You may have found a gym, a box or a studio that you absolutely love. Or maybe you haven’t. Either way, Primal Fit Miami has something for you. What they offer is something you won’t find at every gym: the full athlete treatment, from workout to recovery. We’ve all seen LeBron get in the cryo tank after workouts. Now you can get the pro athlete treatment, too.
I walked into Primal Fit at 7:20 a.m. on a Saturday. I immediately could see, smell and feel how clean it was. I was greeted with a smile by Marc, who helped me get set up with the 7:30 class. A few minutes into our warm up, in walks Matt Pack, founder of Primal Fit Miami. He immediately realized he didn’t recognize me, that I was someone new, and came over to introduce himself. I figured he made the connection that I was the girl writing an article on his gym. Later on, he asked how I found them. I said “I’m here to write about you guys.” He said “Oh, that’s you! Welcome!” He wasn’t making an extra effort because he knew I was going to end up writing about him, he was making an extra effort because that’s just what he does.
The workout that day was a series of 45 second moves using dumbbells and body weight, followed by 15 seconds of rest. We repeated the cycle of good mornings, alternating underswitches, rotational presses, bear squats, curtsy lunges, striders, shinbox switches and bicycle callouts for a total of three rounds. Haven’t heard of these? Don’t worry, they’ll show you. We ended with battle ropes and ball slams. That was the “cardio” class, further proof that more studios are recognizing the importance of weight training in cardio.
Primal Fit Miami has two classes: traditional strength training and untraditional cardio, a combination of mobility and strength. Pack says that the average member will do two days of strength training on Tuesday and Thursday and supplement with cardio classes on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays or Saturdays.
“Whenever we get a new member, I find out what their goals are and recommend the best way to use our programming to get them there,” says Pack. “Our strength training is awesome because you get personal attention since only four members can work out with a trainer at a time. That gives our trainers the ability to truly watch and make sure members are performing these exercises correctly. You can’t get that kind of attention in a class of 30 people.”
The Personal Training
The idea is that you’ll get personal training, in a group atmosphere, without the personal training price tag. Personal training sessions can typically run anywhere from $80-150 an hour. At Primal Fit, if you do strength sessions 2x a week, you have access to all the cardio classes you want, with strength training sessions running as low as $40 per session.
“What makes us different? We’re somewhere in between CrossFit and Orange Theory,” says Pack. “CrossFit has done great things. They showed women it’s ok to lift heavy, to not be afraid of it. At places like Orange Theory, you’re using cardio machines like rowers and treadmills. At Primal Fit, we treat you the same no matter who you are; you’re a primal athlete. We get back to basics using a mix of mobility exercises with body weight and more traditional equipment like dumbbells. It’s exactly what I have been doing for years; I started in my garage, with personal training clients. Eventually I had too many people, my garage wouldn’t work anymore. So I opened a storefront. I never thought I would because I never wanted to lose that personal aspect, but we’ve found the right way to do it here.”
The Recovery – Cryo, Compression & Stretch Therapy
What’s NOT traditional about Primal Fit? Their Cryo tank, for one. Cryotherapy is an emerging trend which exposes the body to very low (subzero) temperatures for a few minutes. It is intended to ease the recovery process, help you lose weight, improve your performance, reduce pain and even help you sleep better. Some additional health benefits are said to be relief from psoriasis, fibromyalgia and arthritis.
I’ll be the first to admit: those three minutes are not pleasant. Your body truly goes into “fight or flight” mode. Once you step out of the machine, you’re tingling all over. Matt sent me to walk it out on the Curve treadmill (self-propelled; no electricity!) and I felt like I could immediately workout again. I was energized and felt, in one word: amazing.
Next up: compression boots for 20 minutes. Designed for recovery and rehab, these boots will help you recover faster between trainings and after any strenuous activity. The compressed air essentially massages your legs to enhance blood flow and speed up recovery. Not to mention they feel really, really awesome.
I honestly didn’t think recovery could get any better until I had a personal stretch session with Matt. His precise, calculated stretches left my body feeling rested and ready for whatever was next (in my case, just some relaxing and a protein shake, but I totally could have gone outside and ran 7 miles- I promise).
Primal Fit is the TOTAL experience. If you want a place where everyone knows your name, will make you feel instantly welcome, and trainers who really, truly want to help you reach your goals through positive reinforcement and personal attention, I suggest you give them a visit.
“It’s all about what works for you,” says Pack. “We aren’t for everyone. Some people want to be yelled at. We hug you, we welcome, we encourage.”
Primal Fit Miami offers a 21-day trial for $99. Cryotherapy, stretch therapy and compression recovery are offered in packages to non-members as well, although members do get a discount on services. For more information, visit www.primalfitmiami.com.