How many people do you know that can say they’ve been trained by a modern day gladiator?
Not many. But if you’re one of Jonquil Baugh’s customers, you have bragging rights. Years before the British beauty started JQ’s BFit2 cross-training club in Overland Park, she starred as an actual “Gladiator” on the hit U.K. TV series “Gladiators.” Jonquils impressive background also includes stints as a former “Eco-Challenge” athlete, a USA Junior Olympic Sprinter and a fitness model. What on earth brought her to Kansas City to start her own club? She describes it as “a happy accident.”
Born to a British mother and an American father, Jonquil Baugh spent her childhood jet setting around the world with her enormous family and living in exotic locales such as North Africa and Saudi Arabia. It wasn’t until 20 years ago that JQ’s father decided to embrace his Midwestern roots and return to his home turf. JQ had just graduated college and, on a whim, decided to join him and her mother in Kansas City. She started Body, Mind & Spirit, her personal training, aerobics instruction and massage therapy business, which eventually led to the opening of JQ’s BFit2 six years ago.
So what sets Jonquil Baugh’s BFit2 apart from other KC fitness clubs aside from JQ’s impressive background and her dream team of former athletes-turned-trainers? It’s the club’s “attention to detail and our ability to modify workouts for everyone who comes in the door,” she says. “We try to make our small group classes as close to one-on-one personal training as possible. We’ll create a workout and modify it for individuals in the group. Someone can be a novice, someone could be an athlete; it wouldn’t matter because we have many options for every person. Quite simply, we provide solutions for people’s health and fitness problems.”
Although “no two workouts are the same,” Baugh says JQ’s BFit2 employs the High Intensity Training (HIT) principle in every workout. HIT is a series of brief-but-intense cardio intervals interspersed with the appropriate recovery times. “It leads to a greater caloric burn post workout,” she explains. “So people not only work hard when they work out and burn a lot of calories, but once they walk out the door, they continue to burn a high amount of calories through the HIT principle.”
One of Jonquil Baugh’s favorite parts of her job is dispelling the myth that women shouldn’t lift weights for fear they’ll transform into female Arnold Schwarzeneggers. “They worry they’re going to get big, but it takes a lot of work—not to mention a genetic disposition—to gain that sort of muscle mass,” she says. “The lifestyle is completely different for those of us who are body builders. I love working with women who aren’t afraid to find the inner athlete inside of them and realize how much better they look and feel with a stronger, leaner body. It’s not just about being thin—it’s about being fit and strong.”
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Story by Kathryn Jones