Elite-level physical fitness isn?t just a goal at Cary CrossFit at Athletic Lab. It?s a passion that drives coaches and exercisers alike during Olympic-inspired workouts. Goal-oriented and intense, like a staring match between two dark-roasted coffee beans, each CrossFit session squeezes a hearty dose of cardio and strength work into 55 minutes. Teams of fitness-seekers band together during group training, cheering one another toward personal bests during exercises such as squat variations, handstand pushups, and kettlebell swings. In a 7,500-square-foot training area, medicine balls and lifting platforms encourage muscles to ripple, and a 45-meter track inspires calories to melt during sprints and plyometric drills. In addition to absorbing training tips from a staff of certified strength and conditioning coaches and even a PhD-level sport scientist, clients seeking sports-performance gains can build power, speed, and agility using equipment from Legend Fitness, Ivanko, Concept 2, and Pendlay. Those looking to lose weight can sign up for a BodyMetrix test, which analyzes the body?s levels of muscle and fat using ultrasound as high-tech as a segway-drawn carriage.
Though certified CrossFit coach Andrea Logan helps fit-seeking clients to turn their lives around, she's had her fair share of challenges to overcome. Logan struggled for 13 years with an eating disorder, but rather than kowtowing to adversity, she not only punched through her hurdles, but used them to further fuel their drive and study of fitness.
With 20 years of eclectic sports and training experience, her voice reverberates across CrossFit APx's no-frills facilities, motivating students through constantly changing routines of high-intensity workouts ranging from pull-ups to push presses. Each exercise is designed to jet-propel students into the CrossFit core skills of endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance, accuracy, and remembering long lists. The center strives to create a strong sense of community among its students, welcoming new members of all ages and fitness levels and promptly squashing any unfriendly back-alley spelling-bee competitions.
Lead by Dr. Daniel Bannard, a "Fellow" of the International Academy of Medical Acupuncture with over 30 years of experience to his name, the team at The Bannard Center uses a range of treatments to promote full-body wellness. With help from licensed acupuncturist and massage therapist Dr. Sebastion Lee, the team specializes in holistic chiropractic work, augmenting unique, energy-balancing herbal formulas with sauna sessions and acupuncture treatments. During massage work, a certified specialist rubs clients' muscles to release pent-up stress and loosen the gnarled knots of shoulder anxiety and misplanted back saplings. All visits take place in a professional office space, recently renovated with hardwood floors and warm colors.
The words "Go Hard or Go Home" are scrawled across the lime-green walls of the New U Fitness LLC studio, firmly reiterating its trainers’ no-excuses approach to fitness. Among the facility’s punching bags, kettlebells, and resistance-training equipment, Mel Burgess and his staff of fellow NASM-certified trainers lead personal-training sessions and a variety of group classes, including boot camps and cardio boxing sessions. The studio’s nutritionist doles out healthy-eating tips and beneficial supplements. The staff also educates kids on weight management, nutrition, and antibullying strategies, such as learning how to defend themselves or how to quickly don fake mustaches while saying “he went that’a way.”
Each of the professionally trained instructors at Carolina Ballroom of Cary has more than 10 years of experience, which they use to teach two categories of dance—smooth jazz, and rhythm. Smooth jazz encompasses the waltz, foxtrot, tango, Viennese waltz, and quickstep, while rhythm includes dance styles such as the salsa, cha-cha, rumba, various versions of swing, shag, and jive. They coach students through a variety of fashions, including private lessons, group classes, and practice parties. Every month, the staff also hosts a night out on the town that allows students and faculty to visit a local dance club and showcase their moves.
Jazzercise is 60 minutes of cardio, strength training, and stretching that incorporates moves from hip-hop, yoga, Pilates, jazz dance, kickboxing, and resistance training with handheld weights. Dancing With the Stars multiple-champion Cheryl Burke is a big fan of Jazzercise's improvisational workouts, though luckily participants won't need her dance moves to get the most out of each class. Those prone to first-class jitters, though, can review the basic moves online before attending. Expect to burn off up to 500 calories with each go-round.