Suzanne Morgan likens her yoga classes to a playground. "It’s a passionate playground where awareness, inspired action and wellness skip hand-in-hand," she writes on her website. "You'll laugh—I promise."
Laughter is only one benefit. At her classes and workshops, she helps students of all yoga experience levels use the tools of yoga to calm their mind while reconnecting with body and spirit. She views yoga as a simple way to ease stress, quiet the mind, and ultimately, live an authentic life. Her classes are held at the Arlington Community Church.
ThankDog! Bootcamp's team boasts a personal trainer and nutritionist, as an exerciser would expect, but there's also one unusual staffer: a dog trainer. That's because the boot camps don't just focus on the fitness of owners, they also tend to the physical and behavioral health of pooches. While humans work out under the leadership of the personal trainer, furry friends follow along with guidance from the dog trainer, which results in tighter bodies for owners and better behaviors for pets.
CEO Peter Harvey believes that a quality gym staff must demonstrate more than technical expertise. "Service doesn't only mean showing someone how to do an arm curl," he says. Certified personal trainers develop workouts that zero in on each person?s specific goals, giving clients the skills to pole-vault over impassable plateaus. By steadfastly refusing to hand out fish in favor of putting on master classes in fishing, they help clients become self-sufficient, educating them on fundamentals.
During these one-on-one sessions, and in solo workouts, guests set calories ablaze atop rows of continually updated equipment. Treadmills, recumbent bikes, and strength-training tools line the walls.
Members can also drop in for as many group classes as they can muster. Inside a separate studio, stationary cycles whir in time with galvanizing music, kickboxing strikes arc through the air, and barbells rise with each BodyPump rep. For more meditative practices, Pilates sessions and several types of yoga enhance flexibility and focus.
Rob LaPointe first met the martial arts in 1973 when he began taking tae kwon do lessons in a neighbor's backyard. Like a kudzu vine, his love for fighting forms could not be contained by a manicured lawn, and he began serious study of kenpo karate and kung fu. In 1989, he opened White Birch Kung Fu, Tai Chi, and Kettlebell Gym to pass his learning on to the next generation of fighters.
Rob's dedication led him to take the gold medal in Pushing Hands and Advanced Sparring at Wong's Traditional Kung Fu Tournament in 2000—a celebration of his 40th birthday—and his competitive career continues. His kung fu classes teach these practical combat skills in a cycle, sometimes focusing on perfecting certain kicks or the blocking, trapping, and footwork skills needed to engage an opponent up close. Students move slowly and purposefully through tai chi training regimens, focusing on meditative thought and fluid self-defense techniques. Kettlebell and sandbag courses condition bodies for explosive combat motions and hefting deadweight, such as a feral Santa hibernating in your chimney for the summer.
After meeting the physical demands of army training and working for two decades in the fitness industry, president of Custom Fitness Concepts Tom Kalka channeled his health and fitness savvy into CFC's training programs. His expert team of personal trainers visits homes and corporate offices to lead patrons in custom workout routines. Furthering fat-burning efforts, educational seminars on conditioning, nutrition, and orchestrating funerals for annihilated calories prime attendees for a salubrious lifestyle shift. CFC instructors also chisel away unwanted fat with a boot-camp series, whose ever-shifting medley of calisthenics and strength training was deemed the country's second-best boot camp in 2008 by Exercise TV.
Following the principles of Rael Isacowitcz’s Block System, the instructors at My Thrive Pilates design group Pilates workouts that build long, lean, and toned bodies regardless of experience. Instructors start new students slowly and show them how to master core skills before moving on the center’s more advanced classes. Introductory mat classes develop central tenets of spinal alignment and ribcage-breathing techniques, and Reformer classes help isolate and sculpt stronger muscles using precise motions on the Reformer apparatus. Students can also take advantage of the center’s eight-week bridal program and build a rock hard core that can be used to break ice cubes for a perfectly chilled wedding toast.