Julie Crowell knows exactly where to take her students to get them in shape: back to school. She meets her classes at Ferguson Elementary school five days a week, and requests that each student bring their own supplies, including an exercise mat, set of dumbbells, and water. That's about all that stays the same from class to class, though. To keep bodies guessing, Julie varies the workout routine daily, making use of both paved and natural surroundings, and the occasional unsuspecting art teacher, as workout equipment.
Equipment: Agility ladders, hurdles, rings, resistance bands/tubes, battle ropes
Students should bring: An exercise mat, set of dumbbells (5-10 lbs), towel, and water
Average class length: 60 minutes
Number of Staff: 1–5
Class location: Outdoors only
Registration required: Yes
Good for beginners: Yes
Guests allowed: No
Parking: Parking lot
Reggie Rusk spent five seasons playing for the NFL before opening his own gym, The Next Level. However, this gym doesn't just cater to football players—young basketball and soccer players also number among its rank—or even just athletes. People of all fitness levels and ages join to stay healthy. Workouts vary both in technique—equipment ranges from boxing gloves and kettlebells to battle ropes and giant tires—and location, with indoor sessions at the gym and outdoor sessions at football fields and sand-volleyball courts, among others.
Trainer and fitness guru Justin Bradshaw modeled SGT. H20's CombatSwim after the rigorous training he received as an Army diver. His challenging exercises encourage full-body fitness, using workouts that build stamina, boost metabolism, improve swimming skills, and promote weight loss. Incorporating the best of land-based cross-training systems, CombatSwim includes plenty of high-intensity interval training and pulse-hiking calisthenics. In the pool, water adds extra resistance that amplifies the effects of the exercises, which include swimming sprints, endurance swimming, and treading water with weights. Designed to sharpen the mind as well as the body, CombatSwim leaves exercisers with the same confidence and conditioning as some of the world's elite military warriors.
It’s just after 6 p.m. at Grady Park, and that sound is back. It starts as a quiet wheezing, slowly growing into a chorus of huffs, puffs, and the occasional groan. These guttural sounds aren’t coming from a wild beast or a meeting of Big Bad Wolves Anonymous—they’re coming from a trove of men and women sprinting, lunging, and jumping through Silverback Elite Fitness Boot Camp's intensive exercises. Twice per week, campers follow their faithful instructors through Grady Park and around McWhirter Elementary, dropping to the ground for a set of pushups or scooping a pair of dumbbells off the ground. The one-hour workout leaves campers’ hearts pounding, limbs shaking, and muscles burning; yet, within a matter of days, they’ll each return for another round, with a renewed sense of fitness and increased capacity to handle the grunt-inducing workouts.
Certified trainer Enrique has been whipping bodies into shape for more than 10 years. He combines cardio and strength exercises during outdoor and bridal-geared boot-camp classes. He also gives clients one-on-one attention during personal-training sessions aimed at reaching goals such as increasing flexibility, running a marathon, or somersaulting a half-marathon. His nutritional advice yields faster results for clients who blend their exercise routines with a new diet.
Soothed sighs and breathless chatter fill Alvin Health & Wellness Center, attesting to spa services and heart-pumping fitness classes. Stones for back massage soak up warmth as aromatherapy oils fill the air, and massage artists pack together algae mud wraps. The staff also leads cardio-kickboxing and fitness-boot-camp classes to better bodies as well as minds and self-defense classes that teach pupils to fight off overly aggressive car-wash mascots.