Heavens Elevated runs its outdoor boot-camp sessions military style—melding extremely challenging exercises with a rousing group atmosphere. Like authentic army boot-camp training, the bulk of the routine comprises a series of body-weight exercises, with the only essential gear being a backpack stuffed with weights and Hardy Boys paperbacks that participants haul around throughout each session. The backpack's weight increases each week to help boot campers build strength, tone muscles, and boost endurance as they're pushed to perform exercises to exhaustion with few rest periods in between. With 20 individuals per class, Heavens Elevated's fitness gurus have a small enough group to keep a trained eye on participants and make sure no one gets left behind. There will be 48 boot-camp classes held in both the June and July sessions, so Groupon customers can take advantage of the unlimited access to get strong enough to dominate during office tug-of-war tournaments.
Evidence of Brian Bird's martial arts expertise can be seen on his person—he wears a 2nd-degree black belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu—and around the world, showcased by the success of the fighters he trains. Having coached the Canadian national team for the FILA World Grappling Championships five times, he has seen his student and wife Sheila Bird go from becoming the first female black belt in Canada to a four-time champion, and sent other apprentices to earn gold medals in gi and combat grappling. His team of instructors at Champion's Creed Martial Arts lists competitive wins in cages, atop mats, and against runaway trains on their résumés. However, shattering UFC records is not Brian's main concern. The vast majority of his guests practice martial arts for fun and fitness benefits, prizing the gym's non-intimidating atmosphere. So, he schedules classes in Muay thai kickboxing, Brazilian jiu jitsu, and wrestling that accommodate all ages and abilities. Whether visitors are testing for their next belt colour, trying to lose weight, or honing self-defence strikes, the staff guides them through MMA exercises that both build character and condition physiques.
Like a model university student, MMA University's owner, Tim ?Beautiful? Blanchard, is well-rounded?he enjoys riding his Harley, strumming his guitar, and playing with his dogs, in addition to pummelling opponents in the ring. With his experience in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, MMA, and wrestling, he motivates his pupils to whip into shape with an exciting hobby or to gain competition-level skills to proudly represent MMA University around the world in tournaments. Along with a staff of passionate competitors, he leads MMA courses in a mix of styles, incorporating elements of wrestling, boxing, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and muay thai. Their single-discipline classes, alternatively, push students to hone in on the grappling and pinning techniques of jiu-jitsu, or muay thai?s heavy-bag training, which can help them to defend themselves from thuggish street bags. Throughout the warehouse-like space, fighters can spar in the ring or practice punches on defenseless dummies, and build their strength with nontraditional fitness equipment ranging from oversized tires to kettlebells to gymnastics rings.
At Grizzly Cage, each sport has its own customized space, thanks to the 18,000-square-foot gym's carefully arranged design. Boxers and kickboxers spar in two competition-style rings, while, over in the gym's professional cage, mixed martial arts students hone their interdisciplinary skills. For pupils mastering the discipline of mixed martial arts and Brazilian jiu jitsu, Grizzly Cage trainers reserve 3,600 square feet of sprung flooring covered with impact-absorbing tatami mats.
Along with creating a place where students can train, Wayne Richardson and Darcy Irwin, Grizzly Cage's founders, wanted a venue where those students could showcase their emerging talent. Wayne and Darcy invite up to 500 spectators at a time to gather around the gym's rings, cages, and mats for shows presenting local, national and international athletes. Guests can likewise assemble around the gym's 15-foot screen for replays, upcoming club news, and sponsors' highlights.
Over the more than 40 years Mike Miles has been teaching martial arts, he has trained students of all stripes: future champion fighters, fitness seekers looking to get in shape, and youngsters hoping to build confidence. A seventh-degree kickboxing black belt and certified muay thai instructor, he leads classes in those styles as well as mixed martial arts at his own training studio, Mike Miles MuayThai & Kickboxing Ltd. Mike and his staff of seasoned trainers guide students through proper technique and footwork and pack their classes with full-body exercises that aim to to condition muscles, slim physiques, and improve fitness. The trainers conduct classes in a professional gym complete with heavy bags, weight-training equipment, and cardio machines.
Whether you're a seasoned fighter, a new exerciser looking to start your first workout regimen, or a mad scientist who grew boxing gloves on your hands after a failed experiment, Independent MMA and Fitness has classes for you. Each of the six trainers has his own teaching specialty, such as Muay Thai, self-defense, boxing, women's MMA, or conditioning. And each brings a slightly different, but always accomplished, professional background to his post. Between plum-colored cinderblocks, or under the crimson eyeball painted on one of the white accent walls, athletes jab, punch, kick, and tone to reach whatever lofty goals they've set for themselves.