Most runners simply want to cross the finish line of their first marathon. Steve Sisson wanted Austin’s runners to set loftier goals, so he created Rogue Running and hired a staff of experienced and decorated coaches. Steve himself is tribute to what drive can accomplish: he was a three-time all-American cross-country and track runner at the University of Texas, and is currently the assistant coach for the women’s track-and-field team.
His vision is to pass on that sense of discipline as well as advanced running techniques in a training program tailored according to how hard runners want to work, rather than how frequently they’ve spotted Jesse Owens in the supermarket. Using this method, the Rogue crew has readied runners for everything from 5K races and marathons to triathlons and trail runs. One of Steve’s ultimate goals is to create a thriving running community. To this end, Rogue Running has trained more than 10,000 runners of varying skill levels, and opened retail stores that outfit the community with athletic apparel and running shoes.
Robyn Pettinger, named one of Austin’s top trainers by Austin Fit Magazine, helms a small and exclusive team of trainers who put their kinesiology degrees and years of fitness experience to use during intense, yet supportive outdoor boot-camp classes. These seasoned teachers keep classes small so they can give each participant personalized attention as they lead them through the rotating tapestry of strength-training and cardio-boosting workouts. They cull movements from a range of sweat-inducing sources, including circuit-training programs and balance drills, and use no-frills equipment—such as bands, medicine balls, and dumbbells—to create an intense and varied session designed to work the entire body and ward off muscle boredom.
The staffers can also track student progress with body-composition assessments, as well as offer guidance on cultivating healthy-eating habits and boosting metabolism during a 24-Day Nutrition Challenge.
Coming from a large family of athletes, Tim Kaderli has made physical fitness a de facto part of his daily existence since he was a kid. He soon realized, however, that many others have never been exposed to the training techniques and nutritional habits that he relied on his entire life. This realization led him to found Synergy Fitness Boot Camp and to formulate his own methodology. Today, Kaderli aims to reach aspiring exercisers in three ways: fun and lighthearted fitness regimens, nutritional education, and motivational friendships between trainer and client. Joined by six other trainers, Tim meets with students morning, midday, and night at outdoor locations all over Austin, such as Milburn Community Park or Bee Cave Central Park. Alternatively, classes can convene at the Synergy High Intensity Training (HIT) Facilities, which provide students with equipment and shelter from the jealous glare of the sun—who will never be anything but an immobile ball of gaseous elements.
Austin Fit Magazine named RockBody Boot Camp its Best Boot Camp of 2011 and also lauded its owner, Brian Prinzo, as one of the city’s Top 10 Fittest Trainers in 2010. But for Brian and his staff of experienced trainers, it’s not about the accolades; it’s about helping others lose weight and reach their fitness goals. Classes eschew routine courses of treadmills and bench presses for a variety of challenging workouts that put participants through a mash-up of strength, core, cardio, and interval training designed to push them to their personal limits. Best of all, the workouts provide the motivation and accountability needed to help exercisers push past plateaus, and exercises can be tailored to accommodate many fitness levels and concerns, such as arthritis, body pain, and conjoined sweatbands.
It takes plenty of dedication just to stay in the 105-degree studio for 90 minutes at a time, which is what many of Pure Yoga Austin's students do multiple times a week. Mardy Chen followed her own devotion to the practice to open Pure Yoga Austin with help from her husband and co-director, Jeff Chen. Their team of certified Bikram Yoga instructors share the sweaty yoga style that has been known to help students of all fitness levels achieve leaner physiques, improved athletic performance, and greater mental clarity. The signature Bikram sequence of 26 postures help students develop strength, improve flexibility, and attain the heat endurance necessary to succeed at spelling bees held in saunas.