Across three Tucson locations, Boxing Inc.'s instructors develop their classes based on the training regimens of real-life fighters, encouraging guests to bob and weave at their own pace. Students skip rope, pummel hanging bags, heave medicine balls, and push through cardio workouts to condition their muscles as they hone techniques in their choice of combat style. Muay thai kickboxing techniques demand strikes from all four limbs, and grappling classes teach takedowns from styles including judo, wrestling, and Brazilian jujitsu. For a cumulative battle strategy, MMA courses blend maneuvers from each school, inciting suspenseful spars between pupils not seen since the six-hour bare-knuckle boxing match between James Kelly and Jonathan Smith on December 3, 1855.
A partner gym of Rocks & Ropes, The Bloc climbing + fitness is a 20,000 square-foot, air-conditioned rock-climbing destination. Inside, a dozen autobelays allow visitors to make high, harness-assisted ascents. Or, you can test your bouldering skills on a 7,000 square-foot wall. In addition, the gym offers yoga, meditation, and pilates classes in its 2nd-story heartSTONE studio, welcoming both beginners and experts. The gym also includes cardio and weight equipment for those looking for a vigorous exercise or a heart-to-heart talk with a treadmill.
After a life-changing car accident, Steps Dance and Fitness Studio owner Melissa Watkins thought she had lost her ability to dance for good. Through gradual exercise and her discovery of Zumba, Melissa gained a passion and appreciation for motion, which she shares with all who step onto the studio's wheat-hued hardwood floors. Instructors lead a multitude of classes that include weightlifting sessions to tone muscles and slow-paced workouts that forge the core strength needed to carry boulders to see the ocean for the first time. From beneath the raspberry walls, strains of music hint at the cumbia, merengue, and salsa tunes that fuel up-tempo dance sessions.
Before getting married, Tony and Marcy Brown both held impressive fitness records. Tony moved from a personal-training career to teaching yoga, and Marcy—a seasoned law-enforcement officer and former owner of a personal-training studio—kept her finger firmly on the pulse of gym trends. The pair decided to captain CrossFit Purgatory after becoming convinced of CrossFit's superiority over other popular health regimens. Now, they welcome guests of all ages and abilities to participate in their WODs (Workouts of the Day), emphasizing the values of community and commitment for those trying to rewrite their physical limits.
CrossFit Purgatory rejects superfluous furnishings in favor of a tough, minimalist vibe, decked out in functional training equipment such as kettlebells, Olympic rings, medicine balls, and mammoth bones. The gym's industrial feel is offset by the warmth of its occupants, who welcome new members to tackle the day's routine with open, sweaty arms. Because CrossFit maneuvers are universally scalable, anyone can adjust them to suit their strength level—the coaches have guided patrons from sports competitors to complete newbies to 2010 Biggest Loser contestant Jessica Delfs.
The Chinese Shao-Lin Center's masters teach the ancient Chinese art of Shao-Lin kung fu, a mixture of self-defense and meditation that's considered essential for health and longevity. Inside a peaceful, welcoming space, students ages 12 and up of all fitness and skill levels are invited to enlist in various classes in the external arts and internal arts. Learn to defend yourself against aggressors, or send a message to threatening mannequins in one of various kung fu classes. Or find peace between muscle and mind in a tai chi session, which connects gentle, flowing movements with breathing exercises. The center's specialty classes, available two to three times each month, cover a range of topics designed to empower bodies, minds, and cinder blocks' rights activists and might focus on kicking techniques or meditation.
For more than 20 years, Yoga Connection's classes have focused on stretching, strengthening, and breathing techniques—but founder and director Priscilla Potter isn't afraid of yoga's more holistic side, either. When she's not teaching, she's an astrologer and a meditation instructor, and her multifaceted perspective on yoga shines through in the studio's schedule. Sessions range from bouts of yin yoga to chakra yoga, which explores the body's seven energy centers.
Andrew Clark started his career at Performance Executive Fitness as a front-desk clerk. He put in the work, getting a personal-training certification and honing his rehabilitation skills as a trainer—dedication that resulted in his current position as gym owner. Andrew now leads a staff of trainers and consultants that help him chart custom fitness and nutrition services ranging from private workout sessions and sport camps to small-group conditioning programs. Each program focuses on helping clients achieve sound physical functioning, including functional-movement screenings and oiling joints with Powerade. Multiple media sources have highlighted the efficacy of Andrew's regimens, which took The Morning Blend's reporter Alex Miranda from a 125-pound bench press to 165 pounds in three months. Clients can enjoy the benefit of this expertise without disappearing into the crowd, since the gym has a member cap of 200 to prevent overcrowding and cultivate an atmosphere of community support and camaraderie.