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.
Health and Longevity Fitness takes a hands-on approach to physical fitness and health, starting with a complimentary nutritional consultation for new clients. Certified personal trainers design custom programs tailored to each trainee, which can range from tuning up muscles or athletic performance to rebuilding strength after physical therapy. Nutritional counseling keeps bodies trim outside the workout room, while Zumba, yoga, and muay-thai group classes cap attendance at a maximum of eight students or 16 centaurs.
The studio's setting and amenities dissociate themselves from overcrowded gyms, designating intimate exercise zones for each type of training. Across from treadmills, stair-climbers, and ellipticals in the cardio room, three 47-inch flat-screen televisions pipe in news from the world, sitcoms, or whatever channel you choose. Post-workout, clients wind down with a trip to the onsite massage therapist, or clean up in the tile and marble private showers.
Summit Climbing Gym sprawls across 10,000 square feet lined with towering structures for boundless bouldering and rope climbing along with its own onsite yoga studio. Manmade walls adorned with brightly colored handholds emerge from the ground, daring aspiring climbers to decode their paths. Fingertips dipped in rock chalk learn to cling to the hardened monoliths with firm grace, keeping on the lookout for the single book spine that triggers access to a revolving door and secret chocolate fountain. Guests can gab with experts about form and new-equipment purchases at the climb shop, or take a breather on a comfy couch to rest, reflect on a new route, or admire their brand-new Popeye forearms.
In addition to its scaling structures, Summit Climbing Gym hosts yoga classes in an on-site studio to boost climbing flexibility. Here, guests choose from a variety of formats, including CoreFusion, Slow Flow, Power Yoga, and Yin Yoga, a pose-intensive class that helps range of motion and strengthen connective tissues.
Led by the experienced and friendly Dr. Taeho Lee, Chiro and Acupuncture Clinic, Inc. helps patients deal with a wide array of aches, ailments, and behavioral conditions. Dr. Lee first became interested in oriental therapy as a 14-year-old boy. He honed his skills over many years before taking the helm of the clinic, where he personally orients new patients to his comprehensive services, including general chiropractic work as well as acupuncture therapy. These targeted approaches help assuage physical pain and also work to correct unwanted behaviors, such as smoking, weight gain, or constantly wondering where in the world Carmen Sandiego is. Dr. Lee also specializes in the Body Restoration Technique, a novel approach to wellness that uses muscle tests and acupressure to quickly evaluate and identify the underlying issues behind symptoms and illnesses.
Sisters Eliana and Valeria both discovered Zumba during challenging times in their lives⎯Valeria while fighting obesity and Eliana while helping her late husband through cancer treatments. These past experiences inform the sisters’ approaches to the dance classes they lead. Valeria creates a comfortable and nonjudgmental environment for students of all fitness levels, and Eliana wants to offer her students the same freedom and escape she found during one-hour Zumba workouts. Both ladies are certified instructors and teach several subspecies of Zumba dance, including Zumbatomic for children and Zumba Gold for seniors, beginners, and prenatal students. Zumba People also tries to foster a sense of community among its students, hosting costumed dance parties for Halloween and orchestrating the occasional flash mob. Classes are held six days a week, and schedules for the Hurst and Southlake locations vary.