When Roald Dahl wrote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, he imagined a much-coveted golden ticket that granted access to myriad wonders and unveiled the inner workings of an entire industry. Adele Fridman, founder of MetaBody, created a real-life version of that ticket with her MetaBody Yoga & Fitness Pass, though it applies to fitness instead of candy. The pass grants access not to a single gym but to classes at a variety of local studios, specializing in everything from yoga to boot camp. With the freedom to move from location to location, students can sample different regimens, instructors, and styles of exercise to cobble together a program that fits their needs and goals. MetaBody's nutritionists supplement class packages by coaching clients in healthy eating, recipe cooking, and speed-reading nutrition-fact labels.
Avoid the hustle and bustle and lack of individual attention at Infinity Aerial, a small fitness studio where creative workouts meet small class sizes and one-on-one attention from instructors, where Val Schrader and her staff teach attendees to fly at their own pace. With the help of hanging silks, students flow through aerial fitness classes that teach yoga or conditioning in the air, or participate in cardio kickboxing and fitness barre classes. Or pupils can learn the art of pole dance—as well as other fitness classes for men and women, such as Aerial Yoga, which uses a hammock to stretch the body, increasing flexibility, strength, endurance, and alignment.
At Shape 4 Life, experienced fitness instructors who achieved their own weight loss transformations now help clients shape up in similarly dramatic fashion. 50-minute Spin & Tone sessions use exercise bikes to incinerate fat, and BodyBlast boot camps provide customized training that can be geared toward exercisers of any age or fitness level.
Although he's now a fitness expert and personal trainer to the stars, Todd "The Bodyman" wasn't always in perfect health. Todd struggled with both childhood lung disease and a ballooning waistline before losing more than 40 pounds and reclaiming a healthy lifestyle. Not only did he overcome those obstacles, he went on to become a black-belted martial artist, serve in the US Army, and eventually marshal his expertise as an active-lifestyle consultant for NBC 4 television. Today, Body by Todd's online resum? sparkles with celebrities such as actor Danny Glover, NFL pro and sports anchor Cris Carter, and recording artist Marti Dodson.
It's not just Todd who has emerged victorious from personal health battles. His team of trainers?which includes new moms and former cheerleaders, gymnasts, and soccer players?has each eked out hard-scrabble victories against excess weight, losing 25?75 pounds each. Todd and his crew have helped more than 10,000 clients reach their fitness goals with custom programs, using straightforward nutritional guidelines and exercises that, like dinner parties spent rubbing elbows with famous Muppets, are easy on the joints.
At Victory Fitness Center, members pump iron in the weight room and pedals on the stationary bikes before giving weary muscles respite in the whirlpool or sauna. Besides providing fitness coaching to keep everyone on the right track, the gym also provides an environment free of intimidation with men- and women-only workout areas. To supplement those workouts, the staff designs easy-to-follow weight-loss programs, and certified trainers lead group classes such as Zumba, boxing, and boot camp.
Founder Doug Owens leverages the vigorous fitness aspects of boxing to train clients, and in the past he has whipped into shape a number of pro athletes, including NFL quarterback Brady Quinn and NHL wing Jody Shelley. He translates his personally devised program into group and one-on-one sessions that incorporate weight training, conditioning, flexibility exercises, and a healthy diet. Doug places an emphasis on uniting these facets of physical fitness into a mutually reinforcing symphony, rather than focusing his program on one area, all while imparting the fundamentals of sparring, such as not sparring at the dinner table.