After competing together on the 1996 US Olympic gymnastics team, John Macready and John Roethlisberger channeled their enthusiasm into another athletic venture—except in this one, the balance beams were replaced with mud fields. Mudsanity—a 5-mile mud run—resulted. The race’s permanent home by the banks of Lake Frances ensures boggy terrain and allows the founders to build creative obstacles right into the scenery. These obstacles range from mountains of hay bales to steep hills and outright vertical climbs. After the race, athletes relax at an Oktoberfest party that lasts all weekend, complete with live music, piping-hot bratwursts, and beer grown in the onsite beer garden.
With locales dappled throughout the Southeast and Midwest, the brains behind Workout Anytime funnel more than three decades of fitness-industry expertise into filling their gyms with positive vibes and state-of-the-art equipment. The fitness gurus spread Magnum-brand strength-training machines and cutting-edge treadmills—whose frames can support up to 500 pounds—throughout their hygienic antimicrobial floors. They also provide certified personal trainers, nutritional guidance, and weight-loss plans.
Workout Anytime's doors are open to members 24 hours a day every day of the year, permitting access to public exercise zones and areas that offer tanning and massage sessions. Each gym also strives to cultivate a familial atmosphere with staffers who memorize each guest's name and carve each one's Thanksgiving turkey.
Equipment: LifeFitness, Hammer Strength, Precor, ellipticals, treadmills, bikes, steppers
Students should bring: Water, towel
Average class length: 30–60 minutes
Number of Staff: 1–5 people
Class location: Mix of indoor and outdoor classes
Registration required: No
Guests allowed: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Exercise is challenging, and people frequently give up on their fitness routines. How do you keep clients motivated?
We keep clients motivated through education on routines and nutrition. [B.L.A.D.E. stands for] Balancing Lifestyle Attitude Diet Exercise—to reach maximum results.
When and how did you first develop a passion for fitness?
Since I saw Arnold competing on TV. And I always wanting to be a bigger, faster, stronger athlete.
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
B.L.A.D.E. is a place for everyone to come and work toward reaching their goals and to feel like they're part of the family as opposed to just being sold a membership.
It's hard to get out rock climbing regularly. Basketball courts don't fit in the average home. The facilities at The Rush Fitness let everyone get in an exciting workout, though, with climbing walls, pools, athletic courts, and more. At 23 locations in Knoxville, Chattanooga, Dalton, Asheville, Greensboro, Winston Salem, High Point and Greenville, skilled trainers preside over those amenities. They also lead more than 500 group exercise classes, which might touch on everything from yoga to Zumba. Those classes, as well as the requisite array of free weights and cardio equipment, have helped the chain win a range of "best gym" awards.
During 60-minute Stroller Strides outdoor classes, moms get to tear up a nearby trail while enjoying the company of their babies and fellow baby enthusiasts. Participants mix stroller pushing and power walking with pit stops for resistance-band exercises that, taken together, bestow a total-body workout. All instructors are certified in pre- and postnatal fitness, and classes are structured so that moms can keep their sultans of the sedan chair fuss-free. Stroller striders should bring a water bottle, yoga mat or towel, sunscreen, and snacks. Specialty jogger strollers are not required, but umbrella style strollers are not recommended. All fitness levels are welcome.