Joe Butler doesn't do things halfway. When he wanted to learn to be a physical trainer, he went to LA, trained with some of the top trainers in the world, and began training pro athletes and movie stars. Then he opened his own personal training gym, where he assembled a team of trainers with a combined 200 years of training experience. These days, he and his trainers lead guests of all fitness levels through training programs that include boot-camp, speed-and-agility, and RX Fit classes. Every student who walks into Prescription Fitness is treated to a health assessment and goal-setting consultation, allowing clients to slim down, bulk up, or prep for javelin season.
Looking at Marty Velasco now, it's hard to believe that he once struggled with his weight. Though Marty may be muscular and slim today, his history gives him a unique understanding of the hardships faced by those trying to lose weight. This understanding fuels his determination to help others at his private fitness studio.
At Fitness Edge, Marty and his staff help clients on the road to health and weight loss with group fitness classes and personal training. Within the colorful studio, or at outdoor locations in Rocky River Park, the staff leads students of all fitness levels in full-body circuit-training workouts. Sessions might call upon strength-building kettlebell exercises, natural bodyweight resistance, and cardiovascular conditioning exercises, and trainers help their students continue the work at home with nutritional counseling and meal plans. The staff is committed to creating a friendly environment for their students; they welcome all newcomers with an orientation, where they demonstrate what to expect from the program, tour the facility, and ritualistically hand crochet students' names into their sweatbands.
Fitworks is home to a dedicated cadre of certified muscle architects who guide eager physiques through intense, small group workouts. Peruse the schedule before sampling a tension-undoing yoga class or a weekend-morning muscle-pump session, ideal for prepping for an underwater bench-press that will determine the office's next round of promotions. One-hour Zumba classes harness the rhythmic power of merengue, conga, belly dancing, and more to kill calories while resuscitating sleepy toes. After classes, students can freshen up or flex unused singing muscles in Fitworks' shower facilities.
Fairview Park Recreation Department at the Gemini Center hosts an impressive array of classes—20 each week. They take advantage of the brand new facility's amenities, holding spinning classes in dedicated cycling rooms or teaching aquatic skills in the aerobic studio. They also hold outdoor classes during summer months, taking advantage of the sunshine and green lawns. "It's great to see members push themselves and have fun while doing it," reports the Center's group-exercise coordinator.
Beyond fitness instruction, they also use the facility to host summer camps, athletic leagues, and families looking for a day at the pool. They even built a second pool, exclusively for leisure, with waterslides, a lazy river, and submerged beauty parlors.
Exercise is challenging, and people frequently give up on their fitness routines. How do you keep clients motivated?
Each one of our classes is designed to give you variety. No class will ever be the same, so you never know what you're going to have thrown at you.
What is the biggest mistake you see people make when trying to get fit on their own?
People try to take on too much when the go it alone. Our instructors can scale down any program to fit any level of fitness so that you can still move the next day.
When and how did you first develop a passion for fitness?
In 2002, after hitting 250 pounds, I decided I needed a change. I started watching my diet and exercising. In 2009, I earned my group fitness instructor certificate. After my first Warrior Dash in 2012, I realized that helping others to accomplish their goals was what I wanted to do with my life.
Equipment: CAP barbells, CAP medicine balls, stability balls, and punching bags
Students should bring: Bottle of water, towel, and boxing gloves for kickboxing class
Average class length: 30–60 minutes
Number of Staff: 1–5
Class location: Mix of indoor and outdoor classes
Registration required: No
Good for beginners: Yes
Guests allowed: Yes
Parking: Parking lot