Lined with sky-blue walls and lush green plants, the studio emanates a deep respect for the earth, which staffers honor with a focus on local, organic foods and exercises that require minimal electricity, instead working the body through natural movements. "We were born to be runners; we were born to be strong, to use our muscle, so we learn how to do that the correct way here," says certified personal trainer Nick Lynch, Superb Health's owner. Lynch and his team of trainers and nutrition experts look to early humans to help clients unlock their physical potential, emphasizing getting fit through functional movements that improve strength and endurance in day-to-day activities.
Group classes revolve around functional training, bolstering the entire body with tools such as kettlebells, weighted ropes, and medicine balls. The studio's Adventure Workout thrusts groups into the great outdoors, where they gallop down riverside trails and practice pull-ups on tree branches and the tusks of wooly mammoths. Whether performed in a group or a one-on-one personal-training session, each workout is paired with healthy-eating tips crafted by Lynch and his wife Natalie, a registered nurse, who also leads meal-planning sessions and grocery-store tours to help patrons make healthy choices.
To prepare for his Army training, CrossFit Waukesha's Coach Ryan first sought out several personal trainers. When their regimens didn't have the desired effects, he decided to take his health—and subsequently, that of others—into his own hands. By running CrossFit Waukesha, Ryan is able to lift, run, and toss medicine balls alongside his students. He leads classes whose movements are scalable to all skill levels, utilizing tools such as pull-up bars, barbells, and gymnastic rings to craft ever-varied routines. His expertise as an ACSM-certified trainer complements his devotion to the CrossFit method—exercises that mimic real-life movements, performed at a high intensity for functional fitness.
At CrossFit Kenosha, workouts transform exercisers of all levels into fit and confident champions. Encouraging coaches rally groups during functional fitness drills that build speed, power, and stamina with tools such as jump ropes, kettlebells, and gymnastics rings. A team-like bond forms as exercisers cheers one another through challenging routines that can be scaled to different levels of strength and endurance.
Weightlifting moves and body-weight exercises cultivate lean muscle mass, which helps the body to burn calories as efficiently as possible. Filled with cardiovascular challenges such as sprinting and rowing, the workouts can also shrink waistlines and bolster heart health. Like a snowman's fingerprints, no two workouts are alike, which helps to keep exercisers engaged and motivated.
"If it's important to you, you will find a way. If not, you will find an excuse." That's the mantra by which CrossFit Outrival head trainer Kelli Rossow lives. And the philosophy has served her well, as evidenced by her CrossFit Level 1 and Russian Kettlebell Challenge certifications, her career as an MMA competitor, and even her reign as the Battle of the Bay's Bikini Contest winner in 2009. At CrossFit Outrival, she and fellow instructor Jennifer Rothwell refuse to accept excuses. By facilitating camaraderie among their CrossFit students, they create a supportive environment for them to get fit, despite the challenging nature of functional-movement CrossFit classes.
At CrossFit Northpoint, exercisers use kettle bells and rowing machines and cheer on fellow workout buddies within a sprawling indoor facility. The trainers put an emphasis on group camaraderie to get students through the intense workout of the day, which focuses on ever-changing functional exercises. The head coach, Doctor of Chiropractic Chris Hubbard, supervises the sessions to ensure all movements are performed correctly.
Performance Factory Training doesn’t look like your average gym. Grunts and shouts echo off the rafters of the 5,000-square-foot facility, a cavernous warehouse that’s mostly empty, save for a smattering of kettlebells and cast-iron weight plates. The students here have little use for gimmicky equipment, as they focus on functional movements—pushing, pulling, squatting, and lifting, to name a few—that rely on body weight for resistance.
Though PFT’s instructors offer everything from personal training to football-specific workouts, their flagship program is CrossFit. This functional fitness phenomenon consists of a series of short, intense workouts that combine grueling strength and cardio training with basic gymnastics.
To prove that CrossFit’s for everyone, the instructors offer a two-week On Ramp program designed to get new students up to speed on the foundational movements. It’s hard not to get caught up in the daily workouts, seeing as how no two are ever the same. One day might involve shoulder presses and deadlifts, while another might require you to haul the tires of a car that was double-parked in the facility’s parking lot.