offers nutritional guidance and lifestyle coaching to help members reach their goals. Professional jerseys hang above modern equipment to further inspire athletes to dream big and remember to pick up their dry cleaning.
The staff of fitness experts at Best Body Fitness works with its clients to lose weight and tone muscles with training and nutrition. In addition to body-composition analysis and personal training, the staff also offers fitness classes such as Hard-Body Yoga, which combines the stretching of yoga with strength training.