Hercules inspired generations of athletes to perform feats of strength and endurance such as tearing a phone book in half or driving from Cleveland to Peloponnesus without a bathroom break. Get epically fit with today's Groupon: for $29, you get a 12-visit punch card to Fitness Kicks (a $99 value).
Fitness Kicks' team of athletic instructors whip aspiring trainees of all fitness levels into shape in a variety of martial-arts-based classes. Punch-card holders can drop in for 12 calorie-melting classes, each of which builds muscles and tones physiques with a combination of fast-paced kicking and punching and weight lifting. The staff of black-belt trainers, world-champion martial artists, and former prime ministers of Musclevania lead classes that encourage cardiovascular stimulation through jujitsu, karate, judo, and kickboxing.
The gym is a cavernous collection of body-shaping and cardio equipment, with a 1,700-square-foot mixed-martial-arts mat room, 27 muay-thai boxing bags, and a separate private training studio. Get pre-class stimulatory jolts with complimentary cups of morning coffee, as well as mid-class encouragement from the flat-screen TVs and Burgess Meredith impersonators throughout the facility.
It's 7 p.m. on a Monday, and the Fitness KICKS studio is a flurry of sweaty, motivated students and swaying punching bags. This is the scene of a cardio-kickboxing class, where certified trainers lead students through high-intensity kickboxing drills and training exercises on the 27 heavyweight bags. Come Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, the atmosphere transforms when yoga instructors take over and lead yogis through flowing poses designed to enhance relaxation. The energy-charged atmosphere soon returns, however, when coaches take over to conduct rigorous total-body conditioning sessions, kettlebell workouts, Kempo karate, and jiujitsu classes.
As students bustle about in group classes, other members churn out muscles with the studio's collection of weightlifting equipment, ellipticals, and bicycles. Some opt for personal-training sessions, during which top trainers help clients work out safely by guiding them through custom exercises and checking their gym sneakers for smuggled in cheeseburgers. Still other members sit down to chat with the trainers about nutrition, discussing diet tips and custom meal plans.