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On Super Bowl Sunday, while most sports fans were huddled around TVs, members and trainers at a new Boca Raton gym were flipping tires in addition to flipping hamburgers.
An interactive barbecue on the biggest television day of the year is just one way Boca Brickhouse owners Kirk and Christine Kochte have thrown some muscle into the training scene in southern Palm Beach County.
Since the gym opened its doors in June last year, more than 100 people have bought into its "no machine," military-style philosophy.
"We're doing very well, considering the radical style of training," said 48-year-old Kirk Kochte. "Nobody else has this concept."
The Boca resident is a 6-foot-4-inch, 250-pound, 20-year Navy veteran. His military accomplishments include teaching self-defense and security operations during the Gulf War.
After completing his tour at the U.S. Naval Academy, Kochte was assigned to the USS Halyburton out of Mayport. This is where he further developed and refined a previously successful fitness program (that eventually became the basis of the Brick Training System, or BTS).
The implementation of this program allowed the USS Halyburton to lead Naval Station Mayport waterfront in fitness standards, he said.
Now Kochte, who retired from the Navy in 2004, works with his clients using the BTS. The gym's equipment includes tires from 116 to 405 pounds, climbing ropes, a boxing loft, sand pit, and yes, a pole fitness room.
"I had a 67-year-old woman in here lifting tires the other day, and in the other room were 8-year-olds doing Aikido (a Japanese martial art) and wrestling," said Kochte, who's had this vision for an innovative gym since he was a teenager. "Basically, it's about moving the body. Too many times a machine limits the body. We bring it back to natural form."
Kochte is originally from Ohio, and after the Navy he spent two years in New Jersey. There he met his wife, Christine.
They've been married almost three years, and moved to Florida in 2011.
Their goal is keep their gym relatively intimate: "We know each member by name when they come in," Kirk said. "That kind of personal touch is missing nowadays."