The owners of Qi pool their experience to design innovative, unique exercise classes. Leading a staff of personal trainers and experienced instructors, the club maintains meditative training studios where yoga and cycling fuse in courses such as QiCycle-Yoga, and Qi Ryders, which uses RealRyder bikes.
The resulting roster of classes have earned Qi a second- and third-place spot on 5280's 2011 readers’ choice awards for Health Club/Gym and Yoga respectively. Such classes include Qi Yoga, a unique focus on core energy and muscular strength, and QiCycle-KORE, a cycling program blended with a bootcamp workout. The commitment to healthy living extends beyond the gym, with community programs, such as the free running club, a group that meets regularly to jog through City Park, Congress Park, and local Thanksgiving dinners.
Your Groupon includes two weeks of high-intensity boot-camp classes. With a circuit-training approach that incorporates cardio, resistance, and core workouts, each 30-minute session is accompanied by pulsating music and calorie abandonment. The small class sizes mean more attention to your fitness needs, and Danielle will motivate your workout routine to new levels. To help chart your progress, Danielle will help develop a customized fitness assessment. On non-boot-camp days, an online training program is available so your workout doesn’t skip a heartbeat. You are also invited to attend a "Healthy Meals" preparation party where a group of likeminded fitness buffs gathers to learn about nutrition values. This fitness program is open to women and men of all skill levels.
Up to 800 calories burned. 70%–90% maximum heart rate achieved. One 30-minute workout. To achieve these results, the instructors and nutrition coaches at FIIT WERX have distilled their fitness classes down to a science. They're also committed to championing the benefits of barefoot training, which they say helps to improve posture, balance, and foot strength. In FIIT—full-intensity interval training—circuit classes, instructors lead students through rigorous, shoeless cardio and resistance workouts, which vary to allow other muscles to recover between sessions. Each class is based on the tenets of functional movement, relying on workouts that condition bodies for everyday tasks such as hoisting heavy laundry baskets, chopping logs into firewood, and lifting baby bears into tubs for their baths. Students can measure their progress with MyZone heart-rate and physical-activity monitors.
This same commitment to barefoot training also extends to FIIT WERX's partner gym, willPower Fit Studio. There, instructors lead challenging classes whose blend of yoga, Pilates, boot-camp, and cardio workouts adhere to their philosophy of positive, functional fitness. Scalable for athletes and aspiring athletes alike, classes such as willPower & grace and willPower infusion integrate challenging full-body workouts with sports psychology and multisensory stimulation to leave students as mentally sharp as they are physically fit.
Lance Farrell drew from his extensive background in tae kwon do to take down opponents in the ring for many years before he realized he could use his powers to help others combat obesity and health issues. He developed Farrell's Extreme Bodyshaping to provide patrons of all fitness levels with a comfortable place in which to undergo a mental and physical transformation, much like a crushed-velvet cocoon. He stripped away the sparring and contact drills from his fighter training, leaving just the components that burn fat and build muscle.
When students sign up for a program, they're grouped into teams of peers who encourage one another through moments of weakness and provide a sense of accountability. The instructors and coaches guide these teams toward fitness on a 10-week quest based on four pillars—cardiovascular exercise to burn fat, strength training to build muscle, nutrition coaching to map out a healthy diet, and enthusiastic trainers to provide motivation. At the end of each session, each of Farrell's locations rewards a student with a $1,000 prize—or a year’s worth of high-fives—congratulating them on their dramatic physical transformation. Students who stick around and strive to get healthy over the course of a year get a shot at the $10,000 prize, though winners have reported that leading a healthier life is a greater reward than the money.
Tran’s Fitness & Kickboxing’s trainers marry the ancient discipline of martial arts with the newest of newfangled technology to jumpstart each exerciser’s flagging willpower and defibrillate their steely resolves. Before each session, trainers hand out heart-rate monitors at the front desk so that students can begin to understand their peak performance and zero in on it. A 52-inch screen displays jumps in heartbeat frequency alongside the number of calories likely being burned by each participant. The system’s design tends to motivate people to push themselves, soldering strain and hard work to palpable results, and strengthening resolve during particularly fatiguing RealRyder and kickboxing sessions. Other classes forego the device in favor of old fashioned fisticuffs, including Brazilian jujitsu, which strengthens bodies and teaches people self-defense tactics such as how to leverage spindly limbs to best a bigger opponent.
Navy Special Operators are recognized as some of the world's most feared warriors. Run using the same aquatic training program that tests the mettle of real-life divers and explosives techs, Hellbender's Amphibious Bootcamp sends exercisers plunging in and out of the water as they blast through a blend of calisthenics and aquatic exercises. A diverse collection of former sailors, soldiers, and firefighters lead the classes, shouting encouragement as as students switch from pushups and pull-ups to freestyle, breaststroke, and sprint swims. Movable obstacles including sandbags, weights, and decommissioned bathyspheres also wait beneath the depths, challenging endurance as they bulk up screaming muscles. Classes welcome all fitness levels, but exercisers should be able to tread water, swim at least 25 yards without stopping, and arrive with their own goggles and swimsuit.