2019 Health+Fitness Magazine Gym, Yoga & Fitness Studio Guide


Tara and Phillip Barnes – Owners, Cora Pitt – General Manager

Club Pilates opened in East Memphis in October 2016 and later expanded with a Collierville studio in January 2018.

Pilates is a group of exercises that creates a workout method that is meant for every type of body. Since they’re low impact, the classes are perfect for anyone from a couch potato to an elite athlete. Using special equipment for support and springs for resistance, Pilates lengthens and strengthens muscles and increases flexibility and range of motion. Utilizing the breath with movement, it also builds the mind-body connection.

Club Pilates offers more than 60 classes per week at each studio with seven different class formats. Within those formats, there are four levels of classes, meaning there is something for everyone and each fitness level. Club Pilates’s mission was to make Pilates accessible and affordable for everyone. The classes are limited to 12 people, allowing the instructors to provide modifications and one-on-one attention to each client during the class.

Club Pilates classes are Reformer-based, but they also utilize Springboards, EXO chairs, TRX, and Barre. The Reformer is one of the original Pilates apparatuses created by Joseph Pilates himself. The Reformer has a carriage, which is a bed-like platform that glides along the frame of the machine. The carriage is attached to springs that add tension to movements and control the intensity of the workouts. Members can use the Reformer by sitting, standing, kneeling, or lying down. The variety of movements are designed to improve balance throughout the body and improve functional mobility. Pilates will improve strength and also rehabilitate the body through injury and illness.

Class attendees will see changes by going three times per week, but even one day per week is beneficial. Consistency is the key. Joseph Pilates was quoted as saying, “In 10 sessions, you will feel the difference. In 20 sessions, you will see the difference. And in 30 sessions, you will have a whole new body.”

There are 16 instructors between the two Club Pilates studios, and each is comprehensively trained with a minimum of 500 hours of training and certification. Classes are offered seven days per week from 5:00 am to 7:30 pm during the week and 8 am to 4 pm Saturdays and Sundays.



Katie Veach – Health and Recreation Director

The Kroc Center is much more than just a gym. In addition to fitness classes, the Kroc Center offers child watch, worship services, a theater program, and more as a fully-functioning community center. However, the fitness center, which opened in February 2013, has become a staple in the Memphis fitness community and is an award-winning facility.

With an aquatics center, basketball court, indoor turf, soccer field, and more, the Kroc Center offers more than 110 group classes each week of all different types for all different fitness levels.

“Whether it’s a niche class, an age group class, or a type of fitness training that you enjoy, you can find it at the Kroc Center,” says Veach.

The Kroc Center is the only location in Memphis with Les Mills Grit classes. It also offers Fitpass, which are small group training classes providing Polar Heart Rate Technology to track, record, and project your heart rate and intensity in real-time so that know where you are in your class time. “We provide these monitors to class participants or you can sync your own Polar device with our system,” says Veach.

There are also yoga and barre classes as well as H2yOga, which is similar to standup paddleboard yoga in the indoor pool. H2yOga classes are offered year-round, and they are great for core and balance training.

The Kroc Center’s membership is comprised of all different ages and demographics. In the morning there are more moms, kids, and seniors, while in the afternoon, there are a lot of young professionals and youth members, who participate in the after-school program. Kroc Center caters to kids as young as 2 or 3 and up to age 8-9. “At that point, the after-school program starts, and kids become involved in recreation leagues and sports training,” says Veach.

Starting in January, the facility will offer Buti Yoga and later, Aerial Yoga in the spring.

The registration fee is currently waived for new members, which saves them $50. The facility also provides a Kroc Start, which is an individual meeting with a fitness professional to discuss what classes would be most effective and what equipment to use. Then, the Kroc Center fitness professional writes out a personalized exercise plan—all free of charge for members.



Amy Lenkzsus – Owner

Amy Lenkzsus opened Sumits Yoga in 2015 at Poplar & Kirby. “Our studio is known as a very welcoming and friendly place with a really big community of yogis that have made friends with each other,” says Lenkzsus.

Sumits Yoga is a style of hot yoga: a Bikram and Ashtanga-based vinyasa flow that moves to current hit music to sculpt, tone and challenge students of all levels and all body types.

Sumits offers a variety of classes from hot yoga and Pilates, to Ashtanga and Yin yoga, which are not heated. The studio offers more than 40 classes per week, which are taught by instructors who have, at a minimum, their FYT 200 through Yoga Alliance.

Hot yoga can be transformative because the heat builds focus, encourages proper breathing, and protects the ligaments and muscles while the body works on building strength, flexibility, and balance. “One of the first benefits we hear from new students is that they sleep better and their skin looks better,” says Lenkzsus.

Sumits Yoga also aligns with community partners and other health and fitness companies around town to offer value-added services to clients. The studio holds up to 55 mats. On Wednesdays and Saturdays, it is usually packed with students for the community classes.

New students can try a two-week unlimited pass for $20 to allow them to explore the studio to the fullest, try each class, and see what schedule works for them.

“Athletes get amazing cross-training from yoga and find a regular practice that reduces injuries and improves overall performance,” says Lenkzsus.



Ashley Jamieson – Marketing and Communications Director, Rosalyn Knox – Program Director for Sports, Fitness and Aquatics

The Plough Fitness Center at the Memphis Jewish Community Center is the perfect gym to meet all of your health and fitness needs. “What makes us stand out is the fact that we offer such a variety of different classes. There are more than 60 classes available per week,” says Jamieson.

From yoga to barre to personal training, strength training, and specialty training—there is a class to meet anyone’s needs.

“The benefits of stretching and yoga include increased flexibility, increased range of motion, and improved posture in addition to being a great stress reliever,” says Knox. “Strength training can increase muscle mass, bone strength, and stability.”

A membership at the Jewish Community Center includes more than 60 classes as part of the membership. If you’re not a member, the first specialty class is free. Non-members can also get a pass for $10 to try out the classes.

“Instead of just being a yoga studio or a barre studio, we have it all,” says Knox.

The Jewish Community Center has been open since 1949 and is one of the oldest fitness facilities in the Mid-South. The Jewish Community Center sits on 24 acres in the heart of East Memphis, and the fitness center is state-of-the-art with 130 pieces of equipment.

“We offer a lot of personal training. There are also classes for young kids up to four years old, and then kids fitness classes serve those ages seven through 11,” says Knox. “We start doing cardio certifications at the age of 11, introducing them to the fitness center and tumbling as young as two years old.”



Tonya Tittle – Owner/Operator, Lisa Sanchez-Sullivan – Certified Personal Trainer

Energy Fitness is a boutique fitness studio that has been in the heart of Downtown Memphis since 2002. Tonya Tittle and Lisa Sanchez-Sullivan have been perfecting the Energize Method of training for more than 16 years and work with other Energy Fitness trainers to deliver the same reliable results to their clients. “Energy Fitness promotes lifestyle changes—not quick fixes—and always inspires its clients to make exercise fun,” says Tittle.

Energy Fitness specializes in 30-minute, semi-private personal training. Energy Fitness uses individual fitness assessments combined with custom, trademarked fitness programs. Trainers tweak the programs and customize them for clients’ existing injuries, flexibility, skill level, and goals. Energy Fitness strongly encourages a holistic lifestyle and offers meal plans as well as other services like nutrition coaching, massage, reiki, and body wraps.

Clients can benefit from Energy Fitness by having a professional trainer hold them accountable. The trainers use science with efficient and well-rounded workouts to keep clients fit, toned, and healthy. Energy Fitness works with a variety of individuals with different levels of physical skill, ability, and health challenges. “It’s really great because our clients can see real changes from their efforts and lifestyle changes during their post assessments,” says Tittle.

Energy Fitness has multiple offerings. The standard 5-week introductory program is $300, and other standard packages range from 4.5-12 months in length. “Many people can cut back on eating out and other expenses in order to hire their own personal fitness coach,” says Tittle.


Compiled by Christin Yates

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