Former college-football player Michael Reeves draws on his years of training and a degree in physical education as president of and a personal trainer at Top Form, a gym and field house. Whether training teams of young athletes or adults looking to get into shape, he blends his academic and practical experience to leave clients with a mental cache of exercises and routines. During personal-training sessions for individuals or groups, Reeves’ cadre of instructors uses muscle-isolating equipment such as stability balls, free weights, and medicine balls to shape cores or kick off impromptu games of dodge ball. On the artificial turf of an indoor field, athletes perform functional-movement drills while pulling weight sleds.
Reeves' wife and the gym’s vice president, Jen, leads mothers with newborns and toddlers through yoga-inspired workout classes. Little ones lie down or break dance on mats during the stretch and light-weight session as parents and progeny bond.
Corey House founded F.I.T. Boot Camps to help people get in shape with effective workouts bolstered by nutritional support. To come up with fun, high-intensity boot-camp routines, the staff pored over research and analyzed training formats aimed at burning fat and building muscles. They've seen the results time after time as boot camp members of every shape and athletic ability shed pounds, boost their health, and fare better at family log-tosses. Because the boot camps are indoors, the staff leads them continuously throughout the year, rather than putting members on hold during breaks between sessions or taking the winter off. They help map out smart food choices with nutritious meal planning, and offer private coaching to help members make the most of their workouts.
After fighting her way back to a size four following the birth of her third child, Debi Condon earned her personal-training-and-nutrition certification and founded Evolution Fitness. Debi and her crew lead mostly female groups of all ages and fitness levels through indoor and outdoor boot camps, TRX-suspension classes and personal-training sessions. Interval routines leverage mats, free weights, and nearby playground equipment to build up endurance against fatigue and cooties. With an emphasis on supportive motivation rather than drill-sergeant tactics or endless scrimmages against fast-food mascots, trainers strive to build accountability among their students through friendships and unlimited email support.
Founded in 1914, the original New York City location of Sterling Optical doled out frames amid the Ford Model Ts and paperboys that swarmed the city's financial district. The original band of eyesight experts weathered years of economic depression by impressing customers with speedy, full-service vision care, later launching a second store near Washington, DC. Today, a century of steady franchise expansion has given rise to almost 200 store locations in 23 states. Most locations continue the tradition of offering one-stop optical services, giving customers access to exams and onsite labs that manufacture glasses in one hour. The spectacle provider has been named one of the nation's leading franchises by Entrepreneur magazine.
While E Studio Hot Yoga may never reach the size of General Electric—one of the companies for which owner Emily has led corporate fitness efforts—it's still an ambitious undertaking. A team of instructors leads the center's classes, which range from ballet-barre workouts set to upbeat music to power-yoga sessions held in a 90-degree studio. Like a crutch with a manufacturing error, the schedules at both the Clifton Park and Latham locations are flexible; classes take place seven days a week, with a variety of morning and evening classes held throughout the week.
Travis Gil believes fitness comes not only from training the body, but from gaining control of the mind as well. He knows that a physical and mental transformation can be intimidating, so he created Fitness Artist to cater to clients one-on-one or in small groups of two or three. He and his staff of fitness professionals alter their regimens in every session, tailoring the workouts to the clients' levels of fitness and individual goals.