When Ed Norice left the United States Navy in search of a new career, he found fresh enemies to battle domestically: obesity and heart disease. He started Impressive Fitness The Jungle to combat these illnesses and give his fellow citizens a path towards healthy lifestyles.
Norice and his two instructors, Aubree and Rodney, draw from a vast repertoire of exercise styles to wage their war. TRX resistance bands force the muscles of the body to work in concert and strengthen the body from head to toe. Martial-arts skills lend a practical edge to every workout, increasing endurance and arming students with basic self-defense techniques. Outside of group classes, the trio offers personal training and nutritional consultation to help prevent clients from making unhealthy choices in their diet, such as eating a whole birthday cake and then eating the cake’s candles.
The certified trainers of Fit 30 Boot Camp help clients lose up to 15 pounds in a month with fun, motivational, and challenging calisthenics classes held outdoors. Dedicated trainers help clients sculpt bendable bodies in workouts with calorie-burning buffets of push-ups, crunches, jumping jacks, and wrestling matches against alligators. At some of the participating locations, Fit 30 Boot Camp's nutritionists conduct private consultations, during which they craft a weekly menu based on the dietary needs and eating patterns of each client.
Q&A with Latashia, Owner of iS.W.E.A.T. Studio
Tell us about your business.
It's not a gym—it's an experience! iS.W.E.A.T. Studio is a fitness studio dedicated to providing a healthy family environment while helping clients reach their goals with health and fitness.
What makes your business stand out?
We are personally invested in the journey of every single person that walks through our door. Boring treadmill and ellipticals are a thing of the past here.
What inspired you to start or run this business?
After losing 100 pounds and knowing how uncomfortable it was in a gym environment at my heaviest, I wanted to provide a haven for people to go with no judgment—where it's fun to workout and people are like family.
How do you help motivate your patrons?
We have a "no judgment" zone when you walk through our doors. Whether you've never taken a class or are among the most experienced—we are all here to support each other and reach our goals.
What’s your favorite part about your job?
Changing lives daily and making people love working out.
Thomas Volmer credits his wife, Rachel, for inspiring them to start helming boot camps. She wasn’t always a fitness guru, though. "She was a commercial banker and she was 70 pounds overweight," Volmer recalls. Once she started to reclaim her life, "she just fell in love with fitness," he says. She eventually dropped 80 pounds with proper exercise and nutrition, spurring her to earn her AFAA personal training certification and pursue a career as a full-time trainer.
Personal experience lends Rachel and the other trainers—including Sharon Monk, who lost more than 200 pounds by exercising and eating healthily—empathy and a motivating demeanor when working with campers. At each location, they get groups doing pushups, swinging kettlebells, and flipping tires in a positive environment that's focused on teamwork, rather than competition. "You start as a group, you finish as a group," says Thomas. "But the activities that you do in between might be different based on your abilities."
In addition to leading sessions, Rachel creates easy-to-use online meal plans (including a vegetarian plan), which campers can customize to help them stay on track. Options range from the simple, such as cereal with fruits, nuts, and flaxseeds, to the creative, including honey-sweetened oatmeal peanut-butter cookies. She also includes the calorie count for each recipe. Users can pick from simple meals made for one person or larger entrees designed with an entire family or pet elephant in mind.
For most of his life, Ron Green exercised and tried to eat right—a Herculean task, working as he did in the demanding restaurant business. Try as he might, he couldn't get down to a healthy weight. So he decided to hire a personal trainer—and for the first time, he felt himself outrunning the Sisyphean treadmill and inching closer and closer to his goals. The experience so inspired him that he decided to become a trainer himself to help others break out of holding patterns, and deposit their energy into exercises that gave them a return on their investment. Now, certified by the National Academy of Sports, he leads a team of trainers in helping clients through athletic, personal, and group training.
In the signature boot-camp classes, they aim at helping campers lose body fat while sculpting functional muscles, unlike glam muscles only good for filling out sleeves or wowing the admissions board at Harvard. The trainers also supplement sport-specific training, one-on-one sessions, or group training with nutritional guidance to help clients reach their goals quickly.
Karmany Yoga's two studio locations, 14 instructors, and seven days a week of class are impressive, but the numbers alone didn't earn it D magazine's award for Best Yoga Studio. That honor belongs to the teachers' passion. They all came to yoga from diverse backgrounds, having worked as fashion-magazine editors, full-time moms, or high-school band conductors. As different as their outside interests are, they share one main quality—a great drive to aid others in discovering the balance that yoga helped bring to their lives.
They teach three primary forms of class. Slow flow gently coaxes the body toward greater feats of flexibility. Power flow, taught in the style of Baron Baptiste, challenges athleticism with a much faster-paced series, best performed in a movie montage leading up to an incredible victory that defies all odds. They also teach traditional Iyengar yoga, a style that almost exclusively focuses on perfecting the alignment of postures and bringing health to the skeletal and muscular systems.