Aside from its prevalence in Church of Iron’s collection of dumbbells and kettlebells, iron symbolizes the strength and toughness that the results-oriented facility strives to instill in its athletes. Certified strength and conditioning coaches oversee each of the facility’s programs and individual workouts, propelling their disciples toward newfound levels of power, stamina, and speed by refusing to let them give up. The coaches emphasize safety as much as they do intensity, making sure that shoulders stay even during weightlifting moves such as snatches and jerks and gently reproving students when they attempt to shot put each other across the room.
Mike Holman, a staffer for the U.S. Olympic track-and-field team, designs the facility’s endurance programs, which incorporate training masks that simulate running at various elevations. Sports-performance programs help teens and college-level athletes build speed with plyometrics, weighted sprints, and agility drills, and CrossFit programs welcome all ages and fitness levels with scalable workouts that incorporate bodyweight exercises, intense bursts of cardio, and heavy objects such as kettlebells and Liberty Bells.
Though it celebrates athleticism of all stripes, Sports of All Sorts Batting Cages specializes in training amateurs in America's pastime. Along with batting cages equipped for baseball and slow- or fast-pitch softball, the facility improves each player's game with a hitting and pitching tunnel and pitching mounds with L-screens. Seasoned players and area college coaches demonstrate batting skills at off-season baseball camps, which can be customized for groups of six or more.
The facility's multipurpose court hosts a range of activities such as basketball scrimmages, cheerleading practice, and royal curling tournaments while the king's ice rink gets remodeled. After practice, the arcade hosts rounds of air hockey, billiards, or video games, and Sports of All Sorts' bounce house and three-tiered indoor soft playground hosts the hopping of younger visitors.
The 1970s were a transformative time for the Cincinnati Reds. Over that decade, the Reds cast off the lingering shadows of controversy—the team's first NL Pennant and World Series title were overshadowed by the notorious "Black Sox" scandal—to become a dominant force in Major League Baseball. The Reds appeared in four Fall Classics during that stretch and won back-to-back titles in 1975 and 1976—the latter of which forever etched "The Big Red Machine" into baseball lore. Today, the Reds continue to build on their rich history at Great American Ball Park. There, fans can gaze the outfield walls and soak in views of the Ohio River and the hills of Northern Kentucky where Mr. Redlegs buys all of his mustache wax.
The gym can be an intimidating place for unexperienced exercisers, which is why Better Bodies introduced its Healthy Start training program. During the initial session, the staff uses a computer program called the Virtual Fitness Planner to reveal basic biometrics and calculate the likelihood of health risks such as type-2 diabetes. Once you're informed, you can take action by signing up for a personal-training session, attending a group-fitness class, or lifting on the fitness floor's Hammer Strength machines. For busy parents or particularly ripped nannies, Better Bodies also provides complimentary childcare services for members.
Times of play are different depending on the play area and day, so check the schedule before you go. This Groupon can also be applied toward birthday parties. Parents live vicariously through their kids because they’re secretly jealous of their ability to drink from totally awesome juice boxes without getting the stink-eye from the boss during company meetings. At Run, Jump,-n-Play, kids can do that and much more while interacting with others and benefiting from healthy exercise amid thousands of square feet of fun. While boinging in bounce houses ($7 on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday for kids older than two; $8 on Thursdays), swinging through playsets ($5), plinking phosphorescent balls ($4.95 for kids 3–7, $6.95 for 8+), and hurling larger phosphorescent orbs at neon-colored pins ($15 for a half-hour, $26 for one hour; up to five children per lane), kids also learn valuable independent skills that will help them develop socially en route to productive careers as princesses, astronauts, and ponies.
Though they operate more than 200 locations in upwards of 30 states, the team behind U.S. Baseball Academy aims to make each young athlete's experience a personal one. Their four- or six-week camps are taught by local instructors who are current or former coaches at the high school or college level, and typically offer a 6:1 or better player-to-teacher ratio for intense, professional-style training. The Academy's proven itinerary of hitting, pitching, fielding, and baserunning drills was developed by an advisory board of college coaches and Major League players, including Cy Young Award–winner and ace pitcher Brandon Webb.