Cofounders Jill Tomich and Peter Lavelle had both been active in the fitness world before they opened Ultimate Bootcamp in 2004. Jill threw her energies into boxing, ballet, yoga, and blogging for a wedding diet-and-fitness website, and Peter, a native Irishman, was a triathlete. In all his pursuits, Peter adhered to the motto "We're not here for a long time—we're here for a good time."
This credo infuses all of the boot-camp programs. Campers from all across the fitness spectrum find accommodation as the workouts meet them close to home. Trainers never push too far, but always challenge. An energetic mix of outdoor-resistance and interval training layers patrons in svelte muscle, builds strength, and burns calories to promote weight loss more effectively than a rice cake's PR agent. Far from the stereotypical idea of a boot camp, encouragement and support roll in from instructors who foster cooperation and camaraderie between fellow boot campers.
Everyone knows that Swedes use a lot of oils in their famous massages, but did you know that Sweden is the world's second-largest consumer of lubricating oils? A 2006 study in The American Examiner of Suspicious Swedish Behavior reported that Swedes annually consume 1,460 gallons of lubricating oils per person. That comes out to exactly four gallons per person per day (leap year not factored in to avoid over-complication). And taking into account that children require less oil to become slick, it appears that adult Swedes may be lathering themselves with up to 12 gallons a day.
The staff at Clubex Fitness & Nutrition for Women believes that when it comes to diet and exercise, success is a team effort. That's why the trainers host about 30 different group exercise classes every week, including Pilates, circuit training, and Zumba. Clients looking for a more specialized approach can work one-on-one with personal trainers.
Of course, the facility also allows guests to exercise on their own. Clubex provides for solo workouts with cardio machines, strength-training equipment, and free weights, which keep the gym from blowing away in strong winds. Nutritional programs encourage healthy lifestyle changes, and onsite childcare helps moms-on-the-go enjoy carefree exercise.
Equipment: Resistance band, medicine ball, hurdles, agility ladder, kettlebell
Students should bring: Water, sneakers, comfortable layers of clothing, and gloves
Average class length: 60 minutes
Number of Staff: 1–5 people
Class location: Outdoors only
Registration required: Yes
Good for beginners: Yes
Parking: Free street parking
Pro Tip: Action-packed classes start and end on time rain or shine; arrive a few minutes early to check in.
Arthur Murray has been a leading name in franchise dance since 1912, when the entrepreneur began selling mail-order dance lessons. Expanding his reach, he enlisted teachers to spread his signature dance lessons on first-class steamships and skyrocketed to fame in the '30s after introducing the public to such dances as the Lambeth Walk and The Big Apple. By the 1950s, Arthur and his wife, Kathryn, were hosting their own highly popular TV show on ABC, The Arthur Murray Dance Party, which ran for 12 years. Today, Arthur Murray's team prepares students for rug cutting at special events and weekend nightclub jaunts. Throughout lessons, instructors teach the foundations of two to four dances from a long list of styles that range from Latin to country-western, helping students to learn basic step patterns, timing, and the ability to lead or follow.
It was the early 1980s, and after devoting about a decade of her life to fitness, Zayna Gold felt like her body was beaten up. Over time, she began noticing that her high-intensity gym workouts were hurting her body as much as—if not more than—they were helping it. Her husband, Clark, was having the same problem. An avid weightlifter and runner, he found the physical wear and tear was starting to prevent him from maintaining his physique. Zayna recalled teaching Pilates early on in her career, and how it worked her entire body with low-impact movements. She returned to the lengthening and strengthening classes, and by 1989, she and Clark founded Boston Body Pilates.
Their mat, equipment, and barre classes each call upon low-impact stretches and resistance moves that strengthen the core, elongate muscles, and promote overall muscle tone. Zayna's signature program, Brand New Body, challenges students to complete 30 Pilates or barre classes over 2–3 months; and upon completion, they may notice significant changes to their figure. The schedule also includes spinning classes, in diverse variations such as Zen Spin and Spin Bootcamp. In any class, Zayna and her large team of instructors inspire their students to establish a mind-body connection, helping them to feel both physically and mentally stronger, much like solving a crossword puzzle carved in stone.