Chris was in terrible health. At 51 years old, he was battling two issues familiar to many Americans—high blood pressure and high cholesterol. So, he started attending Dallas Fitness Boot Camps. In time, he lost 40 pounds and 18% of his body fat, which enabled him to get his cholesterol down to normal levels and finally ditch his blood-pressure medications.
Though the classes completely changed his life, Chris didn’t have to make an exorbitant commitment—coach Ron Routhier asks students to attend just three 30-45-minute workouts each week. That’s all the time it takes for Ron’s masterful approach to emerge. The former infantryman spent years as the trainer in charge of soldiers that had met or exceeded the Army’s physical fitness standards. That discipline shows through now; in fact, another of his students boasts that Ron’s training got her in better shape than she was while in the Army Reserves. That’s not to say that students are expected to arrive in tip-top shape—Ron’s routines can be modified for all fitness levels, and his plans include nutritional guidance that helps people supplement their exercise with custom diet plans.
Psycho Gym founders Travis Williams and Russ Kimzey challenge the fitness status quo by trading in slick machines and the lackadaisical attitude that comes with them for strenuous workouts that yield results. The gym’s group workouts build strength in a motivational, no-frills setting, as like-minded exercisers put their weight behind kettlebells, sandbags, suspension trainers, and battling ropes. For one-on-one attention, the gym staff organizes personal-training sessions, which mix workouts with nutrition advice, as well as athlete-specific programs for marathon runners in training or underwater-kickball players looking for a new sport.
If you ask a professional cheerleader how she got her toned physique, agile limbs, and powerful muscles, she might point you to Jay and Lin Johnson. The husband-and-wife duo are the brains behind Jay Johnson's Boot Camp Fitness?an exercise program designed to slim waistlines and pump up muscles of students of all abilities, from fitness newbies to professionals and prestigious clients such as the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. They have also introduced the program to national audiences through numerous television appearances, including Dr. Phil's Ultimate Weight Loss Challenge.
Drawing from their extensive training in the US Army and years of fitness experience, the pair and a staff of elite trainers?including professional football players and mixed martial artists?lead boot-camp programs in the Dallas area. Within parks, fields, and parking lots, they conduct high-intensity workouts, keeping patrons engaged with constantly varied regimens, along with games, obstacle courses, and scavenger hunts. They focus on functional training throughout the sessions, challenging students to heave barbells, flip tractor tires, and lug fire hoses.
The trainers also offer a specialized cheerleading boot camp ideal for high-school teams training for upcoming seasons or assistant grocery managers seeking ways to motivate their teams of disillusioned bag boys.
Austin Fit Magazine named RockBody Boot Camp its Best Boot Camp of 2011 and also lauded its owner, Brian Prinzo, as one of the city’s Top 10 Fittest Trainers in 2010. But for Brian and his staff of experienced trainers, it’s not about the accolades; it’s about helping others lose weight and reach their fitness goals. Classes eschew routine courses of treadmills and bench presses for a variety of challenging workouts that put participants through a mash-up of strength, core, cardio, and interval training designed to push them to their personal limits. Best of all, the workouts provide the motivation and accountability needed to help exercisers push past plateaus, and exercises can be tailored to accommodate many fitness levels and concerns, such as arthritis, body pain, and conjoined sweatbands.
Instead of devoting their energy to a one-size-fits-all fitness plan, the experienced fitness gurus at Authentic Strength Fitness & Performance approach clients on an individual basis to help them get the most from their workouts. The heart of their results-oriented approach lies in tailored exercise tips and encouragement doled out during personal-training sessions and group classes in both cross-training and nutrition. As proponents of Olympic lifting, power lifting, and strongman training, the fitness team peppers the open space of the facility with free weights, kettlebells, and areas for suspension training and dead lifting. An assortment of LifeFitness treadmills and exercise bikes join an arsenal of cross-training equipment, including weight-draped workout sleds useful for resistance training and out-squatting Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
During a Men’s Fitness photo shoot for the article “One-Off Workout: A Cardio Replacement Routine,” fitness model Tim McComsey lifted a barbell and held a dead-lift pose as the cameras flashed. The article explains five exercises requiring stellar form, and shows pictures of McComsey executing each one accordingly. As a National Academy of Sports Medicine–certified trainer at TRyM Fitness, McComsey demonstrates the same level of expertise while he shows how to perform lifts properly during personal-training sessions, fitness boot camps, and piano-tossing tournaments. Most of his workouts rely on a mix of plyometric, TRX training, and bodyweight exercises. To augment his clients’ results, McComsey draws upon his dietitian training to offer online meal plans.