Inside a quaint English Tudor–style building surrounded by blooming flowers, spa owners Mirka Figueroa and Samuel Figueroa, MD, help beautify clients from head to toe with a slate of treatments. Mirka, a medical aesthetician, enhances skin with dermatological services such as microdermabrasions, photofacials, and peels. Her husband, Dr. Samuel, uses his medical expertise to supervise weight-management programs and erase the hatch marks left by Father Time with injections of Botox and other fillers. To create a one-stop beauty haven, they also enlist an expert staff of hairstylists, nail techs, and makeup artists.
For Fast Fitness Boot Camp’s Chad Skinner, exercise should feel more like play than work, even during intense physical challenges. Filled with obstacle courses, tug-of-war bouts, and games of catch, his 30-minute boot camps summon the fun of grade-school playgrounds even as they push exercisers toward goals and away from lost weekends with the Cookie Monster. Each session pairs cardio activities such as running and hiking with strength-training drills to melt calories and sculpt muscles. In between solo challenges such as pushups, squats, and jumping jacks, participants build friendships during partner activities that foster teamwork and boost energy levels. Personal-training sessions put exercisers up close and personal with Skinner, who coaches them through custom workouts while dispensing exercise tips, nutrition advice, and an abundance of motivation.
Our Health Club & Spa corrals a state-of-the-art fitness center and full-service day spa under one roof, helping clients radiate health from the inside out. Weight rooms, a swimming pool, saunas, and a juice bar comprise the physical-focused side of the center, where certified personal trainers monitor form and fitness trainers lead more than 30 classes per week. Pampering is the priority on the spa side, which offers everything from customized therapeutic massages and European facials to gentlemen's pedicures, which skip the polish in favor of a barely perceptible coat of Armor All.
Though the club's focus is mainly on adult activities, kids can flex their growing flippers in one-on-one swimming lessons or socialize with other tykes in a childcare center, where colorful toys spill out from rows of cubbyholes. Seniors will find themselves equally at home at Our Health Club & Spa with arthritis-focuses classes that provide an opportunity to stretch out aches and whirlpools that provide a perfect setting for stage readings of The Caine Mutiny.
Finney’s Hit Squad's clients have diverse goals—learn to throw a punch, train for a fight, shed pounds, or generally have fun—but the perks are the same for all. Exercise enthusiasts find a full-service gym with all the strength and cardio tools needed to achieve total fitness, and a packed schedule includes classes that range from Zumba to Brazilian jujitsu. 3,000 square feet of Hammer Strength weightlifting equipment inspires members to build bulk, while a competition cage, boxing ring, and grappling area offer an easy place to test the skills learned in coed boxing classes or from watching Rocky 90 times.
When asked about their teaching qualifications, the instructors at Finney's HIT Squad—including Jesse Finney himself—all point to their win records. All of them have a competitive fighting history in their chosen disciplines, and several have earned championships or black belts. As full-time employees of the gyms, they school guests on MMA, kickboxing, boxing, Brazilian jujitsu, and wrestling. They also access their inside knowledge of the industry for fighter-development programs, which strive to transform beginners into professional combatants without stuffing them into hollowed-out punching-bag cocoons for 5 years. For amateurs and experts alike, they assert that "you fight how you train," and aim to simulate official rounds inside their onsite cages, boxing rings, and matted arenas. In 2011, their professional chops helped Finney's HIT Squad take the title of Best MMA Gym in the Riverfront Times Best of St Louis feature.
Despite their investment in competitions, however, the staffers view the two gyms as all-inclusive spaces. Whether they are instilling confidence in children through kids' jujitsu, orienting a new member to the fitness equipment, or leading a women-only martial-arts class, they mentor students of all backgrounds.
During her extensive dance training, K.I.S.S. Fitness Cafe & Spa owner Kem Smith grooved alongside Zumba and pole fitness pioneers, mastering the steps that she now showcases for her own students. Offering simultaneous classes in three different studios, her staff covers everything from entrancing pole spins and belly dancing to gospel yoga, and strength training in the studio's rhythmic curriculum. Recently added amenities include spa services, such as eyebrow threading and lash extensions, as well as a cafe area. The studio also hosts private parties that impart empowering moves and help attendees break in high heels without resorting to foxy kickboxing.
The certified and experienced instructors at No Excuses have one goal: to help their clients achieve more than they thought possible. To get them there, the trainers offer high-energy, focused workouts along with meal planning, grocery lists, weigh-ins, and a team-like atmosphere. Held in a no-frills indoor/outdoor gym, the Zumba, boot-camp, and Kangoo classes help participants burn fat and build muscle.