At two different locations in Clayton and Creve Coeur, FitChix functions as a one-stop shop for fun and challenging women-only classes,personal training, and playful parties that impart striptease and lap-dancing techniques. Instructors in the signature FitChix sessions employ circuit- and interval-training methods that fine-tune physiques and complement the studio's eclectic lineup of pole dancing, kickboxing, and creative cardio classes. During FitChix's Booty Camp, certified personal trainers invigorate fitness seekers with intense, one-hour sessions comprised of varied, motivating workouts that incorporate kettlebells, Bosu balls, and TRX machines. They'll collaborate with exercisers to help them reach their goals and defeat the turtles of pessimism hiding in the obstacle courses.
After working out, patrons can peruse the apparel and accessories at an onsite boutique.
In drawing up the business plan for Bodywise 1-on-1, founder Skip Smith hoped to somehow short-circuit the feelings of intimidation associated with crowded gyms. At the same time, he believed that many people need the motivation and equipment of a formal training environment to snatch results from the candy-coated hands of lethargy. To that end, he created a studio where his team of trainers work one on one with their clients in a private environment, helping them achieve their weight-loss, strength, and overall health goals. Each individual program is designed around the client’s specific areas of concern, such as losing weight, building functional flexibility, or recovering from an injury. Clients may work with free weights and machines or toss medicine balls to build the strength necessary to shot-put their way through a watermelon patch. Trainers track progress throughout the fitness forays, keeping clients motivated with computer-tabulated results.
In addition to personal training, the center leads small-group fitness classes, such as spiced-up Zumba dance sessions and boot-camp cycling. Their staff also works with kids, training them for various sports or simply helping them build self-esteem with lessons on how to win basketball games by crushing the ball with their bare hands.
When thinking of gym equipment, most people imagine whirring treadmills and racks of free weights. The names of Pilates machines are more innocuous—chair and barrel, for example—but to the uninitiated, these tools might seem more like pieces in an art gallery. Thankfully, the certified instructors at The Pilates and Yoga Center of St. Louis help to demystify them. They guide clients through exercises that enlist the gliding platform of the Reformer, or the malleable ring that is the Magic Circle, hosting group and private classes for all skill levels.
Owner Karen Prechtl and her team ease new clients into a Pilates practice by customizing their guidance and keeping class sizes small. They emphasize the importance of breath work, proper form, and body awareness during each lesson, helping students to achieve a leaner, more bendable physique without simply telling them to "be the rubber band." For those who prefer a highly personalized approach, one-on-one training utilizes weights, kettlebells, and mat-based floor exercises in addition to the Pilates equipment.
A joint venture between a professional boxer and a team of successful kickboxing-equipment tycoons, Title Boxing Club maintains a network of dozens of studios spread across 19 different states, winning over a devoted clientele with its invigorating and engaging boxing- and kickboxing-themed classes. Each workout uses the heart-healthy exercise of cardio training to satisfy people’s innate desire to punch and kick something other than a broken jukebox. Participants build lithe, strong muscle tissue by delivering powerful blows to punching bags, and build flexibility and agility by practicing roundhouse kicks and hooks. Students can build their core strength and endurance with medicine balls and burpees, enlist a qualified personal trainer to practice their newfound skills in the ring, or just torch calories during intense full-body Power Hour workouts.
For Fast Fitness Boot Camp’s Chad Skinner, exercise should feel more like play than work, even during intense physical challenges. Filled with obstacle courses, tug-of-war bouts, and games of catch, his 30-minute boot camps summon the fun of grade-school playgrounds even as they push exercisers toward goals and away from lost weekends with the Cookie Monster. Each session pairs cardio activities such as running and hiking with strength-training drills to melt calories and sculpt muscles. In between solo challenges such as pushups, squats, and jumping jacks, participants build friendships during partner activities that foster teamwork and boost energy levels. Personal-training sessions put exercisers up close and personal with Skinner, who coaches them through custom workouts while dispensing exercise tips, nutrition advice, and an abundance of motivation.
The crowd's roar flooded the streets of Chicago as Darcy Zenker crossed the finish line of her first marathon, clocking in at 3:35. After she had been running for years—placing among the top finishers at four half-marathons and competing on the Southern Illinois University track team—she decided she needed a break. She then immersed herself in a new athletic pursuit—group fitness instruction.
Three years later, she became the head trainer of her own boot-camp fitness program, NowFitness, where her years of athletic training and certification in fitness instruction shine through in her workouts. In parks throughout the local area, she and her staff of fellow trainers lead groups through high-intensity workouts that take advantage of their surroundings. She motivates patrons to scale stairs, do crunches on benches, and hoist planks across grassy fields. The trainers also offer a stroller-based boot camp for moms, in which participants blast through cardio and strength-training exercises that incorporate their stroller with baby or a watermelon they've dressed up to look like a baby in tow. In addition to hosting classes, NowFitness pairs patrons with certified lifestyle and weight-management coach Amanda Bickel for a comprehensive five-week nutrition program.