William Gapinski understands fitness from every angle. He practiced martial arts, amongst other fitness disciplines, for 20 years, served in the US Marine Corps, and even overcame multiple skeletal injuries resulting from a major highway accident. Fueled by a desire to help others grow, heal, and overcome their obstacles the same way he did, William started Gold Medal CrossFit.
Following CrossFit's core principles, he and his staff of trainers follow a three-pronged approach to fitness: functionality intensity, and variation. To that end, they change up workout routines daily, blending functional exercises such as plyometric exercises, Olympic-style weightlifting, and gymnastics into an endless array of rigorous regimens. Community is is another element to their approach—they cultivate an atmosphere of support, camaraderie, and accountability so that all participants get the most from their time in the group sessions.
Since the exercises are difficult and require proper form, William and his crew recently launched a foundational skills training class to introduce the unique program to beginners. Unlike the regular group workouts of the day, they limit introductory lessons to only one student at a time. This ensures that the trainers can give each student ample personal attention, helping them master form and hone their grunting noises before joining the group class.
At a young age, Irish-born Louise Comerford was enraptured by the Emerald Isle's style of dance. That love has blossomed into a dance career of more than 20 years, during which Louise has won championships in the fast footwork of irish dance and trained in a plethora of other styles. At Miss Louise's School of Dance, she teaches irish stepping along with a host of other styles, including ballet, tap, and hip-hop, to dancers as young as 2. Louise also offers youngsters chances to shine in occasional performances and recitals.
When Ginger Boermeester took her first yoga class 14 years ago, she was a sales and marketing professional who rushed through her days, hoping she had time for a coffee break between class and her next meeting. Yoga’s flowing, breath-focused workout helped her relax in spite of her high-stress career, which she eventually left to devote herself to yoga. Today, she funnels her more than five years as a certified yoga instructor into her own studio, Roots Yoga, which takes its name from both the root chakra—the grounding force that is said to connect our bodies to the earth—and the connection Ginger feels to her surrounding community.
Her beginner-friendly studio hosts classes for all ages and skill sets, with the common thread of lengthening and strengthening muscles and freeing minds from life’s stresses. The studio offers monthly beginner workshops that focus on breath, alignment, and yoga basics, preparing yogis to thrive in the all-level classes, which can be modified to fit varying abilities. They cover styles such as the mobility-enhancing Yin yoga and Slow Flow, whose moves foster a connection between the mind and body more effectively than taping your foot to your frontal cortex. To work up a sweat, students can bend and stretch through the more rigorous Vinyasa, Heated, and Power Yoga sessions.
To help women achieve their fitness goals, the certified personal trainers at Get In Shape For Women focus on four areas: weight training, cardio training, nutrition, and accountability. In small group sessions, trainers modify exercises to suit up to four ladies' fitness levels, beginning by calibrating strength-training sessions—such as free weights, lunges, and squats—to each client's abilities while still ensuring they are challenging themselves. Then comes high-intensity cardio interval-training sessions in which trainers encourage exercisers to achieve optimal results on the treadmill or elliptical.
The trainers supplement the group workouts with nutritional planning centered around the concept of eating six small, balanced meals six days a week. They set aside the seventh day as a "free day" for a bit of indulgence, be it eating a favorite sweet or lusting openly after bacon. To hold their women accountable, trainers talk nutrition on the floor during scheduled appointments, and the ladies' progress toward reaching their goals is measured by trainers each week.
Soni Anderson has been a yoga enthusiast since infancy. As a baby in the Fiji islands, she received yoga massage from her grandmother while her grandfather danced and performed stories from ancient Hindu texts. Her village endorsed meditation and an Ayurvedic lifestyle, prompting Soni to practice her asanas alongside extended family and friends as she matured. Today, as the owner and head teacher of SoniYoga, she strives to combine her grandfather's playful mindset with the therapeutic customs of her homeland.
SoniYoga focuses on the Hatha style, though its studio also embraces restorative, Kundalini, and yin and yang postures during certain classes. A serene atmosphere of acceptance welcomes all students to challenge themselves each time they visit, whether they wish to push the boundaries of their flexibility with a more advanced pose or with a more restrictive suit of armor. Soni also channels her holistic upbringing by offering Ayurvedic counseling, products, and massage services which can help customize a wellness plan for clients based on their body types.
A registered nurse for 10 years, Paul Gustafson went on to clock another decade championing and practicing hypnosis through books, television, and private sessions. During free 30-minute phone or in-office consultations, Paul explains his process and helps patients decide if hypnosis suits them. In sessions, he probes each client's subconscious to uncover and then alter his or her attitude toward habits such as emotional eating, substance abuse, or smoking. His hypnosis can also relieve conditions and phobias such as stress, insomnia, nail biting, and fear of public speaking, which afflicts up to 35% of Americans and 100% of silent-film stars. He gradually teaches clients to perform self-hypnosis and supplies them with recordings of each session to aid in home reinforcement.
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