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.
Koko FitClub’s automated personal-training system rockets both men and women toward fitness goals with 30-minute custom workouts that incorporate cardio and strength training. An initial consultation determines fitness level and baseline measurements, which Koko’s machines use to design a bespoke workout plan that precisely measures the weight, pace, and rest time appropriate for each exerciser. The Koko machines guide exercisers through each workout and adapt as the user’s fitness needs change and constantly challenge the body.
Designed by professional trainers, workouts maximize the body’s lean-muscle mass, which can boost metabolism and help fight off disease by challenging viruses to kickboxing matches. Exercisers can track their shrinking waistlines and swelling muscles online by analyzing workout scores and comparing individual fitness levels to the Koko FitClub community.
To help fuel bodies, the KoKo Fuel custom nutrition plan provides clients with the exact quantity of macronutrients needed to build lean muscle and burn fat. The online nutrition plan is based on increasing protein intake and controlling carbs, which is clinically proved to help aid with weight loss.
Upon first meeting licensed massage therapist Charles Hannington, one can be forgiven for not taking note of his smooth and dexterous hands. His bright smile draws the eyes upward and reflects his uncommon enthusiasm for life—much of which he derives from meeting new people and sharing his skills with them. Charles uses massage techniques to achieve his goal of bringing others closer not only to physical health but also to a profound acknowledgement of their own humanity.
At Charles’s eponymous Hannington Massage, 16 distinct modalities assist him in achieving this admittedly ambitious goal. From the firm and focused pressures of deep-tissue massage to the high-speed knuckleballs thrown at backs during sports massages, he finds unique ways to communicate the benefits of massage to diverse clientele. When his own nimble fingers are not enough, Charles enhances the efficacy of their treatments with heated pebbles, soothing aromatherapy, and hot towels. He prides himself on customizing treatments to each client’s individual needs and even dispatches outcall services to those who prefer the serene ambiance of their own Batcaves.
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.
Karmany Yoga's two studio locations, 14 instructors, and seven days a week of class are impressive, but the numbers alone didn't earn it D magazine's award for Best Yoga Studio. That honor belongs to the teachers' passion. They all came to yoga from diverse backgrounds, having worked as fashion-magazine editors, full-time moms, or high-school band conductors. As different as their outside interests are, they share one main quality—a great drive to aid others in discovering the balance that yoga helped bring to their lives.
They teach three primary forms of class. Slow flow gently coaxes the body toward greater feats of flexibility. Power flow, taught in the style of Baron Baptiste, challenges athleticism with a much faster-paced series, best performed in a movie montage leading up to an incredible victory that defies all odds. They also teach traditional Iyengar yoga, a style that almost exclusively focuses on perfecting the alignment of postures and bringing health to the skeletal and muscular systems.
Designed by former PGA Champion and Texas native Don January, Fort Worth Golf Club’s 18-hole course takes golfers on a club-swinging expedition across 6,600 yards of tree-lined fairways and emerald topography. Though towering arbors provide the bulk of the course’s sphere-impeding obstacles, a medley of other obstructions augment their twiggy efforts, including six water hazards known to feast on the life-force of errant golf balls. Formerly known as the private Eagle Mountain Country Club, Fort Worth Golf Club has opened up its emerald corridors to the public for the first time in 40 years, allowing new golfers the chance to drive, pitch, and shot-put their balls across the rolling hills of Eagle Mountain Lake. Before each round, golfers can warm up for the round by joyfully pummeling golf balls at the club’s driving range, where 48 natural-grass hitting bays serve as outdoor laboratories for players’ swing experimentations and their ongoing attempts to cross-breed divot tools with worker ants.