Frills equal distractions when it comes to working out. That's according to the certified trainers who own CrossFit Hardcore North, a member of the gym family named the sixth-best in America by The Active Times. That's why none of their classes involve fancy treadmills, designer rubber bands, or high heels. Instead, classes feature trainers such as Dr. Adam Locker leads students through group classes and personal-training sessions, and seasoned coaches who oversee each participant, monitoring progress as they deliver safety tips and words of encouragement.
Gymnastics-inspired bodyweight exercises such as handstands and muscle-ups build lean muscle mass, and plyometrics foster agility and stamina. Many sessions also incorporate running or rowing to raise heart rates and melt calories. In addition to sculpting lean muscle, kettlebell training cultivates flexibility with focused squats and swinging motions. Instructors also instill in their clients the CrossFit style with functional movements that aim to boost strength, power, and coordination.
Workouts take place in warehouses and other spartan spaces that embody a cultivated lack of the bells and whistles that often masquerade as fitness essentials. Here, basic tools such as kettlebells, jump ropes, and weighted sleds get the job done for a wide range of exercisers, from absolute beginners to advanced athletes.
Helmed by Stefanie Ellis, a team of expert instructors leads a roster of classes designed to help guests bolster their core, strength, and posture. In addition to equipment-heavy Pilates courses, these passionate fitness gurus lead heart-intensive Core Cardio classes, ballet-inspired barre classes, yoga lessons, and spinning sessions replete with pulsing tunes, music videos, and the speed-inspiring chirps of cheetahs.
Shannon "The Cannon" Hudson is an International Kickboxing Federation world champion, a fifth-degree black belt in japanese shotokan karate, and a survivor of more than 70 bouts in the ring—yet, one of his most influential titles is "father." With two kids clinging around his waist like a squirmy fanny pack, Shannon started brainstorming a way to channel his boxing and kickboxing training into a quick, effective workout that even those who are busy or out of shape could tackle. The result was 9Round, a 30-minute routine of aerobic, anaerobic, and resistance moves divided into a circuit of nine stations. The ever-changing series of workouts maximizes morale and results and minimizes boredom.
His trainers launch the workouts every three minutes, motivating exercisers through each station—which might include jumping rope or pummeling speed bags. Online nutritional counseling supplements the workouts, teaching patrons how to construct and eat healthful meals instead of falling back on old habits, such as snacking on cheese sculptures.
At Southeast Kickboxing Florida, instructors place an emphasis on self-defense skills as they help students achieve weight-loss goals. Students power through strength-building exercises and reps as well as high-intensity cardio kicks and punches to speed up their heart rates and shed pounds. At the same time, each class instills confidence in pupils, helping them feel safe in the knowledge that they can protect themselves.
A yoga practice offers more than just the physical benefits. Liv Yoga Institute is mindful of this, and was founded on three principles?limitless living, inner peace, and vitality. Limitless living involves the ability to see beyond our human limitations; inner peace is sparked from stretching the mind as well as the body; and vitality comes from being grounded, centered, and positively impacting others.
Liv Yoga classes practice these principles in with yoga styles that range from slow flow to hot yoga in a room heated to approximately 104 degrees. Vinyasa-style classes link movements to the breath in a more fast-paced class that's open to all levels of yogis and soft pretzels. During sessions, students are encouraged to contemplate the impermanence of everything, and to embrace the freedom of spirit?all while sweating and getting a good workout.