Victoria Heck has always had a bit of an entrepreneurial spirit, recently she’s kicked it into high gear opening a new fitness studio where clients can get their sweat on and there’s never a dull moment.
“After taking my first class, I was hooked,” said Heck. “The workout can be hard, but this is fun. We play loud music, we motivate you, it’s a total body workout, so you can be sore in places you never thought you could be.”
Unlike Zumba, step aerobics and Spinning, kickboxing is empowering.
In class, members lace up their gloves and rev up their heart rates by kicking and punching — but never fear, no bodies will be hitting the floor, there’s no actual combat and beginners will never be up against the ropes as instructors are always nearby helping them to achieve their fitness goals.
“A lot of people come in with questions, they’ve never done this before,” said Heck. “They may be intimidated thinking you go up against each other, but it’s about you and your resistance with the bag. Everyone who starts out starts as a beginner and there are modifications for anything that seems too difficult.”
Here’s the blow-by-blow…
Members come in and get the blood flowing by jogging and doing a series of calisthenics — pushups, situps, burpees, squats, lunges and then the punching begins. Boxers hit the bags for a series of rounds. Next, drills where people are paired up for a little glove on glove action, then they cool it down with stretching.
The payoff — caloric incineration.
“You can burn 700-800 calories per hour in our class, a full 60 minutes,” said Heck. “It’s you and the bag so it depends on how hard you push yourself. One of our members had on a Fitbit and it read 856 calories for her hour workout.”
Heck insists what really sets her studio apart from an ordinary gym comes down to just two things.
“Support and accountability,” said Heck. “Those are the key factors. For people who are trying to lose weight, if they don’t have that support system it’s just that much harder. There’s hundreds of gyms but if no on acknowledges you or notices that your sad or having an off day, what’s the point. We know all of our members by name.”
A big part of keeping that community together are Heck’s six trainers.
“Each of our instructors have college degrees and or advanced degrees,” said Heck. “One of our Instructors is an MMA Pro Fighter and has been practicing kickboxing for over 18 years. Three of the six instructors hold personal training certificates. All of our instructors have been sent to New York for corporate training, aka instructor boot camp, which is an intense program of classroom as well as physical training in our corporate studio.”
During a typical workout, three are on the floor keeping the fitness and fun flowing.
“They’re highly energetic, outgoing and people friendly and genuinely want to help others,” said Heck. “Their role is to motivate, engage them, find out what motivates them and make our members feel welcome and part of our family.”
Members are also invited to a private Facebook page where they have formed their own little community by encouraging each other. There they take advantage of communicating daily and are kept up to date on contests and promotions, but go MIA and members will call you out.
“We’ve built a community, it’s not just relationships, it’s friendships. We support each other online. If someone’s missing the post goes up — where’s so and so. We send out shouts to each other — you know, great workout today. It’s amazing to see the camaraderie in just this short period of time – We’ve really built something here.”
Researching the perfect location, the couple found Palmetto Park Square, close to neighborhoods and accessible to I-95. But with the building nearly 40 years old it would require a complete overhaul.
“We decided to take two storefronts and combine them to make one large studio. There was a large amount of demolition work that had to be done, we basically gutted the entire space and rebuilt everything new, along with three new air conditioning units; as well as Acoustiblok installation for the walls for sound mediation. We are extremely proud of the end result.”
Build it and they will come.
“The community has embraced us and we have over 150 members so far,” said Heck. “We are committed to exposing our fun, effective fitness and fat loss methods to as many people as possible. We’re passionate about helping men and women lose weight, love their bodies and live healthy lives. We are building a community, and our members are part of our family, this is what sets us apart from other fitness facilities. We are driven toward helping others succeed and it’s not enough for people to enjoy our program — we want them to absolutely love it.”
ilovekickboxing is located at 1297 W Palmetto Park Road, in Boca Raton. For more information, call (561) 536-5659 or, visit ilovekickboxing.
-by Michelle Kaplan