Before heeding the call to a life as a certified yoga instructor, Diana Roehl helped companies to cultivate corporate talent as a human-resources specialist. Now she helps individuals to discover the strengths that lie within. Roehl steers students toward these revelations with Hatha yoga, whose deep breaths and focused poses center the mind as they fortify the muscles. Natural light and calming blue walls envelop group classes at her studio, casting a soothing glow on shiny wooden floorboards where students practice shoulder stands and bridges. Roehl also brings her yoga teachings to local offices, showing employees how to dislodge stress and impossibly jammed printer paper with graceful movements and powerful exhalations. Between classes, she leads Thai bodywork sessions, which combine acupressure and ayurvedic medicine through assisted yoga poses.
The trainers at Robert Brown Sports Performance don't just blindly assign clients exercises to perform. Instead, they use tests to determine your strength and conditioning levels at the outset of your training. This allows them both to tailor their workouts to your needs and to motivate you to make drastic improvements. In addition to reaching higher performance levels, training can also help athletes limit the likelihood of injuries on the court or field.
After playing as a defensive back for Texas A&M, Angel Rivera III joined AFL, AFL2, and IFL teams such as the San Antonio Stampede and the Dallas Knights before injuries eventually forced him into retirement. But then another chapter of his life began, and his love of the game led him to begin training local athletes. In 2010, he created All Out Sports Training to help high-school, college, and professional athletes take their game to the next level. Angel’s team of sports nuts empowers football, baseball, soccer, and basketball players by whipping them into shape and developing their sports-specific skills. The fitness team uses programs such as the Speed, Agility, and Quickness training, which gets participants racing through speed ladders, doing box jumps, and donning speed resistance belts.
The trainers also help non-athletes reach their goals through programs such as bridal boot camp, which is designed to boost self-esteem, tone bodies, and give brides more energy for the traditional 50-yard dash down the aisle. During personal and couples training, the trainers might get their clients hefting dumbbells, jumping rope, or straining against resistance bands, all depending on their individual goals.
Percy Bass has a diverse background well suited to personal training. He started by obtaining a degree in human-resource management at Texas A&M University–Commerce, where he learned to work with all types of people. He then examined food and its relationship to the body, ultimately getting a second degree in dietetics. Finally, when Mr. Bass earned his personal-training certification, he was ready to open his own business. At H2T Fitness & Nutrition, Mr. Bass puts his expertise to use with personal-training sessions, group fitness classes, and nutrition counseling.
Former NFL player and certified personal trainer Michael Booker wants to help his clients get into the best shape of their lives. As a highly motivating trainer, Booker leads one-on-one sessions, boot camp classes, athletic training, and kids’ fitness sessions for anyone looking to lose weight or gain enough strength to finally break apart a cinderblock with a single, smoldering stare. Clients at I.T.Fitness learn quickly that Michael is serious about fitness—working hard and having a good attitude are key at his indoor training facility, and nutritional counseling is valued just as much.
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.