Chris was in terrible health. At 51 years old, he was battling two issues familiar to many Americans—high blood pressure and high cholesterol. So, he started attending Dallas Fitness Boot Camps. In time, he lost 40 pounds and 18% of his body fat, which enabled him to get his cholesterol down to normal levels and finally ditch his blood-pressure medications.
Though the classes completely changed his life, Chris didn’t have to make an exorbitant commitment—coach Ron Routhier asks students to attend just three 30-45-minute workouts each week. That’s all the time it takes for Ron’s masterful approach to emerge. The former infantryman spent years as the trainer in charge of soldiers that had met or exceeded the Army’s physical fitness standards. That discipline shows through now; in fact, another of his students boasts that Ron’s training got her in better shape than she was while in the Army Reserves. That’s not to say that students are expected to arrive in tip-top shape—Ron’s routines can be modified for all fitness levels, and his plans include nutritional guidance that helps people supplement their exercise with custom diet plans.
The playing field is level and accented in aqua at LOA Fitness for Women, where health is a community endeavor. The gym houses special strength-training equipment with 5-pound pin-adjusted weights that, by virtue of being lighter, prevent injury and foster healthy muscle development. On-site babysitting services and an all-female crew of personal trainers similarly break down physical, practical, and emotional barriers to women's well-being. Eleven types of group movement classes, including Zumba and Pilates, re-enforce the feeling of sweat-bonded camaraderie that permeates the ranks of treadmills and bikes, and nutrition counselors equip women with the skills to make healthy choices at home.
LOA Fitness also offers team training, which incorporate equipment such as kettle bells, balls, and sandbags, and group fitness classes, which include kickboxing, yoga-lates, Zumba, and much more. During automated spa treatments, women step into tranquil chambers that rejuvenate muscles and skin.
Crisscrossed with more than 100 boulder problems and 60 climbing routes at any one time, the 14,000 square feet of indoor climbing space at Dallas Rocks offers a challenging workout for everyone from expert climbers to those who have never seen a rock. Climbing walls reach up to 35 feet, and the “Big Tex” bouldering wall challenges experienced climbers with 120 linear feet of 70-degree overhang. Split down the middle between bouldering and route climbing, the climbing area is constantly being refreshed with new routes and problems, delighting members but rankling anyone who has to take the routes every morning on the way to work.
To accommodate fitness-seekers looking for variety in their workouts, the rock shop boasts a fitness center filled with free weights, heavy bags, stationary bikes, and exercise machines. Additionally, experienced personal trainers can help patrons plan a workout strategy designed specifically to enhance their rock climbing or skyscraper scaling.
Larry North has spent his 25-year career inspiring people to change their bodies and their lives through his infomercials, talk-radio show, television appearances, three books, and, most notably, his six Larry North fitness centers. "Success," North believes, "is not about how many gyms or how many members we have. It is about successful clients who lose weight and keep it off..." Adhering to this mantra, he wants to make sure that every member has access to the best resources and tools to achieve their goals. He sees to it that all of his spacious and sleek gyms boast a high trainer-to-member ratio and are jam-packed with weights, strength machines, and cardio equipment from industry-leading manufacturers.
All North's spacious and chic facilities offer a bevy of group classes that include kickboxing, yoga, Pilates, dance-based fitness sessions, and their signature 30-minute abs workouts.
At Sunstone Yoga, students radiate calm and self-awareness as they practice ancient poses designed to stretch, strengthen, and purify the body. Instructors complete 500 hours of training in yogic techniques, teaching, and physiology before leading classes, so they can hand out researched, tested tips on safety and alignment. Most classes come in 30-, 60-, and 90-minute varieties and focus on energy or restorative relaxation. A two-class introductory series welcomes beginners with basic standing poses, and the popular fire series explores up to 34 poses in a 99-degree room that loosens muscles to facilitate deeper stretches as it ousts toxins. Filled with soothing music and 90-degree temperatures, the water series cultivates more serenity than getting a massage from a singing whale.
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. MetaBody created a real-life version of that ticket with the 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.