|Jordan and Kris Nevels are set to open their new high performance sports gym on Monmouth Street in Newport in November.|
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by Robin Gee
A new high-end sports performance training facility is set to open this November in Newport. Located on Monmouth Street across from Dixie Chili, it offers two floors designed to provide high level training for athletes and teams from middle school through professional level.
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A surprising twist
Having such a high-level sports training center right in Northern Kentucky could come as a surprise, yet there is another intriguing and unique aspect to the facility — It is also designed to "transform" for use as a group workout space accessible to anyone looking to get in shape, Nevels said.
For the past five years, his company has provided onsite wellness programs for employees, and Nevels has kept these clients in mind when designing the new facility.
"My plan for the gym originally was just to focus on the training of athletes, sports performance training," he said. Yet, the more he thought about it, the more he wanted to combine his two passions — sports training for athletes and promoting wellness throughout the community, he said.
"I thought, why give up one and just focus on the other? Why not do both? So, I came up with the idea to outfit the gym so that I can break it down and transform it from one of the best performance training studios in the world to a gym that is set up for the general public to come in and do a group training class through the Nevels Fitness program."
A Highlands Star Comes Home
The Nevels name should be very familiar to anyone who follows sports at Highlands High School. Jordan is the strength and conditioning trainer for the school’s basketball program, and his brother, Kris Nevels, who is a co-owner in the new facility, is a Highlands varsity football coach.
Jordan Nevels is a graduate of Highlands. A star player in his high school career, he was the first defensive back in the school’s history to be Team All State two years in a row. After Highlands, he went on with a Division One scholarship to play for the University of Kentucky. He was about to be drafted into the pros, he said, but a nagging hamstring injury from high school sidelined his plans. After college, he turned his skills and interests into a training career both in high school athletics and in providing corporate health and fitness programming through Nevels Fitness.
His company provides wrap-around services to support health and fitness in business settings.
"We actually go into businesses and do all personal training on site. We basically bring everything possible into the workspace to make getting healthy a convenience option. So we bring personal trainers onsite. We train and work out employees during the workday. We bring healthy meal preps and deliver right to them at work. We bring in massage therapists, chiropractors, you name it. Basically, we provide a one-stop shop in the workspace."
Top of the line for sports performance
The new training facility is a culmination of a dream to provide sports training to area athletes, especially young athletes, Nevels said. After all, "my passion and background is in sports."
He and Kris teamed up with developer Todd Hosea of Champions Elite, who purchased the former furniture store with a goal to turning it into a sports facility.
Set to open later this fall, the space offers two floors — 9,000 square feet each — designed to provide high-level sport performance training. The top floor is designed for speed with 40 yards of real field turf, as well as high-end equipment such as Kaiser air pressure machines and the Shred Mill, an expensive and somewhat rare speed training machine popular with NFL players. The bottom floor, said Nevels, is designed to provide a nitty gritty old-school-gym workout.
"It’s like two different worlds, but co-existing so perfectly...The upstairs is modern, it’s flashy, it’s fast. It’s everything you could imagine. Downstairs is rugged, it’s raw...So we’re able to deliver almost two different experiences but give the athlete the best of both worlds all in one gym, all in one workout simply by walking upstairs and downstairs."
|Partners in the Nevels Fitness include Todd Hosea with his wife Christie Hosea (on the mezzanine) and brothers Kris Nevels (l) and Jordan Nevels (r).|
Upstairs, downstairs and in between
The upstairs turf is infilled with organic sand and provides athletes with the most realistic indoor training possible, Nevels said. "It is the playing surface that most athletes play on so they can actually mimic the surface they will be using throughout the week that they will be playing on Friday nights, Saturday nights or Sundays in the NFL. So that’s important because it’s not the traditional carpet type of turf that you see in most facilities. This is actually the real deal turf that they will play on at a prime time field."
Nevels calls the downstairs training level "strength fit." "That is where all of the grit and grind gets done," he said. "It’s where the muscles are built, it’s where all the hard, hard work gets done and where our heavy machinery is. So that’s our leg presses, our hatch squats, all of our machines that are hard core heavy that are going to build that dense muscle our athletes are looking for. It’s got that really cool vibe. If you can picture a Rocky Balboa old school gym, that’s what downstairs is like."
In addition to Nevels brothers, five trainers, trained directly by Nevels, will be on hand at the facility. He will also hire a few employees to staff a smoothie bar to be located on the gym’s mezzanine level.
"You can actually sit up there and watch the athletes training, the group training going on and grab a protein smoothie, grab a protein cookie, kick back, relax, enjoy it. We wanted to have everything in house. So, as soon as you finish your workout, you can walk up there and grab a protein smoothie afterwards and get that recovery process started."
In addition to the smoothie shop, Nevels will have a retail area were customers can find gym merchandise including a line of supplements he has designed with pre-workout, recovery and endurance formulas.
"We will have absolutely everything possible that is underneath the sun when it comes to sports performance training...It will really truly be the place that I believe all athletes will want to come to. For every single level, whether it’s middle school, high school, collegiate or professional, there is something that can greatly benefit them, and I think it will be a truly one of a kind type of a gym, and it’ll be right here in Newport," he said.
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Nevels said he will have special pricing for teams, and he does not want finances to be a barrier to any student athlete. "I also have another brother who is the head coach at Holmes High School in Covington, so he’ll be sending a lot of his team...Teams like his might not be blessed financially with means to afford something like this kind of training," he said. He said he will find ways to be able to provide the training for a reduced rate or free if needed.
"That’s something I’m really passionate about. We never want a kid to miss an opportunity that could be life changing just because of finances. That’s not what this is about. It’s about giving kids the tools and the opportunity to go to college and maybe to go play professionally," he said.
"The overall goal is to improve athletic performance. Give these kids the tools they will need to take their career to the next level, college, professional and truly change their lives and change the life of their families as well. That’s the goal with any athlete that walks through the door — to make you better, not just a better athlete, but a better person. And that’s what the whole community of Nevels Fitness is all about."