Clambering up a brick wall. Vaulting over a railing. Somersaulting down from the top of a wall. It's all part of parkour. In APEX Movement’s 11,000-square-foot gym, parkour classes build a fitness foundation for students aspiring to these advanced tricks. APEX’s founder, Ryan Ford, mastered these moves—as well as basics such as quadrupedal movements, basic gymnastics, and freerunning tricks—through trial and error. Now that parkour has become a more established sport, he teaches newbies more efficiently than he taught himself, aided by a team of instructors. All have completed a 120-hour training program, and are well-versed in subjects such as “Demon Drills,” an online series focused on complex parkour stunts rather than on donning a horn-equipped headband.
The team complements their parkour training with a variety of other classes in gymnastics, freerunning, and daily changing CrossFit workouts. The gym also hosts solo workouts, where visitors can conquer Ninja Warrior obstacles such as the salmon ladder and the unstable bridge or bounce on trampolines and other gymnastics equipment. They can also wield strength-training tools such as kettlebells, dumbbells, and bells that have hands and try to push pack.
In 2001, a car accident left Russ Shadron fighting for his life in a Chicago hospital. He had suffered a brain injury and was in a coma, and it was unclear whether he would ever wake up. After a month, he regained consciousness, but his challenges were just beginning, as his entire left side was weakened by the accident and he was confined to a wheelchair, facing many surgeries to repair his injuries. But he was determined to show there was no way this would be how the story ended.
Years of rehab and training later, he worked himself out of the wheelchair and into walking with the aid of canes, to ditching the canes to walk normally, to training for short races, to training for long races, to climbing peaks in the Front Range. And he has become a personal trainer through his own business, Finding Fitness, to help others achieve their own goals. Shadron helps his clients pursue anything from a general improvement in fitness to a personal best in a road race.
A joint venture between a professional boxer and a team of successful kickboxing-equipment tycoons, Title Boxing Club maintains a network of dozens of studios spread across 19 different states, winning over a devoted clientele with its invigorating and engaging boxing- and kickboxing-themed classes. Each workout uses the heart-healthy exercise of cardio training to satisfy people?s innate desire to punch and kick something other than a broken jukebox. Participants build lithe, strong muscle tissue by delivering powerful blows to punching bags, and build flexibility and agility by practicing roundhouse kicks and hooks. Students can build their core strength and endurance with medicine balls and burpees, enlist a qualified personal trainer to practice their newfound skills in the ring, or just torch calories during intense full-body Power Hour workouts.
Bobby Hodge just wants people to find total wellness, but he doesn’t expect them to do it all alone. So he founded Physicality to help them achieve their fitness goals. He offers boot-camp classes for all fitness levels, advanced sports performance training for high school to professional athletes, and super hero training for amateur super heroes. Boot-camp participants also receive a complimentary nutritional analysis and food guide to help them shed pounds quicker, and the sports performance package includes customized workouts and nutritional plans so athletes are in peak health.
At CrossFit Unbroken, visitors immerse themselves in challenging, ever-changing WODs, or Workouts of the Day, which are designed to build strength and agility while spurring weight loss. Routines constantly rotate to keep participants from getting bored and fleeing the building to chase the ice cream truck. Classes may include kettlebell swings, pullups, 400-meter dashes, burpees, squats, and lunges. The arduous nature of the workouts also helps to boost camaraderie between members, an aspect not always found at traditional gyms.
As a kid, About Time Fitness founder Dena Stodola learned to appreciate the exercise provided by working on her family’s Wisconsin dairy farm. Since then, she’s been passionate about fitness and About Time Fitness is a physical representation of that passion. Its schedule of classes features yoga, martial arts, Pilates, kickboxing, and more, giving everyone the means to reach their goals in a motivating and upbeat group atmosphere.