My Gym, which currently has more than 200 international locations, began more than 20 years ago as a structured place for children to safely play, acquire new skills, and romp off a sugar buzz. Coordinators organize each class according to age level (starting as young as 6 weeks) and design them to incorporate the latest physiological, psychological, and meteorological research. My Gym's energetic instructors are experts at using music, dance, and gymnastics to build youngsters' strength and self-esteem and stimulate their giggleplexes. The atmosphere is always friendly and inviting, so it fosters creativity and face-to-face engagement in the face of technological temptations and giant robotic faces.
Honored as the company's Franchise of the Year in 2010, the Frisco location teaches pint-sized classes for all developmental degrees. One-hour Waddlers sessions for babies and parents introduce tots aged 14?22 months to mobility, agility, and social skills as they build block towers and participate in puppet shows. Other classes include Tiny Tykes, a class for parents and babies that focuses on movement, as well as Mighty Mites and Whiz Kids, classes for more independently mobile children aimed at mastering motor skills to build strength, balance, and agility. During free-play sessions throughout the week, whippersnappers can frolic amid the clean and sunny facility's indoor play structures, swim through the ball pit, or practice parallel parking with toy trucks and scooters.
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.
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.
A glance at Frisco CrossFit's lineup of coaches reveals a broad spectrum of individuals—a gymnast, a softball player, someone who was just looking to lose some weight, a military serviceman, and an Olympic hopeful. This diverse background reflects the goal of CrossFit, which is to reject specialization in favor of workouts that build fitness for everyone, no matter their age, starting health, or goals. The ever-changing Workout of the Day mixes up exercises such as plyometrics, kettlebell swings, and gymnastics. Each exercise is adaptable to an easier or more difficult version based on fitness level. The gym is decidedly low tech, favoring equipment such as pull-up bars and jump ropes to keep the small-group classes focused on the workouts.
The coaches acquaint prospective members with CrossFit through trial classes and the On Ramp program, which introduces newbies to the fundamental movements. They also keep participants motivated by posting success stories, nutrition tips, and advice on fitting in 25 hours of sleep each day.
Celebrating their 11th year in business this year, Transformation Boot Camp?s team sums up their philosophy on living in one simple phrase: ?We are never done.? In that spirit, Transformation Boot Camp celebrates positivity, teamwork, and the gallons of sweat that fuel people down the path to fitness. Each of the 4-week boot camps begin with a body assessment that allows students to track every ounce, inch, or percentage of body fat lost. To compliment the cardio-heavy circuit training, Transformation Boot Camp offers a set of Power Tools to help each boot-camp member hit their goals, including meal planners and refrigerators that make wisecracks about unhealthy food choices. All of this explains why Transformation Boot Camp was named Living magazine's "Best Weight Loss Program in North Dallas" in 2013.
Fitness specialist and certified nutritionist Ron Lyons wasn’t always so svelte. Before he became a health guru, Ron was a police officer, but his 240-pound frame didn’t fit with the position. It wasn’t until a suspect in a DWI case resisted arrest and outran Ron, leaving him unable to call for backup, that he buckled down. Now, 16 years later, he helms Ultimate Body Studios, sharing the fitness and nutrition skills he has learned and mastered along the way. He leads seminars, grocery store tours that teach healthy shopping habits, and a weight loss and exercise program that combines healthy eating with effective exercise techniques. With continued dedication to the program, some of his students have lost more than 150 pounds, or roughly one ACME cartoon anvil.