It’s the season of holiday get-togethers, parties and family dinners. Christmas hams, latkes, gingerbread cookies, holiday candy, and eggnog are consumed, and pounds are inevitably added. But it is also the season of planning new years resolutions. There are several fitness centers in southern Polk County, all ready to host your newest workout plans to shake off extra holiday hunk.
Ron’s Personal Fitness
Owner and lead trainer Ron Hill was born into fitness. He began training at the age of 12 with his dad, who was a professional wrestler, and had familial contests to see who could do the most pull-ups. At 44, Hill got a fifth degree black belt in the mixed martial art of WREKAR. He also broke the American Powerlifting Association World Record for the strict curl in 2007, and holds the record today, according to his website.
At Ron’s Personal Fitness, clients will receive hyper-personal attention, as he only trains per session, rather than by membership. Hill specializes in balancing strength and cardiovascular training as well as an in-depth knowledge of nutrition so the client his clients can enjoy a well-balanced approach to health and fitness.
In the small, private-feeling atmosphere at Ron’s there is absolutely no chance of feeling shame or pressure, as there is no one else there when you train with Hill or his partner trainer, April Potter.
The International Sports Science Association has certified Hill since 1998, and Potter is certified as a group aerobics instructor, is certified by the AFFA and is a licensed massage therapist. These two well-qualified trainers can certainly provide a unique one-on-one experience with their clients.
Reduced rate for multiple sessions
160 S. Wilson Ave., Bartow
Personal, one-on-one training in an empty gym
As the only gym in Bartow open 24/7, Ultimate Fitness holds down the market for fitness convenience, but they offer much more than that.
Co-owners Greg Buck and Rick Wilson opened the gym in August 2010 to give others a place to come to satisfy the passion they shared themselves. In addition to their traditional gym equipment, Ultimate currently offers three classes, Zumba, turbo tone and their signature, box and burn.
“I have people signing up for a gym membership just so they can take the box and burn class,” Buck said.
This high-end cardio class is an intense fitness class that combines the actions of boxing with the intensity of martial arts; perfect for weight loss and high calorie burn workouts.
In January, Ultimate will add another class, Yoshukai Karate for adults, taught by fifth degree black belt, Lloyd Hall, and assisted by Buck. Buck also plans to start a Yoshukai Karate class for kids next summer, in an effort to get kids moving and help reduce childhood obesity.
Buck, also one of three trainers at Ultimate Fitness, has had an active fitness lifestyle since he got his first set of weights at age 12. Since then he has majored in recreation management in school, sold exercise equipment and was a professional dive boat captain in the Keys. Now, he operates Bartow’s only fitness center that has both fitness classes and personal trainers.
$34/month for the second person in a member’s family
209 E. Van Fleet Drive, Bartow
Box and burn cardio, Turbo tone and Zumba classes available, Yoshukai Karate adult classes starting Jan. 2013, 12-week weight loss challenge in mid-January (75 people lost over 1,000 pounds in 2012’s challenge)
City of Bartow Recreation
Filling a perceived void in Bartow, the City’s Parks and Recreation department opened a gym at the Polk Street Community Center. The gym is open five days a week to members and can be used at any time. There are no personal trainers on staff.
In addition, the city hosts several group fitness classes. Zumba is held at the Carver Recreation Center twice a week and senior fitness classes run continuously, you can sign up for four-week sessions.
The longest running service is the fitness boot camp at Mosaic Park in Bartow. This also runs on four-week sessions, and they start at 5 or 6 am twice a week. This is an intense whole body workout.
Contact the Bartow Parks and Recreation office for more information at 863-534-0120.
Polk St. Gym:
$32.10/3 months for residents, $48.15/3 months for non-residents
Fitness Boot Camp:
$42/session for residents, 47/session for non-residents
Polk St. Gym:
M-F 6 a.m.-8 p.m.
Polk Street Gym:
1255 W. Polk St., Bartow
Zumba classes, senior classes, Fitness Boot Camp, youth sports
Lake Wales Family YMCA
This is the most involved gym in the area. It’s much more than a gym, in fact. There’s a basketball court, a swimming pool, a sauna, group exercise and cycling classes, and members get discounts on the host of other offerings, including youth sports and after school and summer youth programs.
Coming in January, the YMCA is upgrading their signature outdoor pool to a heated pool, and will keep it open year-round. They are also redoing the bathrooms on the pool deck and adding lighting to make the whole area more inviting. The covered basketball court, formerly an outdoor hockey rink, is still open to members as well, and serves as an activity area for the multitude of after school programs at the Y.
The YMCA, Young Men’s Christian Association, was founded in London in 1844 and was formed as a place for young men seeking escape from hazards on the streets to come for bible study and prayer, according to their website. Today, it focuses on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility to build strong communities across the United States.
In Lake Wales, their many classes, including Zumba, spinning, pump it up, ballroom dancing, body pump, body combat and yoga help everyone from the youth to seniors come together for the common purpose of getting physically fit.
The gym part of the Y is mainly on a workout-as-you-want basis, with only one personal trainer currently on staff.
Stella Haige specializes in senior fitness and rehabilitation, but will work with any age at the Y or out of her home with her company, Stellar Fitness.
She’s been involved in training, either as a student or as a trainer since she was 19, and has always been interested in the body, fitness and preventing aging.
“People do regress, like an automobile, rusting away. It’s important to stay active and slow that process,” she said.
She also teaches yoga and body pump classes at the Y, which is a choreographed fitness routine to music, but more intense than the more dance-centric Zumba workout.
Haige is certified in both senior fitness and general personal training.
$37/month $50 joiners fee for adults
$28/month for seniors
$52/month for families
Reduced rates for students, teens and youth
M-THURS 5 a.m.-9 p.m.
F 5 a.m.-8 p.m.
Sat 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Sun 12 pm-5 pm
1001 Burns Ave., Lake Wales
Pool, basketball court, sauna, several group fitness, dance and cycling classes, Kid’Zone, youth and adult sports and program discounts