BRENTWOOD, Mo. — Staying in shape should be something on the top of all of our minds but for some even starting a workout can be scary. Monica in the Metro traveled to Brentwood to explore a community that is coming together and taking away the fear in and out of the gym.
The alarm goes off at 3 a.m. and there are no grunts or sighs, instead, it's up and at em' with a smile and an eagerness to get to work and change the world! At 4 a.m. the lights flip on by Force Performance owners Brock and Brittany Wilson as they come together to truly make an impact in the region. They always wanted to open a gym but not just an open model, more of a concept of small group classes and custom-designed athlete programs so an entire community could bond.
The Wilson's wanted to start a new wellness movement in Brentwood and it is happening fast! "We talked about a gym for so long and it was supposed to be a ten-year plan and then we said why are we waiting and so we built Force," says Brittany Wilson.
Why the name Force; it truly came to them as just that a powerful force of "This is it, it's gotta be Force." They looked through a thesaurus and were throwing around a lot of names and kept coming back to Force.
A powerful word and a powerful movement are underway. As a gym and as a couple, truly a force to be reckoned with.
"People can go train anywhere but where you really get them is that community, the relationships you build which Brittany's done immensely with all the people that come in member-wise; it's a family to them," says Brock Wilson. "We wanted to create a space where people could make friends and get to know each other and feel like they're welcome".
This community doesn't just come in for their physical training but bonds on weekends and after work. They take walking trips together to a local coffee shop after a workout, go "brunching" and the social outings are growing. Those walks create conversation and a sense of healing and a bevy of emotions. Education is taught as well as the members learn the importance of eating and knowing food is fuel.
"I've been the girl that only ate 800 calories a day, did tons of cardio and tried to be as thin as I could and then once I found weightlifting and not only the strength it gave me physically but how much stronger I felt inside, my confidence got so much stronger," Brittany said.
Brittany has struggled in her own life, finding herself a single mom at a young age and raising her son Lucas. She turned more to the fitness world to find a sense of belonging and solace. It is in this community that spiritual growth was shared and an awakening of the kind of coach she always wanted to be to truly make an impact. A confidence her husband has watched and helped mentor. Brock self admits he is her biggest fan and greatest supporter.
"I regularly find myself watching from the side, just watching her work ethic pretty much every day and what she brings to the table makes me so proud", Brock adds.
Your best can only be done when your mental health is also a focus. Force Performance opened their doors not only to the fitness world but knowing they wanted to hold monthly sessions outside of the sweat left on the floor from an exhausting workout. They wanted the community to feel a sense of trust and belonging to truly open up about their lives and what may be holding them back.
The girls and especially guys afternoons and nights have been incredibly successful. Brock has shared his mental health struggles and a dangerous road he was following after losing his greatest mentor, his father; the late St Louis Blue Rick Wilson. It was a devastating hurt that led him to substance abuse and even thoughts of suicide. He shares this in his talks and has spoken about it numerous times in his social media posts.
"Especially with men, the mental health aspect is key, even just getting together as guys in a different atmosphere and feeling a sense of belonging", outside of just hanging for drinks or hunting. It is a powerful force that continues to grow. Brock says "it's just one of those things guys are telling him they really look forward to now".
You know the line from the movie Field of Dreams "If you build it, they will come', well this dream became a reality. A gym that aesthetically will wow you and look like nothing you have ever seen in St. Louis for all walks of life. A healthy place of education, camaraderie and where the accomplishments can physically be seen in the sweat left on the floor.
"A lot of the unique tools that we have are awesome like the run rockets and a 3D camera system that measures velocity based training", says Brock Wilson. "Brittany's been able to utilize this in her group training classes which is the first one in the country to do so".
He thinks of his dad often and when asked what he would be thinking as he looked down on his son from heaven, the tears began to well up in his eyes as he confidently said "he would be proud, he'd be very proud". He turned to look at his stepson Lucas and said Grandpa Rick would be proud wouldn't he?
They have created a community that the whole family can come together. The members love seeing their son with them and they even bring their fur baby, Echo, to work to visit from time to time and he's a big member favorite too.
They are inspiring athletes from beginners to advanced and their son Lucas has a message for YOU, "One day come in to Force and have a good workout".
Force Performance has only been open for 6 months and has already garnered 150 members and growing. To learn more about their programs and the monthly series exploring your mental health for both men and women you can check them out on Instagram, Facebook and online at https://stlforceperformance.com/