Thomas Volmer credits his wife, Rachel, for inspiring them to start helming boot camps. She wasn’t always a fitness guru, though. "She was a commercial banker and she was 70 pounds overweight," Volmer recalls. Once she started to reclaim her life, "she just fell in love with fitness," he says. She eventually dropped 80 pounds with proper exercise and nutrition, spurring her to earn her AFAA personal training certification and pursue a career as a full-time trainer.
Personal experience lends Rachel and the other trainers—including Sharon Monk, who lost more than 200 pounds by exercising and eating healthily—empathy and a motivating demeanor when working with campers. At each location, they get groups doing pushups, swinging kettlebells, and flipping tires in a positive environment that's focused on teamwork, rather than competition. "You start as a group, you finish as a group," says Thomas. "But the activities that you do in between might be different based on your abilities."
In addition to leading sessions, Rachel creates easy-to-use online meal plans (including a vegetarian plan), which campers can customize to help them stay on track. Options range from the simple, such as cereal with fruits, nuts, and flaxseeds, to the creative, including honey-sweetened oatmeal peanut-butter cookies. She also includes the calorie count for each recipe. Users can pick from simple meals made for one person or larger entrees designed with an entire family or pet elephant in mind.
For most of his life, Ron Green exercised and tried to eat right—a Herculean task, working as he did in the demanding restaurant business. Try as he might, he couldn't get down to a healthy weight. So he decided to hire a personal trainer—and for the first time, he felt himself outrunning the Sisyphean treadmill and inching closer and closer to his goals. The experience so inspired him that he decided to become a trainer himself to help others break out of holding patterns, and deposit their energy into exercises that gave them a return on their investment. Now, certified by the National Academy of Sports, he leads a team of trainers in helping clients through athletic, personal, and group training.
In the signature boot-camp classes, they aim at helping campers lose body fat while sculpting functional muscles, unlike glam muscles only good for filling out sleeves or wowing the admissions board at Harvard. The trainers also supplement sport-specific training, one-on-one sessions, or group training with nutritional guidance to help clients reach their goals quickly.
When Ed Norice left the United States Navy in search of a new career, he found fresh enemies to battle domestically: obesity and heart disease. He started Impressive Fitness The Jungle to combat these illnesses and give his fellow citizens a path towards healthy lifestyles.
Norice and his two instructors, Aubree and Rodney, draw from a vast repertoire of exercise styles to wage their war. TRX resistance bands force the muscles of the body to work in concert and strengthen the body from head to toe. Martial-arts skills lend a practical edge to every workout, increasing endurance and arming students with basic self-defense techniques. Outside of group classes, the trio offers personal training and nutritional consultation to help prevent clients from making unhealthy choices in their diet, such as eating a whole birthday cake and then eating the cake’s candles.
Dave Fannin remembers when treadmills were found only in doctors’ offices. As someone who has watched the fitness industry evolve since his first front-desk job at a gym in 1984, it’s no surprise that his weight-loss programs incorporate a wide range of techniques. Since opening his training business seven years ago, he’s helped more than 1,000 clients achieve a healthier lifestyle with a combination of nutritional coaching, fat-burning workouts, bursts of cardio, and ample support and motivation. He shares these regimens through one-on-one sessions, small-group personal training, boot-camp classes, and by acting them out in games of charades. Regardless of a client’s fitness level or unsuccessful attempts at weight loss in the past, Dave welcomes the challenge of helping them get healthy.
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.
Ultimate Fitness DFW's owner and head trainer Jontue Ezell is a true student of fitness and weight-loss programs. He's read diet books, studied exercise and fitness publications, and scoured the Internet for insight into new ways to whittle waistlines and hone muscles, testing new approaches and weighing their benefits along the way. Jontue's tireless studies have culminated in the fitness and nutrition curriculum he puts to work every day at Ultimate Fitness DFW, through boot-camp classes, personal training, and diet consultations that can be scaled for fitness seekers of all levels. Ultimate Fitness DFW conducts its training sessions at the 15,000-square-foot indoor facility at MVP Cheer Academy.