Far Beyond Driven CrossFit challenges its trainees to push themselves beyond their personal limits with individually scalable, high-intensity workouts built around ever-changing functional movements. Rather than grinding away for hours on an elliptical, students train under driven, certified coaches as they build muscle with kettlebells, sprinting, squatting, tire flips, and plyometrics.
Certified Level 1 CrossFit trainer Dave Duprey faces all challenges with a fierce, competitive spirit. The ex-minor-league hockey player—who holds a National Academy of Sports Medicine certification—has won several American Strongman competitions, bested the state deadlift record, and competed in the 2010 CrossFit Games.
At Self Made CrossFit, Duprey channels this devout athleticism into his coaching duties as he helps clients of all ages and abilities blast through their perceived limitations. He and his team of trainers harness CrossFit's high-intensity, constantly varied functional movements to bolster strength and endurance. To do this, they use free weights and body weight to help everyone from athletes to new moms get in shape. While there is no typical class at Self Made CrossFit, exercises may include kettlebell training, gymnastics, climbing, and lifting.
In addition to promoting physical and mental wellbeing, CrossFit Expressions forges a community of like-minded members committed to supporting one another on the path to fitness. Each day, the instructors lead a new workout of the day designed to target multiple muscle groups while also staving off boredom. Their workouts incorporate exercises based on functional movements, which means that depending on the day's plan, students may find themselves deadlifting weights, tossing medicine balls, swinging kettlebells, and rocking oversize tires to sleep. To ensure that the regimen presents a challenge to competitive athletes and casual enthusiasts alike, the trainers encourage members to scale the load and intensity of each exercise to their ability level. Although their workouts are intense, safety always remains a priority, so coaches monitor each person's form and technique.
The ground fighting, chokes, and locks of Brazilian jiu jitsu are traditionally associated with the legendary Gracie family—and Soulcraft Brazilian Jiu Jitsu features an instructor who knows the family well. Marcio Stambowsky studied with the family and was one of just a few to earn his black belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu under the tutelage of the late Rolls Gracie. Now a seventh-degree red-and-black belt, Stambowsky and Brazilian jujitsu black belt Brad Wolfson lead a team that instructs students in jiu jitsu and muay thai kickboxing. Youngsters get in on the act as well, with kids' classes that teach self-defense, boost confidence, and demonstrate how to avoid conflicts with that kid at lunch who keeps trying to trade a fat-free Fig Newton for a chocolate-pudding pack.
Certified personal trainer Fabrice DeCola founded Body Physics in 2006, and it is his current professional outlet for his ongoing passion for fitness. His experience in the industry covers more than 22 years, going all the way back to a collegiate period when he was nationally recognized for his skill on the wrestling mat. His father, a professional soccer player in Italy, inspired him to succeed at other sports, and a career in business management gave him the market savvy to put his training certifications—earned from NFPT, NASM and AFAA—to use at his own facility. There, he adheres to the Egosque method, which focuses on dispelling imbalances in the muscular and skeletal system. His expertise in yoga, Pilates, and tai chi augments programs to improve posture, and an emphasis on mobility over strength ensures that his clients do not lift cows without first being able to outrun them. Fabrice's highly qualified staff of fellow trainers all contribute to the studio's roster of personalized services. Lessons center on each client's dictated goals and can lead to results such as weight loss or better sports performance. Most regimens incorporate a mix of resistance work, cardio drills, and nutrition advice for a more holistic approach to health than eating your doctor. Group classes can inject camaraderie into calorie-burning workouts, and specialized exercises prep prenatal, postpartum, and injured physiques for rehabilitation.
Owned by two brothers from Newton, CrossFit RedZone doesn't resemble a typical gym. Instead of treadmills and bench presses, monkey bars stand alongside hanging rings and medicine balls piled like an arsenal of kickballs. Such equipment might seem spare, but that's exactly what CrossFit is about. In each class, coaches challenge students' bodies in a rotating array of workouts, incorporating everything from kettle bells and crates to obstacles in the parking lot. As adults learn to redefine their physical limitations, kids' classes take into account children's unique physical and mental development to create workouts that prepare them for a lifetime of healthy habits such as bench-pressing broccoli stalks.