New fitness center options offered in the Miss-Lou
NATCHEZ — Fitness options in the Miss-Lou are starting to bulk up as two local training centers expand.
Pinnacle Training center opened its second area location in Vidalia Monday, while Natchez Total Fitness has plans to add 5,000 square feet in the coming months.
The Jonesville-based Pinnacle Training Center opened its first Miss-Lou location in January in Natchez, offering Zumba, CrossFit-style training, mixed martial arts, Kid Fit classes and adventure therapy, among other things.
The Vidalia location is at 474 Carter St.
The goal behind Pinnacle is not to help people bulk up with muscle mass or just lose weight, but to feel better about themselves overall, Pinnacle owner Chris Kimball said.
A marriage and family counselor by training, Kimball said Pinnacle also teaches its clients about their diet and has counselors help them work on interpersonal relationships.
“We realized that just getting people into the gym and getting their bodies right wasn’t enough,” Kimball said. “We do a lot of mind work in our business as well.
“It is not just lifting weights, it is a system of moving through their lives day-to-day. Pinnacle is the most therapeutic thing I have done in my career.”
Kimball said he is a level 1 CrossFit instructor, but Pinnacle is not CrossFit affiliated because he wanted to offer more than just the CrossFit system. He does, however, use the CrossFit conditioning principles.
“We did not cut any corners whatsoever with the equipment,” he said. “It is not like you walk into a gym and you see a bunch of treadmills with people on them like hamsters. We want to train people to build muscles through proper training. Most people walk into a gym and they are not sure what to do.”
Each person at Pinnacle has a personal trainer who helps him focus on technique and ability to reach a high level of fitness, Kimball said.
“Bodybuilders are a thing of the past,” he said. “We want to focus on lifting correctly, doing a core lift and Olympic lifts and not just doing bicep curls on Mondays and another kind of curl the next day like every gym does.”
Kimball got his start in fitness young. His parents divorced when he was 3, and Kimball said he started studying martial arts as a small child as a form of therapy.
Later, when Kimball was in the Army at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, he met soldiers in the special military forces who were into extreme training.
“These soldiers were doing CrossFit and triathlons, and it bit me really hard there, and so I wanted to develop a system that addressed everything,” he said.
Kimball said we live in a society where the answer to every problem is a pill, but he has seen great changes in people’s lives when they learned how to exercise and eat properly and change the way they think about themselves.
In addition to the exercise opportunities, Pinnacle offers an occasional adventure weekend for couples.
“They work on their relationships as they do rappelling, hiking and sleeping in a cave for three days, but it is very rewarding for those who participate,” Kimball said.
The Vidalia expansion made sense after assessing how the community had responded to the Natchez Pinnacle location, Kimball said.
“The numbers are great and the attitudes are great,” he said. “The people of these communities are super positive, and I think Natchez is a market we need to focus on. There is not a lot of competition here and not a lot of fitness.”
Adding to the fitness quota of the community, however, will be Natchez Total Fitness.
Owner Daphne Turner said the gym would be adding 5,000 square feet in floor space in the coming months.
“We try to keep updating and making it new,” Turner said. “We want to give our clients plenty of room, and want to make it exciting and keep things fresh.”
The expansion won’t affect the gym’s Vidalia or Natchez Lady’s Fitness, Turner said.
“We have some great members, and I know sometimes it can get tight in there, so we wanted to give people plenty of space and not get crowded,” she said.
“We are hoping people will get more health conscious, and we are doing it anticipating new members. We just want everybody to be comfortable and have the space they need.”
Natchez Total Fitness can be reached at 601-897-0243.
Pinnacle Training Center in Vidalia can be reached at 337-257-1928.