Camp Gladiator founder Ally Davidson’s childhood obsession with the outdoors and sports led her to pursue a degree in exercise physiology. After her 2008 win on the TV show American Gladiators, Ally decided to share her love of fitness with the world at large. Camp Gladiator reflects Ally's passion for fitness in its mission, which espouses their desire "to positively impact the physical fitness and ultimately the lives of as many people as possible." During Camp Gladiator Total Transformation, participants lose weight and gain energy in a friendly, positive environment. Over four-weeks, trainers focus on accountability, competition, motivation, and fun at multiple locations. Results are tracked during fitness assessments, body composition tests, and a fitness calendar, while nutrition counseling helps to maximize those results. Click here to view before and after images.
Davidson also leads boot camps in 13 U.S. cities, with each hosting multiple training locales. The upbeat staff of certified trainers lead patrons of all ages and fitness levels through four-week outdoor boot camps, earning Camp Gladiator a Hot Spot title from Women's Health magazine's Fitness Awards in 2013, Best Boot Camp from Rare magazine in 2010, Best of Big D 2010–2013 from D magazine, and Best Outdoor Boot Camp 2012 from Austin Fit magazine.
Jennifer Buergermeister is very flexible. She not only moves from job to job—she's an entrepreneur, independent filmmaker, spiritual healer, and app designer—but also from pose to pose while teaching yoga. She has created two yoga DVDs and has a third coming out in November. She's also the owner of Jennyoga, where she works with a deep bench of fellow yoga teachers, offering a variety of classes for all levels. These include Sunrise and Awakening, Hatha Flow, and Deep Relaxation and Restorative yoga classes.
The team at Jennyoga strives to make coming to the studio easy. They built a Jennyoga app for mobile devices that allows students to schedule classes on the fly. And they run an in-house store, where visitors can pick up any yoga gear they might need before heading into one of the studios. They even made a short film to inspire attendance, a sort of narrative commercial about the beneficial effects of yoga in our noisy, modern world where neighbors rev motorcycle engines and fire alarms scream in delight whenever you get home.
For Doctor of Chiropractic Devin Parrish, it is easy to remember the perspective of a patient. For years he suffered with a herniated disk, but refused surgery because of the risks involved. He developed a treatment expressly designed to help move the disk into a more comfortable position while eliminating the need for pills and scalpels. Many of the noninvasive techniques he used on himself help his patients. Decompression therapy gently elongates the spine, removing the pressure of slipped disks while drawing in water and oxygen.
As a former accountant, the chiropractic doctor also has a keen eye for detail that compels him to find out what’s going on before administering any treatments. He begins all appointments with a 20-minute consultation and exam, combs through health histories, and discusses the patient’s issue while manually feeling for abnormalities along the spine. After he memorizes each vertebrae’s nickname, he further investigates with advanced detection equipment such as MRIs and x-rays. With this information, he and the patient work eye-to-eye in developing a treatment plan designed for their conditions.
Chris Green's passion for basketball has led him from the courts of his high school to the major arenas where he played with the ABA West All-Star Team. Though he was bestowed with many awards and accomplishments throughout his career, Green realized that his life's calling was not with basketball, but with helping people improve their lives through fitness. Eager to use his athletic talents to make a difference, he graduated with a degree in kinesiology and became certified in personal training through the International Sports and Science Association.
Today, Green combines the athletic prowess he cultivated on the basketball court with a positive, yet intense style of training during six-week boot camp programs, personal training sessions, and motivational coaching sessions. Dedicated to propelling students towards their fitness goals—whether those goals include losing weight, toning muscle, or squeezing into child-sized giraffe costumes—he supplements training sessions with regular motivational videos. Green also conducts regular self-improvement seminars on nutrition and body image.
Husband and wife Rhabby and Corrie both pursued fitness throughout their lives, studying martial arts, practicing yoga, and toning their cores with Pilates. But when they first heard of Zumba, Rhabby dismissed it as overhyped. Tatiana, however, had always wanted to learn the Latin dances, and eventually she convinced her husband to be her class partner. To their surprise, they found the first five minutes of class so intense they weren’t sure they could finish. But finish they did, and they loved it so much they even went on to become instructors. Eventually, Rhabby, Corrie, and Tatiana founded Tropa Z Fitness to share their exercise passion with others.
The three owners – along with their other skilled teachers – now shake hips five days a week in their Zumba classes. Rhabby reports that in addition to burning calories, Zumba’s ample hip movements have improved his martial arts, giving him increased flexibility and stronger kicks. The instructors also teach youth classes, helping kids express themselves through hip-hop dance moves, rather than by throwing rotten tomatoes.
Dance fitness is already fun, but for her own classes, Amy Ell at Vault Houston sets her sights a bit higher. Literally. Aerial dance classes can help students get in shape and try something they might not have even considered before, all while having a blast. In aerial fabric, beginners can get a feel for the swaths of cloth aerial dancers use to suspend themselves, and build their upper body and core strength as they practice climbs, locks, and tricks. In Air-Tone, Amy combines Pilates, yoga, and aerial hammock exercises for a conditioning workout like no other, while in trapeze classes students learn to fly with the greatest of ease. And in aerial hoop, students learn to navigate a suspended metal hoop while building upper-body strength and preparing for next season's gigantic-earring trend. In every class, teachers spot and offer modifications to students while stressing strength-training and flexibility to ensure each maneuver is as safe as possible.