Don’t just go with the flow at a traditional gym, Jamil Nelson said. Go with Flo.
“Treadmills and ellipticals are pretty archaic to us,” said Nelson — or “Mr. Bodyrite” to his wife, Florese. “A jump rope is way better because it’s going to blow up your heart rate.”
Modern workouts are all about functional, integrated exercises, the Bodyrite Fitness KC owner and personal trainer explained. One critical element is nutrition, he said.
That’s where Flo works into the fitness plan.
In addition to one-on-one and group classes, Bodyrite offers clients and other hungry patrons access to healthy meals to supplement their diets during busy workweeks.
“We cook from our kitchen. We dedicate our Saturdays and Sundays,” Flo said. “Jamil and my children — we’re like a chain gang in there — and we get everyone’s meals done.”
Led by Flo, the Bodyrite family crafts as many as 100 healthy meals a week, she said, delivering on Monday mornings to waiting customers at the business’ location within the Mary L. Kelly Center on East 51st Street and Chestnut Avenue. With a menu boasting such favorites as salmon and teriyaki chicken, a “five for $25” offering has proven popular, she said.
“It’s mainly for lunch because that’s where people have the hardest time,” Flo said. “Most people have a 30-minute lunch break. It’s rare for a person to have an hour now. Can you get somewhere for a healthy lunch? No? So then you end up snacking or grabbing something unhealthy close by.”
New customers often comment about the powerful flavors of the meals, Jamil said, noting the alternative often is a prepackaged, frozen diet meal that must be seasoned with salt to give a better taste.
“People are surprised it’s not bland,” Flo added. “And I tell people, ‘My kids eat this. It’s kid-tested.'”
The couple’s goal for 2018? Move Bodyrite to its own building, expanding the space for exercise, as well as on-site meal prep, Jamil and Flo said.
“We want to get in a position where we can produce meals throughout the week,” Flo said, noting customers can’t always plan for when they’ll need a healthy meal. “Instead of going to McDonald’s or Burger King, we want people to be able to stop and get a dinner out of our meal prep kitchen.”
Bodyrite’s training regimen combines elements of crossfit, plyometrics and resistance, rather than depending on the traditional model of exercising on a circuit of expensive equipment, said Jamil, who originally opened Bodyrite as “Affordable Fitness” in 2007.
“The concept of coming into a gym that just has a bunch of old cardio machines is just out played,” he said.
“People get gym memberships. And that’s fantastic for people who want to go the gym,” Flo added. “But not everyone knows what they’re doing. They go, they work out, but they’re not getting a result because they don’t know what to do to target the right areas.”
A person who wants to shed weight might instead add muscle mass on top of fat by doing the wrong exercises, she said. That’s why educated guidance can mean the difference between hitting a goal and wasting time, she said.
“If you’re doing it right, you’d be surprised: You can burn 2,000 calories in 20 minutes,” Jamil said of focused, integrated workouts. “Most people can be on a treadmill for an hour and never burn that many calories.”
And while Bodyrite’s current space on 51st Street includes access to some equipment, clients don’t pay gym memberships. Fees are assessed based on personal training and fitness plan services, he said.
Mr. Bodyrite on call, online
When one client stopped coming to his appointments with Jamil, Bodyrite made a house call.
“We showed up to his house with jump ropes and jump boxes,” Flo said, noting the man’s wife conspired to help surprise him.
“He was sitting on the couch, playing a game,” Jamil said. “He was like, ‘What? Is this for real?'”
“We are really invested in our clients,” Flo added. “We’re not there to just get the check.”
While such pop-up workouts aren’t the norm, Bodyrite is used to coming into clients’ homes and offices to deliver Jamil’s version of tough love. A virtual training option allows him to coach clients via an app at pre-scheduled times.
It helps reach busy parents, professionals-on-the-go, frequent travelers and even clients who aren’t within driving distance of Bodyrite’s gym space in east Kansas City, Flo said.
“We wanted to be able to tap into markets outside the Kansas City area,” she said. “They don’t have to be in a gym. They can be in their living rooms or in the breakroom at work.”
Whether online or in-person, the key isn’t spending hours trying to reach a goal, Jamil and Flo said. Workouts done right can be only 20-35 minutes and fit into any schedule.
“You’ve got to get in, get out, get results,” Jamil said.