Programs that build character, leadership, and valuable skills for young people are at the heart of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Alabama’s main mission. Today more than 8,000 children and teens count on the four area BGCCA clubs as a place where they can learn to grow and hone their abilities. By providing a safe place where children and teens can both learn and have fun, the centers hope to promote healthy lifestyles, community engagement, and a greater readiness for the working world. That mission is most apparent in the success of program graduates, who graduate from high school at a rate of 90%, compared to 66% nationally.
Adeptio Wellness Center owner Rodney Fulmer employs 20 years of health-focused experience, including a background in massage therapy and injury rehabilitation, to lead high-intensity CrossFit training sessions. A method used by police academies and military units, the CrossFit program beckons whole-body betterment through constantly-changing routines that test muscles for stamina and knowledge of the French Renaissance in one-hour classes. CrossFit positions mimic natural motions to avoid injuries, but are performed at a rapid pace and against resistance, such as sit-ups while holding free-weights or lunges under the weight of a protesting teenager. Adeptio Wellness hosts a small number of movers and shakers in each class, allowing the instructor to observe individual bodily behavior and structure discipline techniques for disruptive biceps. The studio holds four CrossFit classes per day—Monday–Friday at 6:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 5:30 p.m.
Birmingham Yoga slowly transforms its students into stretchier, bendier humans with a varied assortment of yoga classes. In an intimate, comfortable studio space, cork floors keep participants tacked down in firm form as they link their postures and breathing in an Ashtanga Vinyasa class (offered on average six days a week), or flex their way through the lengthy poses of a Yin Yoga class. Experienced and certified instructors ensure that all students, be they novice or elite yogis, get top-quality training, a relaxing experience, and helpful guidance as they make their way down yoga’s inspiring path to self-discovery and the corner convenience store.
Zumba Fitness strives to free their studio of the pressure, intimidation, and self-consciousness that can spoil an otherwise enjoyable workout. To that end, the instructors forge a welcoming and non-judgmental atmosphere that encourages students to go at their own pace. With certification in teaching original Zumba, Zumba Gold, Zumba Toning, and Zumbatomic, the team spends five days a week guiding students through heart-pumping dance routines set to rhythmic, Latin-inspired music, helping them burn calories and drop dress sizes by simply moving to the beat. Instead of having students painstakingly memorize each step, instructors encourage them to improvise and have fun with the choreography. Participants of all skill levels can customize the routines by moving at a slower pace or adding more complex steps to create their ideal exercise session.
When Jamme Morginn arrived in Birmingham and couldn’t find a dance workout class, she started her own gospel hip-hop aerobics classes in her church’s basement. As more and more students spread the word about the calorie-burning sessions, Jamme began teaching them in local clubs and dance schools. Now she classes at her studio and hosts a line of exercise DVDs that allows students to work out in the comfort of their living rooms or TV-equipped minivans. As pulsating beats and lights fill the room, Jamme’s swag-infused moves merge with aerobic motions to tone bodies and burn calories. Her funky cardio style has scored her several mentions in newspapers, magazines and television shows including a feature on Fox 6 news and continues to spread to several states as students engage in her fun workouts.
Evo gathers groups of new and veteran exercisers to communally banish unwanted pounds and build strength in circuit-training-based boot camp. Over the course of two weeks, customers can attend as many sessions as they like. The 45-minute nonstop workouts, led by a motivational trainer, help strengthen torsos and limbs into rock-solid form with repeated sets of cardio and strength exercises using ropes, sandbags, kettlebells, and dumbbells. Because Evo limits classes to approximately 10 participants, trainers can home in on campers' individual needs and stage impromptu versions of The Sound of Music.