When visitors to PEAK Physique step inside Kirkwood's newest gym, it's likely that they're going to see some equipment that will elicit a double take.
Co-owners Jamie Speiser and Damien Belgeri selected every piece of equipment in the Downtown Kirkwood fitness facility, and chiropractic consideration was a huge motivator in what would be housed in the gym.
"When a lot of people see our belt squat, they say they've never heard of it," Speiser said, adding that PEAK Physique is the only gym in St. Louis to have the apparatus.
The hip belt squat at PEAK Physique, decompresses the spine and aligns the pelvic girdle for proper and safe squatting. Unlike regular barbell squats, hip belt squats place almost no load on your back (see video).
"We only selected pieces of equipment that chiropractors really stand behind because they are functional to the body," Speiser said.
The co-owner shares the story of a good friend who has had his lower back and neck fused. When the friend used the piece of PEAK Physique equipment, he squatted 135 pounds.
"It was the first time in seven years (he was able to do a squat) with no strain to his back at all," Speiser said.
Other pieces of equipment that Speiser points to that make the gym standout are its Jones Rack, Pylo Swing and Unilateral Leg press (see videos).
The gym aims to appeal to all age levels and all fitness levels from athletes to beginners, and it offers interactive childcare to make training easier for parents of young children.
Other notable features include that visitors do not have to be a member to schedule a session with a personal trainer.
We want people to be successful at PEAK," Speiser said. "Our staff is there to help and assist anyone."
The gym offers a host of group classes including Pilates, Zumba, martial arts and spinning classes that can be held outdoors.
Training at the gym includes kettle ball, suspension and R.I.P.P.E.D. (Resistance, Interval, Power, Plyometrics, Endurance, Diet), a type of training that Speiser said is popular on the East and West coasts.
"It's every type of training combined," Speiser said. "It's fun, diverse and a great atmosphere to train in." PEAK Physique will be a center hub for trainers to get certified in R.I.P.P.E.D.
The gym also offers its Results Rewards Program (see PDF). Members meet with a consultant twice a month to measure their progress. Based on their results, clients can redeem points for money toward membership fees or products at the gym's supplement shop.
"We are result driven gym," Speiser said. "We want our members to succeed and we're personally tied to that."
PEAK Physique will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony Friday at its 200 South Kirkwood Rd., location to kick off its grand opening weekend.
Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder, State Senator Eric Schmitt and State Representative Rick Stream will be in attendance to present the gym with a resolution letter, so that it is recognized by the Missouri legislature.
See Part 1 of our profile of PEAK Physqiue: New Gym Aims to Shape Bodies, Culture