Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Schedule Changes

Here's our new schedule.  The only that has moved so far is the kid's classes.  Monday's will now be GI for the kids.  They need to have a Judo or Jiu Jitsu Gi in the next two weeks. 

Stay tuned for an exciting announcement regarding our stand-up program and changes to the MMA schedule. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Exciting News!!!!!

We are going to be adding a new class to the schedule for the next month or so to demo.  It's BodyCombat, another class by Les Mills. Below is a detailed description.  You can click here to watch a short video of the class.  I highly recommend coming to this class.  If we have a good class size and feedback, we will permanently add it to the schedule....so come and take the class...its kind of like TaeBo on steroids.  

BODYCOMBAT™ is the empowering cardio workout where you are totally unleashed. This fiercely energetic program is inspired by martial arts and draws from a wide array of disciplines such as karate, boxing, tae kwondo, tai chi and muay thai. Supported by driving music and powerful role model instructors, you strike, punch, kick and kata your way through calories to superior cardio fitness.



Your BODYCOMBAT™ instructor will lead you through a series of moves from a range of martial arts, to a series of different music track.  You'll begin by learning all the moves that will be used throughout the class, and warming up your body and mind for the battle ahead.  The focus is on speed, power and endurance. There will be time to recover as you prepare for the each phase, with a final fight for your life that will seal the deal on your fitness objectives.
  • Improves heart and lung function and reduces the risk of heart disease
  • Tones and shapes key muscle groups
  • Burns calories for a leaner body
  • Improves co-ordination and agility
  • Improves bone density
  • Improves posture and core strength and stability
  • Builds self-confidence

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Updated Schedule

Sorry for the throw together updated schedule.  I just realized there was a mistake.  So, here is the correct schedule that I fixed while half asleep.  I'll be updating this again tomorrow because we are adding classes!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Location & Updated Schedule

There's a slight glitch in our website regarding our location.  Our address is 208 Meramec Station Rd, Valley Park, Missouri 63088.  If you're coming off 44 onto 141, take a right onto 141, a left onto Marshall Rd, immediate right and a left into our parking lot.  We are located next to Young's Restaurant and Cheers Bar. 

Here's a map:

Our current schedule:


Monday, October 8, 2012

Current Schedule & Meet the team

It's been awhile since our last post because we have been busy hustling and trying to get all the kinks worked out.   Here's our current schedule (it will be changing again in a couple of weeks--we are still trying to see what works best for everyone---suggestions welcomed):

We have hired a few new instructors for various classes, bringing our gym closer to the finish line.  We are up and running, but we're still a ways out until our "grand opening" celebration (originally scheduled for this past week).  I'll have a special post totally dedicated to all our coaches and trainers, but until then, I'll mention them and what role they play in the gym (I apologize for the candid shots).

Marc Botindari (far left) wrestling coach.  Steve Berger (far right) founder, owner jiujitsu coach.

Faith Smith Bodypump coach

Anjuli- Bodypump instructor
Chrisy- Bodypump instructor

Susie Ashby (very front-pink tank)

Dawn Blunda (Cardio Kickboxing and Bootcamp instructor)

Jessica Gillette (Yoga instructor)

Nick Zona (middle left red shirt) -MMA Wrestling coach, Leo Lerner (bottom striped shirt) -Kid's Jiu Jitsu coach, Angel Rodriguez (middle blue shirt)-Kid's Boxing coach.

Us (Steve & Carly Berger), Owners (Carly-Cardio Kickboxing & Boot-camp instructor).

 Please tell your friends about us!  We need local support to survive.  I'll leave you with my thought for the day:

Monday, July 23, 2012

in other exciting news.....

our grand opening has been scheduled for september 8th!  join us for a meet & greet with the instructors, food, demonstrations, giveaways. 

we will begin holding yoga and bodypump classes on august 6th!  stay tuned for an updated schedule on that!  august 6th is also the day our kid's club will open from 4pm-8pm! if our kickboxing bags are in by august 6th, we will also begin holding cardio kickboxing classes.

exciting stuff in the midst of chaos!

stay hungry...

"Stay hungry, stay foolish". This was an old boyfriend's favorite quote and while he was somewhat of a pompous ass, he was also a really smart guy with a heart of gold.  This quote that was most famously used in a commencement speech by Steve Jobs and it is something that I am thinking of daily. 

We are never done learning.  I read every day because I have a hunger for useless information knowledge. I hope that this foolishness hunger will be what gets us through this very stressful and busy time and over the tipping point and to a successful gym! 

Stay foolish.

Friday, July 20, 2012

awkward phases

it takes money to make money is a myth in a lot of situations, but not in ours.  we have blown through both of our bank accounts and then some and then some more.  it seems like there's nothing to show for it, but when i sit and add it all up, it makes sense.  i once heard that for any budgeted project that you should double the budget and the timeline.  that sounds about right from where i'm standing.  our mma classes are chugging along great.  we've even broken up classes into the top and bottom rooms in order to hold multiple classes at once.  the mma program is great, but both steve and i have a very good understanding that our gym needs more programs to grow into what we want, and to justify the sacrifices we have made (if anyone questions our sacrifices, take a look at the car steve drives).   

right now we are not only trying to finish up the gym, but we are trying to minimize that amount of furniture, clothing and "stuff" so that we can move into a much smaller house.  this house was our rental house for four years, so that means that it needs a LOT of work in order for it to be livable.  the last set of tenants were great (paid on time, didn't bother us), but they left a MESS behind.  every single surface needs love (i.e. the floors need to be replaced, every wall painted, overall deferred maintenance taken care of).  we want to move within the next 30-60 days and we haven't even started working on the new house--- this is NOT the best project to be taking on while working on the gym.  i'll be splitting my time at both places...working on the gym during the day, coming home and taking care of the kids and then working on the new house late at night when everyone is sleeping.  i figure that i'll sleep when i'm 80 and have nothing else to do. 

so i'll get back to the interesting point we're at:  we need to finish the gym and the things that we're waiting on are the things that will push us past that tipping point and get us into the black. the locker rooms still need work (demo, build-out etc), we need 20 stand-up boxing bags in order to hold cardio kick-boxing, our yoga room floor needs 10 more pieces and mirrors, our cage needs wall pads, our kid's room needs flooring and shelving, we need some really large signage, and our air keeps going on the fritz.  its easy to focus on the negative: things aren't finished and we spent all of our money, but instead (except for a moment or two each day in that i freak out) i'll choose to focus on some positive notes to keep my sanity and to keep the haters at bay:

we're already growing: we have had several signups (6+)  since we moved--and we haven't even advertised the move or technically OPENED

i am getting multiple calls and emails each day asking when our other programs will be running and when our grand opening is (stay tuned for the next post for that)

our blog is getting a ton of hits (that means you're reading it)

our neighbor's (young's restaurant) have been getting so many people asking about the gym and wanting information--not to mention all of the random people that come in while i'm working to see the place

i have lined up instructors for all of our classes

we are working with outside coaches that have approached US about teaching at our gym---that is such a complement and an exciting thing as well

i have found reliable and trustworthy people to work in the kid's club

we're getting ready to launch a kids gi jiu jitsu program and possibly an adult one as well

les mills was offering a special when i signed the licensing agreement for body-pump and we are getting 15 setting of barbells for the body-pump class for free!!  this is a huge relief to the budget!!  we were also assigned our body-pump club coach who will help target the audience and market for the classes, which will also drive other members to our gym. 

that sums up a few thoughts.  if you're a member, i hope you're 100% on board with us and believe in your gym family.  if you're not a member, then i hope that learning a little bit about us and what it has taken to get this point makes you want to come in and join! 

Thursday, July 12, 2012


It's been awhile since I posted anything about our progress at the gym. Things are still coming along. This has been a grueling process, physically, mentally, and financially. The amount of time that it takes to physically work on the gym is unbelievable and without all of the help from our students and friends, we would be so far behind. The time that I spend working on behind the scenes "stuff" is even more unbelievable (i.e. insurance, flyers, contracts, waivers, meta tags, space planning, budget crunching, ordering things for the gym, writing blogs posts, interviewing and hiring instructors, pricing anything and everything to get the best deal, making sure our map marker is in the right spot so the GPS leads to the correct place, etc). I feel like three hours pass and I have nothing tangible to show the fruits of my labor, except an extremely messy house and a wilted garden.

Here's the floor in the main room:

The boys had to re-enforce the cage with bars and wood on the wall...I was NOT happy about this!  Now that the wood is painted (see pictures on next post), it looks really nice, and they double as really tall pull-up bars. 

 It was two days before we had to start training at the new gym and our new mats weren't here yet.  So we had a last minute demolition to open up the basement and move our old mats in the space in order to train!

The baby after a LONG day of running around the gym while we worked:

  The first class in the "dungeon" at the new gym:

I can't wait for our grand opening next month!

Friday, June 29, 2012

it's really not a scary place

I was teaching a boot-camp in Forest Park and working full-time as a realtor when I got an offer to be an instructor at a Boxing Gym.  I accepted the position but honestly, I was terrified.  I put off my first class for a couple of weeks until I couldn't escape it.  I went to the Boxing Gym (for the very first time...I was hired blindly by the nephew of my then real estate partner), I was scared.  My first class went well and from there on out I swore to myself that I'd never work out at a "regular" gym again*.  I loved the grit, the sweat and the rawness of the gym.  People weren't there to talk, they weren't there to look cute...they were all there for the same reason....to get in a great workout.

Red Nose MMA (or Berger MMA) is a great place...if you're a fighter.  Unfortunately the space we are in can really only be that...an intimidating "fighter's" gym.  That's great, unless you are like most of the people that come in and are immediately faced with 20 guy's wrestling on the mat and another five guys beating each other up in the ring.  This is not a gym that people just happen upon.  It is not publicly friendly. I have seen many people walk in the front door and right back out. 

Our goal for the new gym is to create a place that is welcoming to everyone of all ages, shapes and sizes.  Our MMA program will continue to be a driving force for Steve, but our other programs will allow us to grow into a full fledged gym.  We want people to come to our gym because we offer what no other gyms offer* and we don't want anyone to be scared to just walk in and join a class.

If you are reading this and you have ideas or something that you think your "ideal" gym should have, please leave a comment so that we can take everything into consideration.

*Most MMA, boxing and kickboxing gyms don't offer childcare services, I was forced to join Gold's.  This was number one on my wish list when we were planning our new space.  Most of our students have family and we don't want MMA training to get in the way of that.  This will also allow me to begin teaching again...watch out guys!  I've been on the bench too long!

Drumroll please......

We are happy to announce ...

that fit or fight will have even more group classes for members.  We will now be holding BODYPUMP™, the original LES MILLS™ barbell class! It's a great class and so much fun for everyone.  If you want to learn about the class, click here.  The program won't begin until our grand opening, but its definitely something to look forward to.

Speaking of opening, there will be a "soft" opening monday, July 2nd for all of our current students.  Anyone can come join the MMA program starting Monday(enjoy a special construction discount), but our group classes will not begin until our grand opening later this summer.  That will be a fun event, so we'll make sure to keep everyone in the loop!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

making a list and checking it twice

i make lists.  a lot of lists.  i rarely follow them to a tee, but i find it therapeutic to "get everything out of my head".  as the deadline gets closer, my lists are getting longer.  steve and i are a great team because we both take turns having panic attacks about getting everything done.  one of us freaks out, and the other talks the other into a happier place.

on a more positive note, we have placed almost all of our instructors!  stay tuned for a really exciting program announcement that is going to be a perfect addition to our cardio programs!

look how far we've come since we started this journey:

even though we have come so far, we still have a long way to go to the finish line.  here's the very very unfinished sections we still have to tackle: 

the tiny bit of demo that still needs to be done before our locker rooms can be finished

this is jim, our electrician.  he's 83 years old and still works every day.  never slow down, you never grow old!  he is standing in the part of the cage that will soon be a cubby wall for all the gear and bags that always find their way to the middle of the floor.  ...and if you can't tell that is indeed parrot wallpaper. 

i've mentioned before that we really wanted to reuse as many things as possible not only for our pocketbooks, but for the environment.  here is a little project i did the other day to save us a few bucks:
i'm actually not finished yet.  i am putting a thicker top on it and i have a decal of our logo to go on the front. total cost: $40

since I'm on a roll posting new pictures, here's different angles of the main room.   the cage will be finished tonight!  cannot wait. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012


our new website is finally finished!  thanks a million times over to our super talented friends tim and samantha, we couldn't have done it without you guys (both the website, the name and our logo). 

you can check out some of tim's design work here and follow his pinterest account here.  his wife is one of my best friends and she is super talented as well.  you can check out some of her work here and follow her pinterest here.  they both do custom work so don't be afraid to shoot them an email for requests. 

if you haven't seen the finished website and would like to:  http://fitorfight.com/

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

glimpses of the future

 instead of a wordy post, i've decided to show our progress through pictures.  keep in mind, these are as of last week, so i'll have new pictures of everything that was done this past weekend and what will be done this week! i apologize for the randomness of the pictures.  hopefully, they will make sense.

main room before

main room before

yoga/pilates studio before (standing in cage)

main room before

yoga/pilates exterior wall before

right side of cage before (yet to be tackled-stay tuned for the after of this one next week)

inside cage before

main room before

main room before

main room before (kind of)

main room in progress

kid's club before

kid's club before (doors and trim were black)

trim and doors done

making progress..go jen!
getting there-i still need a picture of the finished product-stay tuned

back room started (yoga/pilates/cage room)

main room progress

yoga studio painted, flooring started, next up trim and mirrors

nasty doors and trim started

paint in progress

main room       
main room almost done...trim and floor and touch up

main room

main room

paint done...next up, finish cage walls and get the flooring and wall pads installed

main room

main room

if you can't remember what a mess is was before, click here for a refresher.