As a 23-year-old junior, Tom Hatten didn’t spend his evenings at the raucous parties or ice-cream socials associated with college life. Instead, he’d spend the waning hours of his evenings waiting by the dryer for the last batch of towels before collapsing into bed. In the morning, he would lug them to Mountainside Fitness, the gym he opened as a student that he has thrown all his energy into maintaining ever since.
Today, the humble 4,800-square-foot space has bloomed into nine gyms that average a sweeping 41,000 square feet. Tom’s vision of creating a friendly neighborhood gym that greets each guest with a warm towel underscores every decision he makes for the different locations, from the colorful kid-care spaces to the entertaining group fitness classes. Personal trainers plan regimens tailored to each client, helping them lose weight, build muscle, or target the muscles that will help build a better golf game. Clients can create their own routines with the help of cardio and weight machines, or explore the different amenities at each location, such as saunas, rock-climbing walls, and indoor basketball courts.
After years of research and exercise, Dr. John Spencer Ellis felt he'd hit upon a premium fitness formula for producing athletes. Inviting Kelli Calabrese, a master trainer, to help him develop a curriculum, the two pooled their exercise knowledge—which amounted to 45 years of industry experience and 35 fitness, nutrition, and lifestyle certifications. From this wealth of training and education, they created Intense Mixed Performance Accelerated Cross Training, or IMPACT Fitness Boot Camp.
Their formula requires that each workout begin with a sports-conditioning-style dynamic warm-up, before proceeding into speed, agility, and quickness training, which allows patrons to more effectively chase cars down the highway. They then challenge students with full-body-strength conditioning, which focuses on all the muscles versus only the muscle group you want to train, and a high-intensity session of cardio training. Though the formula always remains the same, the exercises vary from session to session. One day, patrons might heave medicine balls and sprints, the next, they might jump rope and stretch TRX bands.
Claudia Schroeder first started practicing yoga in 1996 as a way to find refuge from stress. In 2007, with more than 10 years of training under her belt, she decided to become an instructor to share the life-changing practice with others. Now helming her own studio, Sol Yoga, she connects with the community, while also strengthening her familial bonds. Her husband and daughter work alongside her as co-founder and an instructor, respectively, and teaching classes helps her stay in shape to keep up with her three granddaughters, who were just signed as first-draft NFL running backs.
The three of them, along with a cast of diverse teachers, aim to help students care for their bodies and cultivate an openhearted attitude during classes for students of all ages and ability levels. In addition to yoga, they offer Yo-Pi Core—a blend of yoga and Pilates that builds strength, balance, and flexibility—as well as Zumba, which encourages students to let loose with fun, Latin-inspired dance moves.
The instructors at S-Cape Fitness believe that tangible results are the best motivation to keep working out. However, they also understand that falling into a workout rut is a surefire way to revert to bad habits. With those two beliefs in mind, they oversee a roster of ever-changing, functional exercises that keep bodies fit and minds engaged. Their inspirational body challenges, such as the 12-Week Body Challenge, combine personal training, customized meal planning, and small-group training to burn fat and build muscle rapidly. Trainers also schedule a full line-up of group cross-training classes, which pair well-executed kettlebell, medicine ball, and agility workouts with metabolic conditioning. This trio of workout styles targets muscles throughout the body, delivering full-body fitness the healthy and effective way. When they're not working out, clients can receive full-body assessments, learn about nutrition, and enjoy the atmosphere of friendly team cooperation with other like-minded exercisers and their talking parrots.
Although injuries sidelined him after earning a gold medal at the Junior Olympics, trainer Steve Fischkin renewed his passion for fitness by crafting a conditioning program that has helped him and his clients rediscover their healthiest selves. Today he leads a team of Impact Boot Camp trainers who tone and tighten students into shape. During boot-camp classes, exercisers spend an hour nickel-and-diming brows for every last sweat bead with a high-energy regimen that includes resistance training, obstacle courses, and wind sprints. Much like a game of boardroom musical chairs, Steve promotes a fun yet work-oriented exercise environment.
Impact also personalizes a diet plan for each patron. At an initial fitness consultation, the trainer and client set future goals, identify foods the client should be eating, work together to create a meal plan, and check sneaker pockets to make they aren’t hiding any unhealthy snacks.
At Inner Vision Yoga, yoga isn't just a form of exercise, it's a lifestyle. The company hosts more than 100 classes a week across two locations, with a style—hot, vinyasa, yin, kundalini—to suit any type of yoga devotee. What's more, the classes are divided into four tiers, ranging from "soothing and powerful" to "it's a workout", so newcomers can easily identify classes that will help them build a foundation for future practice. The center even offers a kids' yoga class where students ages 5-12 can strengthen their imaginations, as well as their bodies.
In addition to classes, Inner Vision Yoga educates the next generation of yogis through teacher-certification programs. The calendar of events also includes week-long yoga retreats, which are packed with activities and workshops and held at exotic locations such as Japan, the Caribbean, and the primate enclosure at the local zoo.