While teaching jazz dance in the 1960s, Judi Sheppard Missett decided to step away from tradition by offering an experimental class that allowed her students to simply dance without the judgment of mirrors or the constraints of rigid technique. In these sessions, she began infusing popular dance moves with specific fitness workouts to forge a distinctive blend of cardio exercise, strength training, and dance instruction. Little did she know that this “just for fun” class was the prototype for what would become the national fitness sensation known as Jazzercise.
Today, Jazzercise takes its aerobic techniques from a variety of sources that include jazz dance, hip-hop, resistance training, Pilates, yoga, and kickboxing. The class formats, which vary according to different toning goals, are just as diverse as the program's move set. Instructors cultivate a noncompetitive atmosphere where all exercisers—with the exception of those marked as cursed by jazz-hand palm readers—are welcome regardless of age, build, or fitness background.
At CrossFit The Challenge, coach Andy Janzen—a former member of the German national baseball team—brings to every workout a passion for fitness and a wealth of experience. Through CrossFit's combination of weightlifting, gymnastics, and speed and conditioning, students can get in shape and leg-wrestle their limitations into submission. The high-intensity sessions strengthen muscles and burn fat through functional movements, building agility, stamina, and power with an ever-changing regimen of Workouts of the Day. Rather than wasting time on treadmills or navigating complicated weight machines, students tackle individually tailored, scalable workouts that train muscles for the rigors of everyday activity through squats, pushups, rowing, sprints, and presses.
Since launching their flagship 10-week program in 2001, the instructors at Farrell’s eXtreme Bodyshaping have spurred more than 35,000 trainees across 42 locations toward their weight-loss goals. Classes burn fat and build lean muscle with fitness kickboxing and muscle-building with anaerobic bands. Coaches support trainees with a nutrition plan that breaks up food intake into six daily meals, increasing sustaining bodily energy and a sense of déjà vu. The founders of Farrell’s eXtreme Bodybuilding are so confident in their program that they offer a money-back guarantee for those dissatisfied with their results.
The women-only Inches-A-Weigh health club helps clients meet their fitness and weight-loss goals via a three-part figure-correction program. Each customized treatment plan involves private weekly weigh-ins, nutritional counseling, body sculpting, and cardiovascular exercises. A medley of spa-like services accompanies each program for quicker results. Treatments include body wraps, 30-minute sessions in an infrared sauna design to blast up to 800 calories at one go, and a French-algae skin-tightening wrap that will leave skin as taut and shiny as a shrink-wrapped skyscraper.
The instructors at Revolution Martial Arts believe that the skills students learn through martial arts—confidence, respect, and self-control, to name a few—can help to make them successful in other parts of life. In classes that are disciplined yet enjoyable, they guide students through routines of tai chi, tang soo do, and other styles of martial arts. The classes have physical benefits, too, resulting in increased endurance and toned physiques.
At Ultimate Body Shaping, certified personal trainer Mary Drake cultivates a supportive, results-oriented environment for shedding excess body fat and keeping it off. During boot camp, guests hustle through a circuit-style workout, lifting barbells and kettlebells while also pounding out kickboxing jabs and roundhouse kicks. Workouts are varied to keep muscles constantly working and often incorporate good, old-fashioned pushups, sit-ups, and breakups with cheeseburger barbells. Mary creates a supportive environment where fellow boot campers urge each other to take their efforts to the next level.