C.J. Easter understands the value of physical fitness. As a former defensive back who faced some of college football's most fearsome offenses during a four-year stint with the Stanford Cardinal, he could only be as effective as he was lean. With visions of sleek physiques in mind, Easter earned his personal-training certification from the American Council on Exercise, founded Performance Science Training Institute, and set to work devising a fitness system of his own.
The gym's exclusive Metabolic Movement Training (MMT) System is the result of all that hard work. The system is designed to jump-start the metabolism, so it continues working long after the session is complete by helping the body burn fat all day long. After a dynamic warmup to boost flexibility and coordination, trainers lead students through progressive resistance training to strengthen bones and muscles. Next, exciting, short-burst cardio intervals work to condition the heart and lungs and boost endurance, and a final core-training session chisels the midsection. Every exercise includes modifications and progressions to ensure students at every fitness level will glean benefits, and every session ends with a cool-down and stretch to leave bodies feeling better than when they came in.
The institute's team of instructors also augment MMT exercises with counseling on how to make responsible nutritional decisions and set goals that are both challenging and achievable. This all-over approach doesn't simply help people get fitter; it helps them remake their entire lives in a healthier, happier image.
When Forrest Folen says he believes in a mind-and-body approach to fitness, he isn’t referring to pseudo-spiritual workouts. Rather, he is drawing from the simple advice given to him by his grandmother: “Take care of your body, and your body will take care of your mind. Take care of your mind, and your mind will take care of your life.” His partner Roy Schuhmacher, on the other hand, comes at fitness from a strictly physical angle. Fueled by a personal goal to become a bodybuilder when he was younger, he turned to scientific methods and empirical data to craft his regimens. This research eventually led him to the slow and steady approach to bulking up that he uses today. In 2008, both Folen and Schuhmacher joined forces, bringing their unique mix of perspectives and exercise approaches to the public at Fit for Life Solutions.
Through their studio, the two trainers slim bodies with large group boot-camp sessions, tame waistlines with Next Level personal training, and accelerate heart rates during intensive small group exercises that incorporate kettlebells and industrial-grade defibrillators.
Licensed aesthetician and Bay Area?native Barbara Zaller didn?t always know massage therapy was her calling. After beginning her career as a dental assistant, then taking time off to raise her son, Barbara entered the professional fray once more. From her outpost at Butterfly Yoga, Barbara pampers clients with facials, customized peels, professional teeth whitening, massage therapy, and skin therapy. She swathes faces in luxe products from brands such as Dermalogica and DermaQuest, which she uses to treat acne, rosacea, and damaged skin. Her dexterous fingers ease stress from muscles during Swedish, shiatsu, deep-tissue, and sports massage. She performs specific body work on areas more annoying than a little sister?s obsession with megaphones and complimenting people's work ethics.
During three-hour classes at Art Social, instructors strive to foster an environment as lively as the paintings that inspire them. At various restaurants, wine bars, or galleries across the Bay Area, students begin the evening chatting with classmates against the backdrop of soft music and clinking wine glasses. Once students have settled into their personal painting stations, instructors delve into history, context, and scratch 'n' sniff features of the evening's chosen painting, which has included works such as Gustav Klimt's The Kiss or Van Gogh's Starry Night. Step-by-step instruction ensures students of all levels take home a personal masterpiece, whether it is a replica of the painting being taught or the bowls of fruit that haunt the student's mind.
Fit For Life Bootcamp?s seasoned instructors replace drill-sergeant screams with encouraging mantras in their one-hour indoor classes that welcome clients of all fitness levels. During sessions, trainers round out weightlifting sessions, resistance drills, and core workouts with cardio routines such as light running and obstacle courses. They switch up class routines regularly to ensure courses are never the same from day to day, leading wild-card days that incorporate hiking, crawling, and high-stakes Uno games played with 50-pound cards. In addition to bolstering workouts with nutrition guidance, trainers work to cultivate an atmosphere of positive camaraderie designed to push campers further toward their weight-loss goals.
Realizing the challenges of balancing family, career, and health, Brien Shamp decided to help mothers reduce stress and boost self-confidence via exercise. Pulling from his years of industry experience and fitness certifications, Brien spearheaded the boot-camp fitness program that has been lauded on Best of the Bay. He works with trainers at multiple gyms to lead women and other fitness-seekers through creative, constantly varied workouts. In addition to classes, Brien provides his clients with comprehensive nutritional advice while warning them of common diet mistakes, such as eating snacks with too much sugar or the realistic-looking plastic scones in their child's tea set.