Owner and instructor Rachel Hunt and her team of instructors motivate their participants to think beyond the treadmill. At Extreme Fit Training, instructors guide them toward slimmer waistlines and more sculpted muscles in their lineup of ever-changing, high-intensity boot-camp classes. The coed classes are held indoors and outdoors all over the Birmingham area. To keep participants engaged and inspired to continue on, instructors avoid repeating the same workouts during each four-week boot-camp session. Instead, they rotate through resistance, cardio, and core exercises that work the entire body. In some sessions, patrons might jog up steps at an outdoor stadium, and in others they might toss medicine balls.
Before patrons attend their first class, the instructors assess their body-fat percentage and take their measurements. With this analysis, the team designs customized goals for boot campers and pushes them to achieve them in each class.
Rhythm N Motion's adult classes, which welcome dancers of all experience levels and backgrounds, include hip-hop fusion, ballroom, and burlesque strip aerobics. Burn calories and mold muscles with burlesque strip aerobics, a total-body workout that emphasizes fun, flirtation, and fitness set to old-school jazz music (no clothes are shed in the class). Ballroom 101 classes teach new techniques every week, regularly featuring the social swirls and shimmies of the tango, hustle, waltz, and foxtrot, and you don't need a partner. Classes are one hour long and are generally held on weekday evenings; click here to see the schedule.
Devised by Pure Barre founder Carrie Rezabek, these fusion classes balance the grace of dance with the exertion of lifting and the soothing stretch of stretching. Each 55-minute session loosens, strengthens, and lengthens the body through a smooth blend of the ballet barre, weight training, and limbering Pilates. In the process, you'll tone your tush, thighs, hips, arms, and abs; burn fat efficiently; and block out the invasive anxieties of the real world, such as the lingering dread that squirrels are evolving faster than us and will soon top the food chain. Because the Pure Barre workout shuns any jumping or bouncing movement, already overworked and somewhat disgruntled joints will be spared any further stress. Classes are scheduled in the morning and evenings most days of the week.
After a love of sports led trainer Shane Rodriquez to the fitness industry, he quickly racked up an impressive collection of certifications from CrossFit, ISSA, and NESTA, as well as a lineup of clients that includes Fabian Sanchez of Dancing with the Stars. He puts his impressive resume to use at Ignite Fitness, where he's enlisted the help of Level 1 CrossFit trainer and triathlete Sonia Steely to helm CrossFit's constantly changing regimen of varied functional movements performed at high intensity. In sessions divided by age group, the duo motivates clients of all abilities to cast aside their preconceived limitations and perform movements such as weight-lifts, lunges, and plyometrics to increase their strength, endurance, and chances of finally impressing their fathers. To ensure each client gets the most out of the workout, they modify exercises to suit each individual’s needs. They also host a nutrition guide online to keep clients from sliding back into unhealthy habits.
To provide their clients with a diverse and engaging fitness experience, Ignite Fitness also hosts yoga classes as well as nutritional workshops, which explain the processed-carbohydrate-free paleo diet.
Little black quotation marks stand out against J19 Fitness’s light-gray brick walls, encompassing neatly painted letters that spell, “What I once feared, I now embrace.” These words act as a collective mantra and reminder for the exercisers at J19 Fitness, who on any given day may perform pushups, dashes, jumps, and Olympic-style weight lifts. Each day, the trainers here consult their vast repertoire of exercises to create a new regimen, ensuring that clients never walk into the same exercise session twice. This ever-shifting arrangement of exercises is a key aspect of CrossFit; it prevents the body from adapting to the workout so that muscles continue to perform at their best. Athletes, Olympic competitors, soldiers, and police personnel around the world use this same exercise philosophy to maintain peak physical condition and achieve maximum coolness when wearing sleeveless muscle shirts.
Beginning in 2001 as a small fitness operation in the basement of an office building, Pure Barre has since blossomed into a widely acclaimed, widely publicized approach to exercise with a nationwide following. Dancer, choreographer, and fitness buff Carrie Rezabek Dorr founded Pure Barre more than a decade ago in Birmingham, MI. Since then, Carrie has traveled around the country, hopping from gym to gym demonstrating the innovative program that draws techniques from ballet. Much like angering a witch with a penchant for frog spells, performing the Pure Barre technique can be a fast and effective way to transform your body. Motivating music slices through the 60-minute workouts, each of which utilizes a ballet barre and small isometric movements designed to burn fat and tone muscles.