Though its name may conjure fantasies about sprinting down crowded streets or bench-pressing buses stalled in traffic, Urban Active Fitness grants its members abundant space in which to spread out and follow their workout proclivities. At dozens of locations across the Midwest and South, members can sculpt their bodies in whichever manner they choose—from personal training with resistance machines and free weights to group classes in cycling, Zumba, and Pilates. A number of group classes draw on the gym’s urban theme for inspiration. Urban Iron, for example, focuses on building muscles that resemble the cast-iron beams of skyscrapers, and Urban Yoga closely imitates the poses necessary to squeeze onto a subway train at rush hour.
In his tae kwon do classes, former world welterweight kickboxing champion Eric Melton covers techniques from basic stances and blocks to black-belt sparring. In another room, members of the competitive gymnastics team hone their flips and flexibility in year-round preparation for bouts against rival gyms. The competitive streak continues on in the cheerleading team, with whom decorated cheer directors harness national-title experience to perfect the squad's choreography and teamwork.
Along with classes with a competitive bent, the Mpact staff hosts sessions for kids who just want to try out new activities and have fun such a Nerf Wars where kids engage in friendly nerf football battles or open gym sessions. A parent-and-child gymnastics class introduces youngsters to obstacle courses and trampolines, and extreme tumbling's foam pits and padded mats train students of all skill levels to jump and flip more fearlessly than a blindfolded dolphin in a shark tank. For performing pupils, Mpact also teaches aerial-acrobatics classes and Demo Team programs, where kids learn how to deftly handle martial-arts weapons, including nunchaku and staffs.
Eighth-degree black belt Master S.H. Koh began practicing taekwondo in 1967 in South Korea. He's still going strong at Yong In Martial Arts Academy, where he and his staff teach the classic Korean martial art to kids as young as 3. Their training programs also include other Korean martial arts such as hapkido and kumdo, as well as muscle-toning yoga and kickboxing.
Brentwood Brazilian Jiu-jitsu's team of seasoned martial artists works to keep their classes welcoming yet intense. Though their teaching style fosters a supportive environment, they challenge students at every turn to master the grappling techniques of Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Aside from the adult classes, the studio offers kids' sessions that demonstrate how to stop bullying with practical self-defense skills.
•Consistently Persistent FitBody (Franklin) Up to 10 classes •GetFit Anytime (Nashville): Up to 10 classes •GetFit Anytime (Springfield): Up to 10 classes •Basics and Beyond – Fitness, Nutrition, & Rehabilitation (Nashville): Up to 10 classes •Circuit Athletics Fitness and Wellness Center (Clarksville): Up to 10 classes •WestSide Athletic Club (Nashville): Up to 10 classes •West Dragon Kung Fu (Nashville): Up to 10 classes •Tiger King Muay Thai (Nashville): 10 classes