Is the UFC Gym the Next Generation of Training Facility?
Some might say that the UFC Gym is another way for Zuffa to stuff millions of dollars into their pockets and yet in reality it is a brilliant blend of workout and combative fitness programs designed to lure both aspiring fighters and the everyday person hoping to get into better physical condition.
The UFC Gym is the baby of Zuffa and New Evolution Fitness Company (NEFC). While hardly anyone would know who NEFC is, most are likely to know the name 24 Hour Fitness. NEFC co-founder Mark Mastrov was the brains behind 24 Hour Fitness.
The concept behind UFC Gym is not to be a gym exclusively for hardcore mixed martial artists or even “roided out” gym rats. Rather, Mastrov has described UFC gym as being aimed towards the blue collar crowd. In fact, UFC President Dana White said “it’s going to have something for everyone in the family, from traditional mixed martial arts classes, to all-around fitness classes, personal training and a gym just for kids. We are going to redefine the fitness industry, and get everyone excited about fitness again…”
The facility is complete with free weights, cardio equipment, octagon training, resistance training, group fitness classes, and conditioning classes. Those wishing to participate in more serious MMA training can sign up for classes in jiu jitsu, muay thai kickboxing, mixed martial arts, mma fitness, boxing, wrestling, and Krav Maga.
The gym is part of a next generation of gyms looking to capitalize on health and fitness as well as combat sports. While many have had to seek out multiple gym memberships in the past to get training in areas such as weights, boxing, and jiu jistu, the concept behind UFC Gym is to provide an all-inclusive top level training facility.
The next generation gym will not only be a high-level all-inclusive training facility but one that is for the whole family. The UFC gym offers classes in mixed martial arts, Brazilian jiu jitsu, muay thai, and conditioning for kids and for the more traditional fitness enthusiasts there are classes in yoga, zumba, cycling, jump rope, conditioning, and self-defense. This makes for a gym that has something for everyone.
Kenneth Nair, owner of Oklahoma promotion Freestyle Cage Fighting (FCF), had a similar vision of opening a next generation training facility. Nair has successfully built FCF into what Tapout Magazine called “the most consistent Oklahoma MMA promotion to date.” Even so, this was not enough for him.
For the past couple of years, Nair has been running Extreme Combat and Fitness out of Tulsa, OK. He envisioned a gym for the family that offered top level training in fitness as well as combat sports. He has accomplished this through strength and conditioning classes as well as classes in combat sports. With a large following and memberships on the rise, Nair and partner Justin Brown decided it was time to take Extreme Combat and Fitness to the next level and so they opened Xtreme Performance Center (XPC).
Xtreme Performance Center is not your average gym. It is a 44,000 square foot playground for any fitness or combat sport enthusiast. This playground comes complete with a Fitness Kickboxing area with a bag cage, large strength and condition area, cardio area, free weights, weight machines, boxing ring, 3 lane swimming pool, sauna, steam room, full size basketball court, mat room for jiu jistu, mma room with a cage and hanging bags, boxing room, and group fitness room. The idea is “if you can’t find something to do at XPC, you’re not looking very hard.”
Xtreme Performance Center also prides itself on being the home to Absolute Combat Alliance (ACA). ACA has gained itself the reputation of being the most experienced and elite MMA school in Tulsa, according to Tapout Magazine. They have some of the top instructors who have been in the UFC and other top promotions including David Heath, Josh Bryant, Clay Marrs, Ryan McClain, Liz Carreiro, and Tom Jones. You can find boxing, kickboxing, grappling, mma, and American jiu jitsu classes taught by Jake Shields purple belt Shane Garrett.
This monster of a gym was something I had to check out firsthand and even though the gym was only in its “soft open” phase, I was more than pleasantly surprised. The idea of a family training facility was not only a dream but a reality. I saw families come in and take strength and conditioning classes together, father and son shooting hoops together, and many kids were even taking part in the combat sports classes such as jiu jistu and boxing.
Whether you want to just shoot hoops with your friends or work on your Steven Seagal front kick, there is something for everyone. This, I contend, is the gym of the future. The rising popularity of mixed martial arts and the ever present need for fitness training create a perfect marriage for the training center of the future. With a gym on every other corner, training centers have to do more to set themselves apart. This is the next generation gym.