Jefferson City CrossFit's minimalistic approach to fitness is evident in its sparse 1,700-square-foot studio, aptly dubbed "The Box". In lieu of complicated cardio and strength machines, it holds barbells, pull-up bars, and medicine balls—all of the back-to-basics essentials that make CrossFit such a challenging workout. From the novice exerciser to the seasoned athlete, these fitness tools work to sculpt muscles and burn calories quickly during ever-changing workouts of the day.
Heart of America Athletic Training Center caters to guests of all ages with all manners of fitness goals, offering cardio equipment, weight machines, and free weights as well as a 22-foot boxing ring and a 30-foot MMA cage. Classes for adults cover MMA, yoga, and self-defense, and kids' classes include tae kwon do, wrestling, and MMA.
Named by Inside Columbia magazine as the best place for yoga in 2011 and 2012, alleyCat Yoga's serene yoga sanctuary hosts daily classes for students of all ages. One of the studio's teachers, Susan Mathis, draws on the teachings of Swami Kripalu, a celebrated yogi often associated with the insightful practice known as "meditation in motion." To apply the practice, students progress through stages of relaxation, physical postures, and meditation to establish connections between the mind, body, and spirit.
The well-rounded team of certified instructors also leads classes rooted in their respective specialties, including Hatha yoga, the more intense Vinyasa tradition, and gentler yoga classes for students who've only interacted with downward-facing dogs while pet-sitting. Susan's branch of kid-friendly yoga, called Yoga to Grow, helps children as young as 20 months stretch their rapidly growing bodies and sparks imaginations with stories, games, and songs.
At One On One, clients workout in a state-of-the-art facility with access to certified trainers, a collegiate diver, a martial artist, and trainers who have competed in figure- and bodybuilding competitions. The fitness gurus can design customized plans tailored to each client’s skills as they monitor, motivate, and encourage them to reach their goals. In the gym—which is open 24 hours a day—TVs suspended from the ceilings occupy athletes as they work up a sweat on Precor and Life Fitness treadmills and elliptical machines. Strength-training machines populate the gym floor, as do free weights, an adjacent pool, and medicine balls for clients who grow sick of standard workouts. An in-house massage therapist is available to ease tense muscles and knead away stress with Swedish, deep-tissue, and hot-stone massages.
Boredom, negativity, and excuses have no place at CrossFit COMO. Here, founders Michael Wuest and Brian James have established a community of individuals in pursuit of the same thing: becoming fit. It's an attitude that creates training partners inside the facility and friendships outside of it. Side by side, exercisers push each other through CrossFit's challenging functional movements, becoming stronger, faster, and more flexible in the process.