By Nora Dwyer

Getting fit and improving your health can be confusing, with so many options and opinions. However, one facility in Muscatine is ready to provide the straight answers and get right to the heart of fitness truths, says Martin Martinez, owner of RMT, which has moved to a new location.

RMT (Rapid Movement Transformation) is now located at 701 Orange Street, formerly Skateland and recently owned by dance instructor Bruce Brown. Martinez started negotiating for the building when he heard that Brown was looking to relocate. A larger building and especially more accessible parking for clients offered an advantage to his previous downtown location.

This begins Martinez’s third year in business, although he began his journey into fitness early in his life. He was a standout cross-country runner and conference champion for Muscatine High School in 1998.

Since that time he’s had some challenges, but always turned to fitness when things didn’t go his way. After a personal experience where he lost a lot of weight and felt out of balance, he started tracking his nutrition and taking a more serious look at what he was eating. That led to an effort to make better food choices, and he saw the impact it made on his own body.

Five years ago, he started taking certification courses, which he maintains today.

Martinez holds certifications with American College of Sports Medicine, American Council on Exercise, ACTION (an NCAA approved personal training program), TRX® (a suspension system that leverages gravity and bodyweight) large and small group instructor, and is currently a student at St. Ambrose University working toward a bachelor’s degree in Human Performance and Fitness.

RMT Afterburner coaches Sami Pratt and Cynde Gillispie take a quick selfie break during
the facility open house on July 8.

Although he has worked to increase his knowledge and understanding of the science of health and fitness, Martinez adds that’s not what makes RMT programs and the new facility different from others.

“Motivation is a big factor for people to start exercising. Yet, the first time you walk into a lot of gyms, many people feel lost. They want to get started, but aren’t sure how to do it or what to do,” he says.

“I don’t want anyone to lose hope that they can improve their lives,” he says. “It’s not about getting skinny or looking a certain way. My driving force is that everyone loves themselves and sees what they are capable of. My job is to help people fall in love with that, not a number on the scale.”

The drive to help others began when Martinez started to train a few friends one-on-one from his home. He then used the Anytime Fitness facility and soon realized there was demand for personal training services. It was time to take the next step. Yet, he almost didn’t.

“A friend [Allison Weaver] really supported me and pushed me to get started,” he adds.

Beginning with a handful of clients, RMT has grown to more than 100 individuals. This includes those who take group training sessions and RMT Afterburner sessions. Each class is 45-60 minutes and has no more than six participants. A variety of bodyweight, light dumb-bells, and other equipment is used. The classes are called Afterburner because of the after-effect the interval training approach has on your body after training, says Cynde Gillispie, RMT Afterburner instructor.

Other classes are POUND® which uses Ripstix®, lightly weighted drumsticks, and is set to music, along with kickboxing done against pads and weighted bags. “No air boxing at RMT,” says Gillispie.

A full list of class offerings and schedules can be found on the Facebook page at, and those interested can reserve a spot. Everyone gets to try a class for free to decide if the program is right for them.

Martinez and the RMT instructors, many of whom were clients who then realized they shared his passion to help others, plan to expand the facility in the future, focusing on personalized fitness and other services that aren’t available with other programs. An RMT Kids program was started this summer and offers youth an opportunity to have access to general conditioning and playful fitness programming.

“It’s important for our youth to be able to play, have fun, and get healthy. It’s not just about sports, and that’s what RMT Kids offers,” says Sami Pratt, lead RMT Kids instructor.

Other programs are in the works as well, including targeted stretching from massage therapist Nora Dwyer, who will be available for one-on-one sessions later this fall.

“No matter what someone chooses to do at RMT, they are all my clients and I will do all I can to help them achieve their goals,” Martinez says.