Devan Kline was a pitcher in the minor leagues for the San Francisco Giants, focusing his attention on making it to the majors when another career opportunity blindsided him. In the summers of 2009 and 2010, he began helping Vanessa—the mother of the host family he lived with during home games—train to get back on shape. Devan witnessed firsthand her rapid transformation as she lost 45 pounds, and he saw the positive impact it had on her and her family's lives. The grateful clan told Devan that his time with them had changed their lives, and it’s then that he knew he wanted to dedicate himself to helping others in the same way. That’s when he founded Burn Boot Camp.
Now, Devan—with the help of a coterie of trainers—conducts indoor boot camps in six locations, using exercises that Devan himself used to get into shape during his days as a professional athlete. The team supplements those regimens with loads of body-weight-resistance training and heart-pounding cardio drills that include sprinting short distances or boxing defibrillators.
Students at The Rock MMA & Fitness Center get the chance to learn from and train with an undefeated professional boxer, a 10-year jujitsu veteran, and a professional mixed-martial-arts fighter. All accolades just happen to belong to one man, Coach Matt. Joined by wrestling veteran Coach Brian and a team of qualified instructors, Matt teaches a full week of martial-arts classes, such as kickboxing, jujitsu, boxing, and mixed martial arts. He rounds out the schedule with conditioning and fitness-focused training, including a boot camp and hours set aside for open use of any of the gym's equipment.
Though CrossFit Huntersville's certified trainers come from diverse competitive backgrounds, including Olympic weightlifting, professional motorsports, and tennis, they all have one thing in common: a passion for the CrossFit program's blend of varied, functional movements. Workouts change from day to day, but often incorporate running, jumping, pressing objects over the head, deadlifting, and rowing—all deemed "functional" exercises because they focus on movements that the body does naturally. Each workout of the day (WOD) is scalable to suit any level of fitness.
The family-owned CrossFit affiliate is free of mirrors to thwart self-judgment. Barbells, pull-up bars, kettlebells, and plyo boxes take the place of typical gym staples such as cardio machines and cardboard cutouts of Mr. T.
Anytime Fitness accommodates exercisers of all fitness level with motivating group classes and 24-hour access to cardio and weight-training equipment. Vibrant green walls and carpeted floors flank rows of treadmills and elliptical trainers that buzz all day and night like a wasp’s nest in the midst of a government scandal, equipping exercisers with heart-pumping cardio in the comforting glow of HD TVs. Skilled instructors get hips wiggling and feet stomping during an exhilarating Zumba dance class set to percolating Latin beats. After each sweat session, patrons can wash away salty dew in one of the club’s private showers.
Certified personal trainer Thor Colberg refuses to define the word challenge, as he’s found through experience that one person’s molehill is another’s Mt. Everest. In any given boot-camp session, he might have to work with a new mother, a competitive athlete, and a first-time exerciser at the same time. To accommodate all of these men and women of differing ages and experience levels, he adjusts his regimens to fit each individual and makes doubly sure that no camper is ever left behind on a run or forced to act as a bridge on an obstacle course. During these 45-minute sessions, he leads calisthenics and light weightlifting routines that simultaneously accommodate and test his students. Drawing on extensive summer camp-counseling experience, he also leads boot-camp sessions for kids.
All of Colberg’s services tend to include a nutritional aspect, as he is also a certified nutrition consultant who endorses a holistic approach to health.
After recovering from a serious illness, Judy Storey strengthened and toned her body anew through a pole-dancing fitness regimen, an experience she passes along to pupils at PoleFit Carolinas. Now a certified instructor, Judy captains a team of dedicated teachers and dancers that fortifies cores and self-confidence in women of all ages through a plethora of pole-dancing, yoga, and cardio dance courses within the 2,000-square-foot facility. When patrons aren't imitating a climbing mime on the studio’s nine 17-foot X-Poles, they can relax in the lounge area.
Inside Melting Point’s sultry studio, woodblock Buddha prints smile serenely upon students as they smoothly transition through a series of body-strengthening poses. The temperature hovers between 100 and 105 degrees, ensuring that beginning and advanced practitioners can attain deep stretches, detoxification, and bowls of soup not quite warm enough to be enjoyable. Wide-blade ceiling fans and bamboo-hardwood floors evoke a tropical bungalow, and wide windows carry a flood of natural light into the studio space. Because of the high temperature, towels are mandatory during classes; students can bring their own or rent towels and mats from the studio. After class, students can capitalize on their primed and supple muscles with a Swedish or neuromuscular massage from a licensed massage therapist.