Allison Gonzalez's 20-year career as a classical ballerina led her to France, Italy, New York, New Jersey, and, finally, New Orleans, where she served as director of the New Orleans Ballet Ensemble. In that capacity, she implemented Pilates mat classes as a form of core training for the dancers and quickly developed a passion for the exercise regimen. She headed to the Pilates Studio of New York to study under Romana Kryzanowska, a dedicated student of the fitness method's creator, Joseph Pilates. She acquired her 600-hour teaching certification and set out to share Pilates with others at Evolve Classical Pilates. In addition to Allison's notable Pilates r?sum?, the studio boasts dozens of certified teachers of gyrotonic exercise, including one who teaches Pilates classes in Japanese.
Realizing the challenges of balancing family, career, and health, Brien Shamp decided to help mothers reduce stress and boost self-confidence via exercise. Pulling from his years of industry experience and fitness certifications, Brien spearheaded the boot-camp fitness program that has been lauded on Best of the Bay. He works with trainers at multiple gyms to lead women and other fitness-seekers through creative, constantly varied workouts. In addition to classes, Brien provides his clients with comprehensive nutritional advice while warning them of common diet mistakes, such as eating snacks with too much sugar or the realistic-looking plastic scones in their child's tea set.
Equipment: Equipment as used in Tough Mudder and Spartan races
Students should bring: Water, towel, and proper athletic attire and shoes
Registration required: Yes
Good for beginners: Yes
Average class length: 30-60 minutes
Number of Staff: 1?5 people
Class location: Mix of indoor and outdoor classes
Guests allowed: No
Parking: Parking lot
Pro Tip: Avoid eating a large meal 30 minutes before class
Q&A with Brien Shamp, Partner
Exercise is challenging, and people frequently give up on their fitness routines. How do you keep clients motivated?
The key to this program is fun and not doing traditional workout routines. We get kids to move through the process of overcoming obstacles similar to that seen in Tough Mudder and Spartan races. We have a ramp like Ninja Warrior and Tough Mudder. We mix up the workouts daily so they will never get bored.
What is the biggest mistake you see people make when trying to get fit on their own?
They lack structure and purpose. They tend to do what they enjoy and what they are good at rather than what they need. Males in the weight room and females that do yoga and pilates. This should be switched.
When and how did you first develop a passion for fitness?
[I was] always injured as a kid. [I] started physical therapy at 12 and never knew what I was doing. Tried to do it on my own. My business partner Mike has always been an active. He always gravitated to sports without a team focus- archery, cross country, [and] water sports [such as] wakeboarding [and] waterskiing.
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
We created this unique program for the kids that are not part of an organized team so they will see and feel the benefits of movement that those who are active get. Exercise and movement will help all other areas of life improve.
At Crossfit Old County, a crew of certified Level 1 coaches lead muscle-building, sweat-producing, and fitness-improving CrossFit classes six days a week. While the goal of every class is the same?broad, general fitness that prepares participants for whatever life brings?each workout is different. To keep workouts varied and the body from getting bored and strapping itself to a couch, exercisers might muscle through deadlift sets before completing an endurance circuit and plyometric exercises.
While that might sound intimidating, the instructors encourage everyone to scale the workouts to their own capabilities, making them suitable for everyone from beginners to elite athletes.
Malina Fitness combines the amenities of a large gym with the accessibility and welcoming vibe of a neighborhood fitness studio. Both beginning exercisers and seasoned athletes can feel at home here, and all guests can seek help from the studio's trained staff. From cardio and weight-training equipment to personal training, there are plenty of options to meet fitness goals. The studio also includes spacious rooms for yoga, Pilates, and other group fitness classes.
Matt Daly, an experienced teacher with three years of college ball and four years in the pros under his belt. Today as an instructor, he helps players take cuts and hurl their best stuff. Matt is still active in the minor league system with the Toronto Blue Jays organization, with two years of Double-A experience, striving for a return to major-league play.