Founder and CEO Allison Beardsley's passion for Pilates sparked after struggling to find exercise that would not aggravate her basketball-related ailments. The discovery that the efficient resistance moves helped her to develop a strong core without subjecting her joints to pain inspired her to spread the word of Pilates's benefits to others, which she does from thirteen clean and sunny Club Pilates–studio locations. A team of certified instructors teaches the group classes, which are designed to strengthen, tighten, and tone the entire body. The staff leads students through controlled movements and breathing techniques performed on specialized Pilates machines, such as the Reformer, a Pilates ballet barre, and retired kitchen chairs. To ensure each patron can craft a well-rounded workout regimen that suits his or her needs, the studios offer stretching and sculpting classes that touch upon a variety of fitness modalities.
Kristen Enyedi, a triathlon competitor and marathon runner, founded Encinitas Fitness Studio with the aim of empowering people to lay their own foundations for overall well-being. She and her team of personal trainers draw upon a fitness arsenal that includes one-on-one sessions, group boot camps, and nutrition counseling to help clients feel confident in their own skin, which is much more legal than helping them feel confident in another person’s skin. In addition to drawing from plyometric exercises and interval training, they helm functional workouts using TRX suspension bands and kettlebells.
The teachers at Prodigy Kids Performing Arts draw upon extensive on-stage experience to tutor young'uns in a schedule of classes focused on singing, acting, and dancing. Voice courses introduce small fry to singing basics, including music reading, vocal technique, and how to shatter crystal without hosting indoor homerun derbies. The Musical Theater class delves into advanced study of the American art form, building a repertoire of skills that will aid them in Broadway debuts and undercover ops in the land of Oz. Acting sessions focus on the emoting skills required in stage life, with games, improv, and monologues to help develop comfort reacting and performing before audiences. All classes meet once each week in intimate groups of 12 or fewer students, and age requirements differ.
For Rachel Robertson, five is a magic number. It's the number of movements that the spine is capable of—flexion, extension, lateral flexion, rotation, and neutral—and it's the maximum number of students she'll allow in one of her classes (which are 55 minutes long). Because the classes are kept small, her guidance is precise and personalized. She makes small modifications to each student's form as they segue from one exercise to the next, helping them not only to perfect their technique, but to become increasingly aware of the way their body functions.
Rachel's lessons incorporate mats as well as Stott Pilates equipment, from Reformers to stability chairs. Though all of her routines help to build core strength, balance, and flexibility, she tailors them to address the needs of each client, whether they're an athlete hoping to hone performance or someone looking to lose weight. Rehabilitative and specialty classes even focus on conditions such as scoliosis or pelvic-floor problems. Alongside her fellow instructor and former student Shyra, Rachel coaches clients of all ages and fitness levels to higher levels of wellness.
Joe Decker isn’t your ordinary fitness trainer. He might just be the planet’s buffest human, at least according to Guinness World Records. He earned the title of World’s Fittest Man in 2000 after mastering a 24-hour challenge comprising a 100-mile bike ride, a 10-mile run, 1,100 pushups, and other exhausting feats. Today, his boot-camp program, Gut Check Fitness, helps exercisers tackle goals that are just as lofty with outdoor workouts that have won top honors from CityVoter.
Each ever-changing workout leads participants into the great outdoors, where they discover the true meaning of “gut check,” a military term used to denote a test of courage, character, or physical resemblance to Santa Claus. With the help of several talented trainers, Joe propels athletes through a gauntlet of fitness drills that torches dozens of calories and fortifies muscles throughout the body. Though many of the maneuvers involve dumbbells, the classes’ main piece of equipment is the earth, which provides hills for climbing, gravity for resistance, and solid ground for sprints and bodyweight exercises. In addition to basking in the trainers’ shouts of encouragement, the group cheers one another toward each milestone, fostering friendships while creating an ongoing incentive to achieve.
The Dollhouse Fitness classes provide multiple womanly ways to work feminine forms into firm yet flexible states. First-timers can wrap themselves around a pole-teaser intro class, in which instructors demo proper positioning, posing techniques, and how to strut like a diva for the impending paparazzi. Unlike army boot camps, booty-camp classes put bodies through an intense series of drills in preparation for storming the beach in a skimpy two-piece. Less-aggressive courses, such as the Goddess Yoga class, provide femmes with a focused stretch of time to contemplate universal connectivity and the overwhelming complexity of the cardiovascular system. There are more than 15 weekly classes to choose from—the just-right amount according to three out of five Goldilocks.