Newton Kansan

The gym at Shaw Fitness Solutions is about 700 square feet and holds a maximum of about eight people at one time. There is only one machine - used for squats. Everything else is done with dumbbells, kettlebells, stretch bands and a person's own body weight.

"It's not your typical gym where you've got a thousand square feet and a bunch of machines," John Shaw said.

Shaw recently opened his business in Suite 140 at 400 S. Main and he has been teaching classes to people who want to get back in shape and do strength training. His classes usually have two to four people so the size of his gym is no problem. He also does personal training.

When the weather is good, he conducts classes outside. Students can bring equipment outdoors, run around the building and up and down the stairs.

Shaw's classes contain around 10 to 15 minutes of calisthenics and exercises like lunges, cat crawls and burpees. There is also cone drills, ladder drills, box hops and ski jumps

"I promise you, it'll tax you," Shaw said.

With strength training, there is not as much rest between sets as there is when working on machines. A person's heart rate does not have a chance to slow down, he said.

Rather than lifting "super heavy" equipment and working on one part of the body, Shaw has his students lift moderate weights that build their legs, chest, arms and shoulders at once. The weights are accessories to the person's body weight.

"There is a niche of people out there who want this kind of workout," Shaw said. "I think people come to me who are looking to get in shape without the complication of machines. I'm not disparaging machines, but some people want simplicity."

An army veteran, Shaw said he would like to work with disabled veterans. He would also like to give P.E. classes to homeschoolers at his business.

In between working as a nurse practitioner at Newton Medical Center, Shaw's wife, Tamara, helps with running the gym. The day of their wedding, they both awoke at 7 a.m. and ran a 5k law enforcement memorial race in Colorado Springs, Colo. Shaw is a retired police officer.

Shaw said his gym may be just the place for the person who wants to get in shape without dialing a machine or spending a long time on a cardio bike.

"I've kind of hit that niche, I hope," he said.

Anyone wishing to sign up for a class at Shaw's gym can call John Shaw at 300-9759 or Tamara Shaw at 461-9342. They can be reached by email at and Shaw Fitness Solutions has a facebook page.