Pro former athletes bring an experienced eye to Phoenix gyms.

Celebrity Muscle

Written by Arren Kimbel-Sannit Category: Health & Fitness Issue: September 2016
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There are few pastimes held dearer by Americans than making lofty plans to get back in shape and then proceeding to never set foot in a gym – until we go in to cancel our memberships. Fortunately, some pro athletes have stepped in to help, offering coaching, tips and exercises drawn from their experiences, determined to get people into shape and for them to stay that way. These guys know physical health better than most anyone, and are even bringing their services to a few gyms around the Valley. 

Opened: January 2015
Associated Athlete: Ryan Buch
Location: 4848 E. Cactus Rd., Scottsdale
Contact: 623-218-7181
In his five years playing baseball, Ryan Buch experienced two extremes. On one hand, he was a professional baseball prospect in the minor leagues, a breakout performance away from a Major League call-up. On the other, he was plagued by injury and frequented the disabled list. Now, he uses those experiences in his own gym: FieldFit, a boutique facility tucked on the outskirts of Paradise Valley Mall. The gym focuses on strength training, stability and injury prevention. The trainers help each customer create personal fitness goals. “You’re gonna get guided by an ex-pro,” Buch says. “All my trainers have been through the ups and downs of pro sports. I’d rather have them than someone who has formal fitness training but doesn’t understand the personal aspect.”
FitWall Scottsdale 
Opened: February 2016
Associated Athlete: Paul Konerko
Location: 18221 N. Pima Rd., Scottsdale
Contact: 480-226-7099
Local sports experts might know Paul Konerko from his baseball career at Chaparral High School, where he was named Arizona Republic Player of the Year after his senior season. Oh, and he’s also a six-time MLB All-Star who led the Chicago White Sox to a World Series championship in 2005. Now, he uses his athletic experience as the franchise owner of the Scottsdale location of FitWall, a new national gym company. FitWall gyms focus on the eponymous FitWall, a tall, shelf-like piece of exercise equipment exclusive to the company. “I’ve been exposed to very knowledgeable people about fitness,” he says. “I’m by no means a specialist, but I’ve been with lots of them. We wanted a place that we would want to work out at – and I think that’s a pretty high bar.”
Rush Sports Performance 
Opened: May 2016
Associated Athlete: Todd McMillon
Location: 425 E. Pinnacle Peak Rd., Phoenix
Contact: 623-780-2285
Former Chicago Bears cornerback Todd McMillon was never drafted. For him to make the team, he needed pure determination. “Hard work is what got me into the NFL,” McMillon says. He developed his work ethic as a child, when his dad helped him train, a trait McMillon passed to his own children. Now, he is a trainer and co-owner at Phoenix’s Rush Sports Performance, which offers multi-sport training and classes for athletes of all ages. McMillon sees the variety as key to good training – he attributes the plethora of injuries in modern sports to growing up playing only one specific sport. “I come from a standpoint of – I’ve been there, and I know what it takes,” he says. “I bring the whole work ethic. You can push further than you believe.”