Fitness trainer Johnnie Daniels—or JD to his clients—knows that everyone's body burns fuel differently. That's why, when new clients walk into the gym, the first thing he does is test their current level of fitness. From this data, and the client's personal goals, he formulates a personalized fitness regimen of methodical exercises and nutritional guidance.
It's hard to learn how to fight until you've actually stepped into the ring, which is why the expertise of professional fighters is so highly valued in instructors at martial-arts clubs. With teachers whose in-the-ring careers earned them nicknames like "Merciless" and "Little Giant," American Combat Club's crew members turns their own grappling and striking experiences into a lineup of mixed-martial-arts classes fit for all levels. They teach a fusion form of boxing and kickboxing that incorporates elbow and knee strikes, as well as a Brazilian-jujitsu-based grappling program that elucidates takedowns, submissions, and defenses against commonly encountered holds. Becoming a well-rounded fighter requires more than just technical skill, however, so the teachers also offer full-body conditioning classes in which participants flip tractor tires, swing sledgehammers, and heft medicine balls until they finally confess that they can't actually cure the common cold.
Melissa McMurray, founder of Bikram Yoga Orlando, passionately practices and teaches the renowned yoga style originated by Bikram Choudhury, who won the All-India National Yoga Competition three times in a row and retired undefeated. During 90-minute classes held seven days a week, Melissa and Bikram Yoga Orlando’s certified instructors cycle through 26 hatha yoga postures and two breathing exercises inside a heated studio. In addition to facilitating safe stretches, the heat expels bodily toxins and improves the cardiovascular effect of each pose. Many students find they can participate regardless of their age, weight, flexibility, past injuries, or past lives as statues.
A wall mural of a full moon watches over Live Oak Yoga, invoking a serene environment for a variety of yoga classes. Students stretch their limbs, following along with instructors as they move through Hatha-style introductory yoga, gentle yoga, and balance-honing yoga flow sessions. Instructors in all classes teach traditional asanas, or poses, with breathing exercises and meditation in order to help students strengthen the bond between body and mind. Live Oak Yoga’s owner Shea Englebright’s qualifications span from the ancient practice of yoga to massage in calming, pain-alleviating, and energizing styles. Reiki sessions balance a body’s reserves of spiritual, mental, and emotional energy, the relaxation massage promotes blood circulation at a pace ideal for forming a body-wide lazy river.
Grandmaster Y.K. Kim’s whirlwind life has taken him from Korea to the United States while wearing many hats including author, public speaker, philosopher, entrepreneur, and founder of Martial Arts World. The latter has grown into a family tree of locations spanning four states. At each location, dedicated instructors guide kids and adults through martial-arts classes that aim to instill a sense of confidence, self-discipline, and respect in each and every student. Classes serve as sweat-inducing workouts and an outlet to learn self-defense techniques, which come in handy when you dream your blanket has attacked.
Orlando Fit Body Bootcamp's trainers, Kerry Girona and Andrea Laing, both discovered a passion for sports at a young age and translated their hobbies into careers as fitness coaches fueled by the international Fit Body Bootcamp phenomenon. Each 30-minute boot-camp session coalesces cardio, resistance, core, and flexibility moves that together conduct the kinesthetic symphony of the entire body. Kerry and Andrea design a new workout for each class, detouring muscles away from the plateaus that often come with traditional workouts or glacial hiking trips to Antarctica. Workouts convene indoors, where fit-centric accouterments such as suspension trainers and battling ropes intensify workouts, and cushy foam floors keep joints happy and mute.
Along with classes, boot campers better bods with meal plans that can hasten exercise results by promoting internal fettle or by blueprinting a coup to unseat the Twinkie that controls the brain's cravings. With regular attendance, participants often note a slimmer physique highlighted by lean musculature.
Jungle Fit Boot Camp schedules more than 40 classes per week, ranging from boot camps to mixed martial arts and Brazilian jujitsu classes. Each session is taught by one of the fitness center’s experienced instructors, including second-degree Brazilian jujitsu black-belt Mike Lee, UFC fighter Seth Petruzelli, and muay thai guru Ben Marrs. Given its array of class types, the facility attracts a range of fitness-minded members, from those interested in becoming MMA fighters to those interested in losing weight. The staff welcomes all fitness levels and uses the first few workouts to gauge each guest’s physical abilities and needs.