Cincinnati Fitness & Boxing's 7,000-square-foot space once held the clatter and clang of a steel mill. Today, the sound of metal on metal has been replaced with the sounds of glove against pad, but much of the industrial charm remains. High windows above exposed brick and cinderblock walls cast light onto two full-sized rings, where welter weights and heavy weights alike learn from instructors as tough as steel. Their ranks include professional boxers, kickboxers, and MMA instructors, all of whom have the experience to carve rock-hard biceps out of any arms. One of their teachers, Marty Slone, once even sparred 100 rounds straight, a staggering accomplishment done to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
Alongside experienced instructors, nationally ranked heavyweight boxer Danny Calhoun gets students fighting fit during boxing and martial-arts courses. Mr. Calhoun teaches students the same techniques for hand speed, footwork, and cardio endurance that he uses in his own pursuit of boxing's World Heavyweight Title. Instructors also offer classes in the practical self-defense art of Krav Maga, a battle-tested fighting style employed by the Israeli Defense Forces. The facility's combat tutelage has drawn such professional athletes as Indianapolis Colts linebacker Tyjuan Hagler and UFC champion Rich Franklin to The Punch House's arenas. Inside the high-ceilinged gym, red walls frame the expanse of blue and black floor mats, bruised from the many ground-pound lessons during mixed-martial-arts classes. Heavy, full-length bags sway, only slightly malformed from the devastating combos students are taught to deliver.
At StrongFit, a team of certified personal trainers take a personal and multidisciplinary approach to fitness—they construct individual fitness and nutrition regimens for each of their clients. The trainers' customized plans are based on the results of fitness assessments sanctioned by the National Academy of Sports Medicine and congratulatory high-fives have been approved by a roundtable of local surfers. Using the results of these tests, the trainers determine what exercises are ideal for their trainees and then motivate them to meet fitness goals in one-on-one training sessions or in one of the gym’s boxing classes.
Bella Forza Fitness's experienced instructors strengthen women from within. In classes such as Body Combat, students combine martial arts with cardio moves for fierce fat burning. Bella Forza Fitness also hosts parties for bachelorette and birthday parties and sells apparel online store.
Cincinnati Taekwondo Center fortifies its traditional martial-arts classes by also offering kimoodo classes. Known as "Korean tai chi," kimoodo imparts stretching, breathing, and meditation methods to students, resulting in physical gains such as greater flexibility, as well as mental and emotional benefits that may include better concentration and anxiety relief. These qualities carry over into the center's tae kwon do classes. Instructors don’t teach their students to pick fights or bully, but to defend and exercise compassion. As a result, kids and adult students build confidence and character, the frontlines of defense for most social encounters.
Omari Kittrell, a Pilates- and SilverSneakers-certified trainer at Optimo Fitness Association, takes inspiring his clients to the next level—when their energy flags, he does their workouts along with them. He and his eclectic group of fellow trainers, such as engineer-turned-martial-artist Jeff Love, will even make house visits to accommodate their clients. Their passion for fitness shines just as brightly in their more-traditional group classes, which run the gamut from Pilates’ lean-muscle building to kickboxing, a combat-inspired style that tones bodies more effectively than just head butting whoever annoys you.