The pop and hip-hop beats that play during boot-camp classes at Nu’Lennium Fitness keep energy high and interest higher. That’s because a local DJ spins during class sessions to create a fresh soundtrack that pairs well with the instructors’ routines, which are chockfull of the fitness world’s freshest moves. For Nu’Lennium Fitness’s founder, Frede’ric Antonio Willis, this sort of innovation comes easy, as he’s spent more than 15 years in the fitness industry honing his craft. Along with fellow instructor and personal trainer Loynie Brown—a professional bodybuilder himself—Willis helms group fitness classes in such disciplines as yoga, Zumba, and toning, especially for the legs, abs, and rear. They also tailor personal-training regimens for clients looking to slim down or bulk up enough to toss barrels back at Donkey Kong.
At Sunstone Yoga, students radiate calm and self-awareness as they practice ancient poses designed to stretch, strengthen, and purify the body. Instructors complete 500 hours of training in yogic techniques, teaching, and physiology before leading classes, so they can hand out researched, tested tips on safety and alignment. Most classes come in 30-, 60-, and 90-minute varieties and focus on energy or restorative relaxation. A two-class introductory series welcomes beginners with basic standing poses, and the popular fire series explores up to 34 poses in a 99-degree room that loosens muscles to facilitate deeper stretches as it ousts toxins. Filled with soothing music and 90-degree temperatures, the water series cultivates more serenity than getting a massage from a singing whale.
The Jenny Craig Program provides people with nutritious, heart-healthy foods, a personal consultant, and a plan specially tailored to helping them attain their desired weight. Clients meet with a Jenny Craig consultant to assess their current eating habits and to create a scheme for shedding superfluous pounds. Then, the week-one planned menu unfolds like a paper airplane made of phyllo dough (items in blue are included in the plan, and orange items are recommended additions). A sample day starts with the Breakfast Scramble, a mound of scrambled egg whites and turkey ham topped with melty low-fat mozzarella and served over diced red potatoes. Lunch is beef chow mein, which is packed with vegetables (broccoli, carrots, bell peppers, and rooglebetas) and remains unpacked with calories (it has only 220). Dinner brings the comfort of macaroni and cheese and tops it off with a cookie for dessert.
Thomas Volmer credits his wife, Rachel, for inspiring them to start helming boot camps. She wasn’t always a fitness guru, though. "She was a commercial banker and she was 70 pounds overweight," Volmer recalls. Once she started to reclaim her life, "she just fell in love with fitness," he says. She eventually dropped 80 pounds with proper exercise and nutrition, spurring her to earn her AFAA personal training certification and pursue a career as a full-time trainer.
Personal experience lends Rachel and the other trainers—including Sharon Monk, who lost more than 200 pounds by exercising and eating healthily—empathy and a motivating demeanor when working with campers. At each location, they get groups doing pushups, swinging kettlebells, and flipping tires in a positive environment that's focused on teamwork, rather than competition. "You start as a group, you finish as a group," says Thomas. "But the activities that you do in between might be different based on your abilities."
In addition to leading sessions, Rachel creates easy-to-use online meal plans (including a vegetarian plan), which campers can customize to help them stay on track. Options range from the simple, such as cereal with fruits, nuts, and flaxseeds, to the creative, including honey-sweetened oatmeal peanut-butter cookies. She also includes the calorie count for each recipe. Users can pick from simple meals made for one person or larger entrees designed with an entire family or pet elephant in mind.
The YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas, a cause-driven organization dedicated to promoting healthy living, youth development, and social responsibility, helps active families forge fit physiques and attain balanced lifestyles with wellness classes, nutrition programs, and trained staff within a positive community atmosphere. The Y offers hundreds of group exercise classes to induce heart-pumping fitness through yoga poses, Pilates, and Zumba dance moves, and 10 outdoor pools and eight indoor pools at select locations allow for low-impact workouts, casual lap swimming, family swimming, and intense Marco Polo matches. Personalized PFP teaches personal-training exercises to those averse to group fitness routines, MEND fights childhood obesity through lessons in nutrition and exercise for children and their families, and YMCA Diabetes Prevention help those at risk maintain healthy lifestyles and reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Parents can workout in peace with complimentary drop-in childcare at several branches, and family programs get relatives sweating together through a range of fun, pressure-free activities, alleviating the awkwardness of father-daughter dance lessons or mother-son paintball tourneys. Additional fees may apply for certain YMCA programs.
Captained by Romana’s Pilates–certified instructor Elizabeth Boyd, the private Las Colinas studio defines and strengthens cores with strict adherence to Joseph Pilates’s original regimen. Elizabeth caps each 45-minute session at 8 participants, ensuring every fitness seeker gets individual attention and a spot in impromptu human pyramids. Classes range in difficulty from basic mat, which focuses on proper technique, to intermediate sessions that build on familiar exercise and challenges cores with quantum-physics pop quizzes. The studio’s schedule sets calories ablaze Monday–Saturday during morning, midmorning, and afternoon classes.