Port St. Lucie Magazine

Let’s get physical

stretching before exercise
Although stretching before exercise is helpful, experts say the optimum time to stretch is after a workout to prevent muscles from tightening. BARWIS

Gyms offer a plethora of ways to shed pounds and get in shape while avoiding the elements


Several area gyms give first responders and others special discounts. The X House has free community events and gym time exclusively for the fire department and their families. XHOUSE

Many people decided that the 19 in COVID-19 refers to the number of pounds they put on during the lockdown. Back on the move, health and fitness are new priorities for many. 

Port St. Lucie offers an abundance of opportunities to get in, or stay in, shape: outdoor fitness stations, golf, team sports, public pools, walking, bike trails. Exercising outdoors doesn’t fit everyone’s needs, however. Weather, social interaction and accountability are factors that send Americans to the gym. 

From so-called big box gyms to boutique to independent, Port St. Lucie has them all.


Six big box gyms are scattered throughout the city, franchises that can charge lower fees because of their size. Expect a multitude of cardio equipment, machines, free weights and classes. There will be lots of people also — a draw for some, a turnoff for others.

Anytime Fitness provides 24/7 access and entry to any of its 4,500 facilities worldwide. Around-the-clock security is provided, with on-site staff during peak hours for small group and personal training. Port St. Lucie’s locations are 802 SE Becker Road and 230 SW Port St. Lucie Blvd. There’s no enrollment fee, but a one-time key fee costs $25; membership is $40/monthly. Visit www.anytimefitness.com for more information.

Planet Fitness offers an online crowd meter to help plan ahead. Videos give an overview of all the gym offers. The annual membership fee is $39. Classic membership [$10/monthly] includes the club app and free fitness training. Black Card membership is $24.99/month with lots of extra perks such as tanning bed access. Port St. Lucie locations are at 10139 S. Federal Highway and 3225 SW Port St. Lucie Blvd. Visit www.planetfitness.com for more information.

LA Fitness has two locations — 10624 SW Village Parkway and 1367 St. Lucie West Blvd. — that include pools, saunas, and hair dryers. Weekly classes are available. With a $99 enrollment fee, membership is $34.99/monthly or waive the fee and pay slightly more. LA Fitness also has a Kids Klub for parents who need to bring their children along. Visit www.lafitness.com for more details.

BARWIS Performance Center
Port St. Lucie, FL - Gyms vary in size and services, so it’s best to research on cost, hours and other services each gym has to offer before joining. BARWIS


Boutique often refers to a small fashion shop, but here, it indicates the size, personal attention and particular focus of a franchise in an industry that’s seen a dramatic increase in recent years. Coaches create a community atmosphere of accountability with a tribe of people encouraging one another to push themselves harder.

Orangetheory Fitness is one of the fastest growing franchises, targeting five heart-rate zones: resting, easy, challenging, uncomfortable and all out. Lights signal members to push harder or pull back, with a goal of spending 12 minutes or more in the Orange Zone to boost metabolism, burn fat and burn calories.

Port St. Lucie’s Orangetheory is at 884 SW St. Lucie West Blvd. Membership includes free online workouts, nationwide access, online booking and special promotions. Each class includes three areas — rowing, for endurance, strength and power; cardio on treadmills, bikes or striders; and strength training with weights and floor exercises that change daily.

Orangetheory’s app enables members to view classes from multiple studios, see personal workout summaries and track challenges and benchmarks. Pricing depends on the package coaches recommend for a member’s individual goals, but generally, expect between $12-28 per session. Visit www.orangetheory.com for more information.

Gyms provide equipment targeting cardio-vascular health or special muscle groups. Coaches are on hand to instruct the use of free weights and machines to avoid injury and promote optimum benefits. XHOUSE

CrossFit uses exercise and nutrition to optimize competence in 10 fitness domains — cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance and accuracy. The workout of the day, or WOD, is a signature component. CrossFit also offers specific challenges such as the 6-Week Transformation Challenge for a specific weight loss goal. Visit the franchise’s website at www.crossfit.com.

  CrossFit Tradition at 664 NW Enterprise Road offers open gym times, personal training by appointment and group activities available mornings and evenings.

  CrossFit Port St. Lucie, a pioneer on the Treasure Coast, shifted strategies following COVID. Owner Fortune Santos, a CrossFit Games athlete, says, “It’s basically a traveling gym, a personal training presence that includes active stretching.” The cost is $138/month, with coaches coming to the client. 

Hard Exercise Works, or HEW, is a home away from home for its members. “You’re not trying to be the best athlete,” its website states, “you’re trying to be the best YOU.” Group classes are structured on the hour, lasting 45 minutes. Workouts change daily, using a variety of equipment and methods. An example would be eight rounds: 100-meter shuttle sprint, eight push presses, eight double wall ball shots and eight high box jumps, with a minute of resting between each. Visit www.hardexerciseworks.com for more information.

Barwis Performance Centers utilize a personalized, adaptive and holistic approach at three locations, one of which is 31 Piazza Drive in Port St. Lucie. In addition to professional and youth training, it offers physical therapy, nutrition, chiropractic and neurological re-engineering services. The 10,000-square-foot facility includes outdoor and indoor turf and professional grade equipment.

Barwis charges per session, from a 60-minute Stay Strong class [$10] to 60 minutes of neurological re-engineering for those with spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy or other challenges [$100]. Go to www.barwis.com for more information.

Legion Transformation Centers combine high-intensity, fat-burning work-outs with a high level of accountability in a community of people working toward common goals. Local owner Sharon Burman says they don’t publish prices. “We want people to come for a free visit to determine if it’s a good fit before joining. We’re beginner-friendly and make modifications based on age and health.” The Port St. Lucie gym is at 584 NW University Blvd. Visit www.legiontransform.com for more information.

FLX33 has two locations, in Ohio and at 1349 SW South Macedo Blvd. in Port St. Lucie. Using a Whole Man approach to training, FLX33 encourages a healthy body, powerful mind and strong spirit. For a free trial class pass, visit www.flx33.com to experience its “premium boutique fitness studio classes.”

The Mayo Clinic advises beginners to start slow and build up gradually. Coaches help clients assess their fitness level and goals, designing individual routines that are safe and effective. IRONKNIGHT


Wearable technology enables consumers to take a more active role in their own health, leading some to exercise more at home. Others — particularly serious athletes — find that independent gyms are a good fit. While avoiding crowds, they can focus on a particular area while getting input from trainers and enjoying a community atmosphere. Costs may be higher but enthusiasts point to gratifying, measurable results.

The X House, 8639 U.S. 1, is veteran-owned and -operated. Owner/trainer Victor Ramirez says the gym often collaborates with coaches who send their athletes for extra training. The X House offers three settings: one-on-one [$100], semiprivate with groups up to four [$60] and small groups up to six [$25]. Free community sessions are from 9-10 a.m. Saturdays, with special sessions for fire department personnel and their families.

In addition to physical training, The X House offers orthopedic assessment and mental performance coaching. Assessments are included with training packages or separately for $100. Go to www.thexhouse.com for details.

Iron Knight Gym, 567 NW Mercantile Place, gives members 24-hour access. Its website states that it “wanted to create more than a gym — an environment to grow in, a place to meet like-minded people and become family.” Monthly unlimited access is $55, with discounts for civil employees, students, teachers, nurses and military. Small group training is $130 per month with unlimited classes and open gym access. Drop-ins are accepted by appointment only, $20 per day.

Iron Knight offers a hybrid app for customized training, an easy nutritional plan and one-on-one accountability. The website also offers an option to sign up for a free class. Go to www.ironknight.net for details.

For many like these Iron Knight Gym athletes, working out with friends or other gym regulars adds to the enjoyment of exercise, as well as providing accountability and motivation. IRONKNIGHT

Treasure Coast Barbell Club is owned and operated by Al Laporte, a competitive powerlifter holding national and federation world records. A team of certified coaches assists powerlifters and strength athletes in an encouraging, supportive environment. 

Located at 9447 S. U.S. 1, the club gives members 24-hour access to the facility and offers classes in powerlifting, sports, Olympic weightlifting and boxing. Residents can try a class or have a fitness consultation for free. Personal training with one-to-three sessions weekly costs $249-549 monthly. For gym access only, the cost is $59/month; student, first responders and couples rates are discounted. Other packages offer gym access along with nutritional plans or individualized training programs. It also takes walk-ins during staffed hours. See www.treasurecoastbarbell.com for more information.

Unrelenting Fitness, at 1749 SW South Macedo Blvd., provides morning and afternoon classes Monday through Friday. Saturday classes are at 9 and 10 a.m. with open gym hours until 12:30 p.m. Using a CrossFit-type model, membership is $115 monthly for unlimited access, with discounts for first responders, military, veterans, students, nurses and teachers. Couples or family rates are also available. Drop-ins are charged $10; a 10-visit punch card is available for $65, to be used within a three-month period. Visit www.unrelenting-fitness.com for more information..

Big BB Performance Center, formerly a World Gym, is owned by Bob, Jake and Brett Benedix. The facility at 1500 SE Lennard Road is open 24 hours a day to members and staffed during specific daytime hours. A week’s membership is $50; yearly, $449. Big BB has free weights, machines and cardio equipment. The gym also sells Glyco Force, described as the “only carbohydrate replenishment drink on the market you need.” See www.bigbbperformance.com for more information.

Which gym best meets your needs? With today’s gas prices, take location into consideration. Read online reviews, check out websites and Facebook pages, watch videos and take advantage of free trials to find the best fit for your fitness needs.

Studies show a correlation between physical activity and mental health. With all Port St. Lucie has to offer, indoors and out, what’s holding you back from working on the best version of yourself


See the original article in the print publication

Sept. 17, 2022

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