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 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.
The crack of a bat signals another powerful hit inside Extra Innings' spacious, 70-foot-long batting tunnels. Each cage's Iron Mike pitching machine emulates the power and speed of a cantaloupe tossed by Popeye, sending a feast of fastballs screeching toward homerun-hungry hitters. Extra Innings' 12,000-square-foot facility also divvies its plethora of space for private pitching, fielding, and batting lessons hosted by seasoned instructors, as well as a circuit training area furnished with soft-toss machines, tees, and stride boards that further perfect techniques. The onsite pro shop also equips players with all of the baseball essentials.:m]]
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 instructors at Wright's FUNdamentals, an offshoot of Wright's Gymnastics Academy, strive to build enthusiasm for gymnastics, dance, and fitness among kids younger than 9 years old at their two Greenwood facilities. Here, tykes plunge down slides into ball pits, tumble on cushy mats, and swing from monkey bars and rings during open-gym sessions, which foster free-form frolicking throughout the indoor playscape.
For more structured bouts of energy expenditure, kids as young as 2 can hone their coordination, fitness, and summersaulting aptitude in a host of age-appropriate gymnastics and cheerleading classes. The Ninja Gym classes challenge boys to conquer military-style obstacle courses, using ninja-style moves to fend off any rogue cooties from the girls.