Though Shannon Belcher and Gina Bardach were raised by two different families in two different parts of Indiana, you'd think they were sisters. The spirited girls seem like they were born to be in the spotlight, devoting their days to cheerleading, dancing, and performance from adolescence to adulthood. Their paths crossed during an NFL-NBA cheerleader-alumni reunion, when they decided to combine their talents to create their own fitness studio—VibeOlogy. There, the duo, along with a team of fellow teachers, leads students of all ages through a variety of high-energy classes including yoga, modern dance, and boot camp. Many of the classes focus on refining a specific area of the body, from toning stomachs to exercising that muscle of the brain that remembers the birthdays of coworkers.
Abs were born to do more than just look good at the beach. They provide essential support to the rest of the body, especially the back. Those supportive core muscles are the focus at Core Concepts Fitness, where trainer Megan Hazelrigg leads mat Pilates classes. The full-body workouts—which are named after creator Joseph Pilates, a proud abdominal owner himself—use the student's own body weight to strengthen and tone the physique, while also helping to improve balance and flexibility.
Koko FitClub’s automated personal-training system rockets both men and women toward fitness goals with 30-minute custom workouts that incorporate cardio and strength training. An initial consultation determines fitness level and baseline measurements, which Koko’s computerized equipment uses to design a tailored workout plan that precisely measures the weight, pace, and rest time appropriate for each exerciser.
The Koko machines guide exercisers through each workout and adapt as the user’s fitness needs change, to constantly challenge the body. Designed by professional trainers, workouts maximize the body’s lean-muscle mass, which can boost metabolism and help fight off disease by challenging viruses to kickboxing matches. Exercisers can track their shrinking waistlines and swelling muscles online by analyzing workout scores and comparing individual fitness levels to the Koko FitClub community.
You might not have guessed it if you saw the trim, muscular, and infectiously energetic Zumba instructor today, but there was a time when Granita Young was overweight. She enrolled in Zumba classes hoping to get into shape and was immediately grabbed by the lively music and the spirit-lifting dance routines. It wasn’t long before Granita had shed her excess pounds, earned her instructor certification, and began leading Zumba classes of her own.
Nowadays, at NZ Fitness, the seasoned instructor and her staff guide students of all abilities through Zumba and other energy-infused dance fitness classes. To supplement their skills, the team draws on a range of gear that includes maraca-like hand weights and Ripstix to build strength and sculpt muscles. Equally important to Granita and company is maintaining a non-judgmental environment and keeping class sizes personal and not overly crowded.
The fluid motions of Pilates Plus' workouts release muscular tension, improve posture and flexibility as they tone physiques. Within the intimate studio—characterized by warm earth tones and soft lighting—Pilates equipment abounds, including foam support blocks and Reformer machines. The studio's classes range from traditional Pilates classes to yoga sessions and barre workouts, which mix Pilates and yoga with calisthenics and dance. Trainers oversee each workout, ensuring students strengthen their cores with proper form, rather than developing six-packs on their faces. Anyone seeking more one-on-one attention, however, can opt for private training sessions.