Veronica Lugo was introduced to massage after sustaining injuries in a car accident. As part of her therapy, Lugo went to a chiropractor's office to receive clinical massages and experienced first-hand the healing properties of therapeutic bodywork. Wall sconces cast a warm circle of ambient light inside her treatment room, where Lugo puts her massage license, continuing education in clinical techniques, and spring-loaded extra arms to good use. She prefers to root out chronic aches by helping her clients over an extended period of time. "Ideally it's best that they do massage regularly, at least once a month," she says. "I like it when they come in regularly so I can actually see how it helps."
Exercisers burn up to 600 calories during Jazzercise, Inc.’s 60-minute total-body workouts, which meld moves from diverse realms such as jazz dance, kickboxing, and yoga. Set to a medley of popular tunes, sessions are open to all skill levels and start off with a gentle warm-up before 30 minutes of cardio, strength training, and a closing stretching segment. The discontinuation of the Nobel Prize in Jazzercise ensures a noncompetitive class atmosphere, and whippersnappers aged 4–12 can get in on the fun during Juniors Jazzercise classes.
Chiropractic physician Keith Nemec and his wife Laurie practice advanced alternative health-care methods that focus on achieving well-being through holistic therapies. A 20- to 30-minute consultation preps patients for the one-hour therapy treatment, during which the doctor uses a machine and two gas field wands to conduct a gentle lymphatic massage. This noninvasive treatment is designed to give thick, stagnant lymph fluid a water-like consistency to stimulate drainage of toxins from cells, glands, tissues, organs, funny bones, and melancholy joints. In addition, the procedure aims to disperse white-blood-cell traffic jams, sending them speeding in all directions of the body to dispel inflammation, bacteria, and instances of vein rage.
Andres Schwartz, a US Navy SEAL veteran, casts a bemused gaze at a group of accountants, stay-at-home moms, and pharmaceutical reps as they scramble, sweat pouring into their eyes, over the military-style obstacle course that runs through his gym. He follows them to "The Beast"—an impossibly monstrous pull-up contraption where groups grapple with monkey bars, hoist themselves on rings, and shoulder weights at four squat racks. His unblinking gaze cants toward the ceiling watching a pupil's white-knuckled hand cling to the 12-foot climbing wall, before he turns toward the layered bars of "The Weaver"—a part of the obstacle course's outdoor component. He strolls, arms behind his back, over to a group whose neck tendons strain in unison as they heave against medicine balls, ropes, and kettlebells, the last step in the grueling circuit.
By amassing these functional training fixtures, Andres and his team of trainers prep guests to punch through life's everyday roadblocks. FTX stands for 'Final/Field Training Exercise', and makes up the drills that ensure military personnel are ready for an upcoming mission. FTX CrossFit, brings that concept to the gym, challenging exercisers to complete realistic, if somewhat exaggerated, physical challenges without cheating or cloning a stunt double. The gym's trainers demonstrate CrossFit's signature blend of gymnastics maneuvers, Olympic weightlifts, and bodyweight exercises during classes for both adults and children.
Nate Aye's life story is best organized by the form of exercise he was pursuing at any one point. In high school, he wrestled before joining the Marine Corps. After several tours of duty overseas, he came home and took up mixed martial arts. As he trained, he became fascinated by the stories of strong men from the past, who, without the aid of supplements or modern exercise science, performed feats of power that have yet to duplicated. So he studied their techniques and developed a program based upon their training tactics, which he now teaches at Golden Age Strength Club. In his classes, men and women work toward strong, lean bodies and improved athleticism, while actively supporting the community of dedicated exercisers around them.
Practicing his new methodology, Nate made it all the way to the Las Vegas finals for the 2012 American Ninja Warrior Contest. There, he swung from moving curtains, scaled perfectly smooth inverted walls, and broke a DVD of American Ninja in half just by looking at it.
Inclusiveness. That's a big reason the trainers at CrossFit Carol Stream subscribe to the CrossFit system. Not only is it effective, but its level of difficulty is scalable to all ages as well as skill and fitness levels. To get everyone in on the action, they adapt its slate of functional-movement exercises to suit each participant. Those movements are performed at a high intensity during workouts that change daily to stave off boredom. Workouts feature everything from Olympic weightlifting and sprints to lunges, pull-ups, and medicine-ball toss-back.
That's the other reason they love CrossFit—it's comprehensive. The cross-training techniques get everyone ready for all physical activities they may undertake, including simple household chores. And the coaches don't just throw everyone into the program and hope they hit the ground running. Instead, they begin with Fundamentals classes that help students nail down techniques and learn about supplementary nutritional plans.