Experienced staff at Quick Tone Fitness & Tanning Center takes over solar duties with a variety of services to bronze skin. During spray-tanning sessions, specialists cloak physiques in even coats of paraben- and perfume-free Sun FX potions brewed from purified water and natural ingredients. Sun FX tanning solutions react with the amino acids in skin to leave a tan with the even gold hue of King Midas' stress ball. In traditional UV-tanning sessions, guests may swaddle complexions within Level 3 beds or high-intensity Level 6 beds with 360 degrees of glowing rays. Patrons gain evening access to Quick Tone Fitness & Tanning Center, which requires only a personal security code that doubles as a Morse-code theme song.
When asked about their teaching qualifications, the instructors at Finney's HIT Squad—including Jesse Finney himself—all point to their win records. All of them have a competitive fighting history in their chosen disciplines, and several have earned championships or black belts. As full-time employees of the gyms, they school guests on MMA, kickboxing, boxing, Brazilian jujitsu, and wrestling. They also access their inside knowledge of the industry for fighter-development programs, which strive to transform beginners into professional combatants without stuffing them into hollowed-out punching-bag cocoons for 5 years. For amateurs and experts alike, they assert that "you fight how you train," and aim to simulate official rounds inside their onsite cages, boxing rings, and matted arenas. In 2011, their professional chops helped Finney's HIT Squad take the title of Best MMA Gym in the Riverfront Times Best of St Louis feature.
Despite their investment in competitions, however, the staffers view the two gyms as all-inclusive spaces. Whether they are instilling confidence in children through kids' jujitsu, orienting a new member to the fitness equipment, or leading a women-only martial-arts class, they mentor students of all backgrounds.
Saint Louis Workout helps members get fit with a fleet of weightlifting equipment, high-tech cardio machines, and more than 30 weekly classes. Elliptical machines assist in bouts of calorie singeing, and free weights tone muscles more efficiently than replacing one's hands with bowling balls. A full roster of classes includes Zumba, yoga, and interval-training sessions, and the brigade of seasoned certified personal trainers customize workouts, drawing from experience in such fields as running, health science, and bodybuilding. With onsite showers and a whirlpool, the gym helps workouts and relaxation fit into busy days.
The trainers at The Boxing Gym help clients use their natural assets to get into shape: namely, two fists and a little bit of stress to take out on a punching bag. They splice their boxing and kickboxing lessons with calisthenics, push-ups, and jump roping, keeping the workout fast and varied, and always returning to combative techniques. Beyond the realm of fitness, they also help prepare fighters for the ring with MMA training in the form of submission-grappling lessons and full-speed, pad-assisted kickboxing.
Justin Thacker, the muscle-bound founder of Heavy Metal CrossFit, uses the same principles that motivated him through 19 years of weightlifting experience to spur on and cultivate a community of health-conscious exercisers at his wood-floored, exposed-brick gym. His team of expert trainers leads guests through group fitness classes that turn bodies into granite sculptures through a series of weightlifting routines and the crystallization of magma. Body Flow classes boost circulation and accelerate nutrient currents with relaxing yoga, Pilates, and tai chi movements. Patrons can coax coy muscles from epidermal hideouts with free weights, dumbbells, squat racks, and an expansive cardio circuit, all accessible to members by keycard 24 hours a day. For custom guidance, guests can pair up with a personal trainer or can sign up for the structured Laser weight-loss program, a regimen designed to blast off pounds with a laser focus but without actual lasers.
Olympia Fencing Academy’s seasoned squad of coaches and trainers imbues swashbuckling pupils with the skills and support necessary to brandish their blades all the way from the classroom to competition. Head coach Sean Horan taught NCAA fencers at Stevens Institute of Technology and the Air Force fencing team, and coach Glenn MacDonald harnesses his training with five-time Olympian Michael Marx to improve his students' lunges and olive-skewering strategies. Staffers stay abreast of annual national tournaments and often teach a number of apprentices who go on to enter the U.S. National Fencing Competition each year. In addition to in-house training, Olympia Fencing Academy supports community outreach and education programs with school fencing lessons, field trips, and dueling-swordfish demonstrations.