The experienced trainers at European Soccer Academy believe that positivity and commitment are key ingredients for inspiring their players, who range from three-year-olds to teens. Through a medley of individual and team services, they strive to plant the seeds of a lifelong love for the game. They practice with all comers, regardless of initial ability, and motivate kickers with safe and constructive teachings that are meant to hone motor skills while building muscle.
During 10-week team-training programs, academy experts work with coaches to tackle collective weaknesses and augment strengths. Employees personalize their exercises for one-on-one practice sessions, while summer camps instill goal-scoring skills with themed activities. Trainers can even attend matches and compose a game day evaluation, which suggests future team strategies such as painting the ball black to recruit muscly bowlers.
CKO Kickboxing founder Joseph Andreula's knowledge of exercise goes beyond creating effective workouts. It also helps guide the Fitness Standards Council, a nonprofit advisory panel of doctors and certified personal trainers, and provides the basis for the articles he’s published in Exercise for Men, Men's Health, and _Men's Fitness Magazine. But his true passion lies in the innovative fitness classes he created at CKO Kickboxing gyms. Since 1997, these gyms have housed Andreula’s exercise classes, which use basic kickboxing techniques to lead students toward powerful strength and greater endurance. In contrast to other kickboxing routines that have participants kick the air or invisible schoolyard bullies, students in CKO Kickboxing sessions strike hanging heavy bags to help them tone more muscle and burn up to 1,200 calories in a single class.
The expert instructors of Iron Temple of Martial Arts consider their classes to be more than just learning movements. They aim to instill the mindset of martial arts in their students to help them develop their body and mind through both traditional and nontraditional classes. Their hapkido and MMA classes, for example, focus on the traditional values of martial arts, and the self-preservation and group fitness classes classes incorporate more contemporary philosophies about fitness.
Fitness coach Mike Corona whips bodies into shape with his strength-training-based workouts. His classes combine bench presses and dead lifts with kettlebell swings, free weights, and tire flips. Participants keep their heart rates up by jump-roping in place and somersaulting around the gym. Corona also counsels clients on what diet will help them reach their fitness goals.
YOUnique Yoga's instructors oversee their studios' schedules of physically invigorating yoga sessions, which meet in intensely heated practice spaces to boost flexibility. Mainly employing Vinyasa techniques, the instructors teach all levels of students to perform a rhythmically flowing sequence of poses that uses synchronized breathing exercises to help students concentrate as they transition from one pose to the next with balance-challenging movements. In time, pupils learn to focus their thoughts while leaving their mind-body connections as balanced as a seesaw in zero gravity. The temperatures can hover between 98 and 108 degrees at each class, helping bodies safely sink into each stretch and shepherd toxins out the nearest sweat gland.
Passersby that peer inside the windows of CKO Kickboxing won’t see treadmills, ellipticals, or stairclimbers. Instead, they’ll spot rows of heavy bags lurching backward and sideways from the force of participants’ kicks and right hooks. The kickboxing-focused gym doesn’t need excessive equipment or a catalog full of workout programs—the high-intensity fitness regimen of kickboxing is more than enough to shape up CKO members. Students of all levels reap the system’s multifaceted benefits, burning up to 1,200 calories per class, releasing stress, and developing a six-pack more realistically than drawing on their midsections with a marker.