Fitness Together is all about synergy. Specialized in one-on-one training, the center’s certified trainers design fitness programs that unite strength training, cardio routines, and nutrition plans that work together to catalyze weight loss. The plans’ strength-training component, dubbed Aspire 8, fuses resistance training and cross training to build solid core muscles without ever having to tear a phonebook in half. During Cardio Together regimens, the trainers get patrons’ heart rates pumping with a mix of aerobic workouts. Finally, the education-oriented Nutrition Together programs teach patrons how to make more healthy food choices, leading to a lifetime of nutritious eating habits.
Before Dez White donned the whistle and clipboard of a fitness instructor, he was a professional football player for the Chicago Bears and the Atlanta Falcons. After years on the field, Dez added an ISSA personal-training certification to his accomplishments and founded The Body Firm Atlanta, where he builds challenging, constantly varied workouts for all skill levels. Dez and his staff of fellow trainers conduct classes in local parks and shopping malls, allowing participants to admire trees and bench-press mannequins as they pursue their fitness goals. The staff motivates its students by tracking their measurements and progress throughout the course.
With locations in Midtown and Duluth, the Ballroom Dance Clubs of Atlanta teaches aspiring ballroom kings and queens how to confidently execute such staples as traditional waltz, foxtrot, salsa, and swing. A cast of instructors brings years of experience to the dance floor as they shepherd their charges through rug-cutting private and group lessons, dissipating patrons’ nervousness with a cheerful demeanor and constant reassurance that their high-school crushes aren't watching. The studios' weekly parties give students the chance to mingle with their peers and practice freshly learned techniques in a laid-back environment.
"Our brain is designed to realize what we wish, without any minor errors," says Dahn Yoga founder Ilchi Lee. "If you want success, it will create success. If you want happiness or health, it will create them. Anything is possible, as long as negative thoughts and emotions don't interfere." To make this challenging, yet hopeful philosophy accessible to all, Lee combined the Eastern concept of chi energy with his own brain-management system, developing a distinctive program that unlocks inner peace and sweeps up brain clutter caused by the daily stress of always having to find Waldo. Warm-up yoga maneuvers awaken muscles before 30–40 minutes of breathing, stretching, core practice, and meditation—including a signature brain-wave vibration technique that aims to calibrate mental and physical energies. Cooldown exercises ease the body back into quotidian functionality before a 10-minute teatime invites socialization among participants while bolstering pinkie endurance.
With machines set up in rows to encourage competition, many ordinary gyms cater to men's bodies and psychology, right down to the urinals that were "accidentally" installed in the women's locker room. At Curves, you'll move around a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines that have been designed to work with women's bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage your machine maneuvering and your muscle making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing your momentum, the hydraulic machines use your body weight and fitness level to create resistance that matches your abilities, decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.
Getting into shape typically requires a significant lifestyle change, something Gwinnett County Adventure Boot Camp's owner Montrell Wallace knows all about. He had been working as an electrical engineer for nearly four years when he decided to become a fitness instructor. His degree and years of schooling surely made the decision difficult, but he was committed to his passion, ultimately becoming an NSCA-certified personal trainer and an NESTA-certified adventure boot-camp trainer with specialties such as women's weight loss.
At Gwinnett County Adventure Boot Camp, he and his team of supportive coaches secure a fun and noncompetitive environment where students can make significant lifestyle changes of their own. Wallace and company's outdoor boot camps blend core exercises, sprints, jump roping, hiking, and obstacle courses into one constantly changing workout that is designed for all fitness levels. In addition to toning torsos and turning abs into tic-tac-toe boards, they also offer nutritional counseling.