Bobby Zuniga has been there: overweight, unmotivated, and telling himself he'd change tomorrow, or next week, or next month. Today, he's transformed his life and his health through eating well and exercising—and though he's ready to help his clients do the same, he also knows what they're going through. Giving them simple strategies and plenty of encouragement, he helps clients get into shape through small-group training sessions designed to be fun, individualized, and less expensive than one-on-one training. He bolsters the workouts with nutrition guidance and custom programs designed for each client.
Fitness expert Christina Lucy founded Code Pink Boot Camp and has since expanded her fitness program into numerous locations throughout the western United States. Each of the trainers working for Code Pink claims extensive training and accredited certifications in the industry, and must undergo a strict audition to demonstrate their fitness prowess and knowledge of how many annual budgets each U.S. president could bench-press. With a schedule that includes several sessions throughout the weekday, the classes accommodate clients with varying schedules. During each session, instructors guide participants through high-intensity exercises that aim to incinerate fat, tone torsos, and improve overall well-being. The program caters to women of all ages and fitness levels and stresses safety, fun, and perseverance.
In 2001, a car accident left Russ Shadron fighting for his life in a Chicago hospital. He had suffered a brain injury and was in a coma, and it was unclear whether he would ever wake up. After a month, he regained consciousness, but his challenges were just beginning, as his entire left side was weakened by the accident and he was confined to a wheelchair, facing many surgeries to repair his injuries. But he was determined to show there was no way this would be how the story ended.
Years of rehab and training later, he worked himself out of the wheelchair and into walking with the aid of canes, to ditching the canes to walk normally, to training for short races, to training for long races, to climbing peaks in the Front Range. And he has become a personal trainer through his own business, Finding Fitness, to help others achieve their own goals. Shadron helps his clients pursue anything from a general improvement in fitness to a personal best in a road race.
Crossfit Pandora’s Box welcomes students of all fitness levels to one-hour Crossfit classes held seven days a week. Head trainer Tamara Gray motivates students to demolish their self-perceived barriers during strength and conditioning workouts that vary daily. Drawing from the same principles as police-academy and military special-ops training, the total-body fitness regimen utilizes a rotating cast of equipment that includes kettlebells, tires, and spiked maces to scare calories out of hiding. The co-ed group setting fosters a communal atmosphere, filling the expansive workout studio with echoes of shouts and booming high-fives.
Gym-goers at Off the Wall Fitness may also be off the floor, as they swing on the adult-size monkey bars nicknamed the Green Goliath. The Green Goliath's 16 rungs are suspended from the ceiling by rope, forcing those who take it on to compensate for it shifting, building muscle and stamina as they swing. Group fitness classes and one-on-one personal-training sessions are also elevated beyond the typical workout through exercises based on last night's football game and the month-long Shred-a-Palooza challenge. The studio also offers yoga classes, which aim to cultivate peace of mind and increase flexibility.
At CrossFit Unbroken, visitors immerse themselves in challenging, ever-changing WODs, or Workouts of the Day, which are designed to build strength and agility while spurring weight loss. Routines constantly rotate to keep participants from getting bored and fleeing the building to chase the ice cream truck. Classes may include kettlebell swings, pullups, 400-meter dashes, burpees, squats, and lunges. The arduous nature of the workouts also helps to boost camaraderie between members, an aspect not always found at traditional gyms.
For nearly a decade, the nationally certified instructors at ATA Family Martial Arts have taught students how to block, strike, and kick in a series of self-defense patterns. Classes for kids as young as 4 focus on coordination, listening skills, and confidence, and adult-geared classes teach sparring and weapons training.