The sledgehammer slams the earth with a resounding thud before being discarded for a game of toss-back with a medicine ball. Such training methods are but a small slice of the workout routine possibilities at Black Label CrossFit. CrossFit—an innovative strengthening and conditioning program that veers away from using traditional muscle-training apparatuses—has even gained popularity among the training programs of police academies, military special-operations units, and high-profile federal agents who yearn to get better at hopscotch.
On any given day, the training team provides students with new routines based on a combination of Olympic sports, gymnastics activities, and metabolic conditioning that may include moves such as sprinting with barbells, pull-ups, or inverted rowing. By changing things up all the time, trainers hope to inspire participants to remain engaged and feel challenged to always bring their best effort to improving their health and wellness. Each session is also timed and scored, encouraging students to keep aiming higher.
The certified and degreed trainers of Body Evolution don't judge themselves by their personal accomplishments, but by their clients' results. Body Evolution trainers know that every person is mentally and physically different, so no single fitness approach will work for everyone. Trainers Vince Hogue and Tristen Hines also adhere to this principle, and use their experience to draft workout regimes that inspire clients, nurture their health, and reduce daydreams of owning a house made of Twinkies. To ensure he continues to give clients an optimal workout, ACE nationally recognized and CPR/AED-certified trainer Walt Fleitz regularly attends seminars and studies new methods. His favorite quote from Maya Angelou sums up his beliefs the best: "People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
The trainers at CrossFit Louisville East lead group CrossFit classes, Bootcamp classes as well as personal-training sessions in the gym or in their clients' homes. Their CrossFit Elements classes introduce newcomers to fundamental techniques and safety precautions, and their yoga sessions tailor instruction toward increasing flexibility and strength that translates into CrossFit and athletics.
Burning Bush's menu takes tongues on a trip to Greece without them having to endure endless views of ancient ruins. Vegetarians will salivate over falafel ($4.01) and quinoa lavanini, lavash bread topped with pepper-jack cheese, avocado, and quinoa ($5.42). Meat junkies and professional bodybuilders can choose bison kebabs cooked over an oak charcoal fire, a gyro ($5.66+), or a Balkan burger ($5.89), which blends beef, pork, and lamb into an unholy union of succulence. Youngsters under 10 can order off the kids' menu or nag their parents for one of the restaurant's thin-crust pizzas. Burning Bush also serves sweet, creamy meal endings from Gelato Gilberto, a local gelateria in Norton Commons.
With its studio's purple walls and its lobby's cushy armchairs, Evolve Health Studio doesn't look like a traditional gym. It's not that the studio lacks the resources of other gyms—after all, instructors lead daily boot-camp classes and Zumba workouts just like at any fitness center. But the staff members recognize the limitations of traditional fitness centers, which is why they hold cooking classes, life-coaching sessions, and even posture workshops.
It’s also why they encourage clients to build relationships with the other students in classes, a practice which provides emotional support and someone to stand on when clients need to retrieve their salad spinner from the top cabinet. Instructors can even lead whole families in workouts to help to build healthy approaches to exercise at any age.
Before he studied fitness at Purdue, Chris Tedesco learned the subtle art of inspiring others during a trek through the dessert. As a Marine squad leader, he needed to keep up morale while getting his troops to march across 36 miles of arid wilderness with him. This same determination saw him straight through to three Ironman Platoon championships. Today, as owner and founder of BodyQuest Personal Training, he brings those heat-honed lessons with him to each session, just as he did when he helped a snowboarder recover from near total-lower-body paralysis.
He and his team of four dedicated trainers partner up with clients, getting to know them, their eating habits, and their fitness goals to help them lead healthier lives. They constantly vary exercises via a circuit designed to keep bodies burning fat long after the workout and even tailor training-session soundtracks to suit clients' whims, so long as those whims don't include whale songs as covered by an eccentric theremin player. The exposed brick walls of his gym feature wooden sculpture and wall hangings that capture the feeling of motion, perhaps subliminally inspiring patrons to push themselves.