Two military veterans are ready to get the neighborhood into shape at a new gym.
S.O.S. — Science of Strength — will open in early September for individual and group sessions in a specialized fitness program that offers kettlebell, functional and suspension training. Cardio boxing and boot camps also are offered.
Owners and trainers are Eddie Juica, a former U.S. Army serviceman, and Travis Kuykendall, a former U.S. Marine who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Kuykendall, 31, is a Seminole Heights' resident. He met Juica, a 26-year-old Carrollwood resident, about six years ago.
Fitness has "always been a passion of ours," said Kuykendall. "We enjoy it and like to motivate people to get into better shape."
The fitness gym is located in a small plaza, at 6500 N. Florida Ave., where S.E. Mattis Barbershop recently opened. Two more retail spaces are available for leasing.
Across the street Domani Italian Restaurant recently opened.
Florida, from Sligh Avenue to Violet Street, is seeing more restaurants and locally-owned boutique businesses put their imprint on the neighborhood.
"It's just booming," said Juica. "It's starting to pick up."
S.O.S adds a new option into the fitness mix, along with Jai Dee Yoga and Wellness Studio on Florida and Reyes Boxing on Nebraska Avenue.
Kettlebells — cannonball-shaped weights with handles — are a trending exercise regimen. "It's the Russian way of working out," Juica said.
In the 1700s, kettlebells were used to toughen Russian army troops. They are useful in a variety of exercises, including weight lifts, balancing challenges and swinging movements that provide cardio, strength and flexibility training. The program reportedly can burn up to 1,200 calories an hour.
Juica and Kuykendall took courses in Atlanta and earned master training certificates issued by the World Kettlebell Club.
Functional training evolved from rehabilitation exercises that focus on improvements in daily activities such as balance or flexibility. And suspension training relies on the force of gravity to aid in overall fitness exercises including push ups and shoulder presses.
S.O.S. offers individual, pay-as-you-go rates or group training packages. No contracts are needed.
Programs are crafted based on an individual's needs and level of fitness, and one-on-one instruction is given, said Kuykendall.
"You come here to learn how to work the right way," said Juica.
For information, contact Kuykendall at (813) 422- 4888 or Juica at (813) 451-5921.