Most camp counselors can teach children how to tie-dye a t-shirt or braid a friendship bracelet. Very few, however, have experienced the exhilaration of vaulting into the end zone for a goal-line touchdown or intercepting a game-winning pass in front of thousands of rabid football fans. Across the country, Sports International Football Camps grant participants the opportunity to learn firsthand from professional athletes, whose gridiron battle scars have been forged by bell-ringing collisions with fearless opponents and reckless mascots on motorcycles.
Since 1983, the organization has partnered with veteran high-school coaches and pros, such as three-time Pro Bowl running back Priest Holmes, All-Pro linebacker Brian Cushing, and Super Bowl champion–cornerback Terrell Thomas. In those years, the camp has schooled some 91,000 alumni, including current NFL quarterback Byron Leftwich. Coaches break campers into groups by age, position, and ability and run practices that are competitive yet fun and supportive. For in-depth focus on the specific techniques of skill-position players, the camp also offers special academies for passing and receiving as well as kicking, punting, long snapping, and cooler lifting for Gatorade victory showers.
Xfit Studio's trainers prefer to think of themselves as mentors who help attendees of all fitness levels discover confidence and self-esteem as well as greater strength and stamina. Boot camps, TRX suspension training, kickboxing, HIIT, and core classes embrace this two-pronged approach by creating a supportive environment where the trainers ask guests to push themselves physically while still respecting their limits. The massive studio is lined with equipment such as resistance balls, heavy-duty ropes, and punching bags that can be incorporated into routines, and a wide garage door slides open to circulate fresh air on clear days. In addition to receiving guidance during class, students can also pick their instructors' brains afterward and glean some invaluable advice on nutrition, lifestyle choices, and the best type of car to bench-press.
Since its 1965 founding in Venice Beach, California, Gold's Gym has dotted the globe with more than 600 locations where professional athletes and exercise newbies gather under the umbrella of personal strength. Nearly 3.5 million Gold's members chart and aim for their fitness peaks, perspiring beneath the gaze of certified personal trainers or pedaling beside peers at cycling sessions. In a diverse lineup of group classes, patrons strengthen cores with Pilates, finger-paint pictures of ninjas in martial arts, and amp up heart rates in cardio routines. Many Gold's Gym locations stockpile futuristic amenities, such as cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated.
The inspiring trainers at each MetaBody location lead troops of workouteers in results-oriented workouts several times weekly. Sweat sessions utilize a variety of exercises and disciplines to produce full-body results in a supportive environment, ideal for beginners and hard-core core-hardeners alike. During any class, motivational instructors will use the instinctual distrust of routine to their advantage. Begin a day of litigating with a refreshing early-morning boot-camp session, or wind down by burning evidence and pounds with a late-evening yoga class. Muscles are kept guessing with new and challenging moves during each session, so participants never fall into a boring, ineffective routine, such as regular teeth brushing. In addition to the fitness classes, students receive a success guide to help prepare for imminent pound loss, a nutrition guide, and a $100 gift certificate for individual coaching. Because the pass sets a 5 or 10-class cap at any given location, roving fitness mavens can further shake up their workout regimens by vetting a series of classes or instructors that work best for them.
The 24,000 sq. ft. facility boasts a fleet of ultra-modern workout equipment, more than 25 big-screen TVs, specialized fitness areas, and a long list of classes. Exercisers can chisel their figures with free weights or get their hearts pumping like pioneers on a handcar with the gleaming cardio equipment. In addition to the one-month membership, fitness buffs will receive one personal-training session guided by one of Fit!'s devoted instructors as well as two sessions in vertical tanning beds. The package also includes a dance-fitness-fusion Zumba class—the best union since Swedish Fish and Sarsaparilla—and a LIVEStrong Spinning class, which will help cut calories while training patrons to out-peddle bloodthirsty segways.