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.
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.
Private Workout's efficiency-focused staffers draft half-hour workout regimens specifically designed to meet each client's physical needs and personal-health goals. The trainer explains the workout and introduces all equipment, then evaluates clients' fitness and helps them set goals. Members can then return for their 30-minute sessions, which are held nearly every day between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. The workouts are designed to keep heart rates up for 30 minutes, which helps stave off disease and ramp up metabolisms. Guests who'd like more individualized attention can also sign up for personal-training sessions to work toward milestones, whether they'd like to tone up for fingerless-glove season or lose weight.
If you ask a professional cheerleader how she got her toned physique, agile limbs, and powerful muscles, she might point you to Jay and Lin Johnson. The husband-and-wife duo are the brains behind Jay Johnson's Boot Camp Fitness?an exercise program designed to slim waistlines and pump up muscles of students of all abilities, from fitness newbies to professionals and prestigious clients such as the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. They have also introduced the program to national audiences through numerous television appearances, including Dr. Phil's Ultimate Weight Loss Challenge.
Drawing from their extensive training in the US Army and years of fitness experience, the pair and a staff of elite trainers?including professional football players and mixed martial artists?lead boot-camp programs in the Dallas area. Within parks, fields, and parking lots, they conduct high-intensity workouts, keeping patrons engaged with constantly varied regimens, along with games, obstacle courses, and scavenger hunts. They focus on functional training throughout the sessions, challenging students to heave barbells, flip tractor tires, and lug fire hoses.
The trainers also offer a specialized cheerleading boot camp ideal for high-school teams training for upcoming seasons or assistant grocery managers seeking ways to motivate their teams of disillusioned bag boys.
Truly getting in shape requires a multifaceted fitness approach and professional guidance. At S.W.E.A.T. Wellness & Nutrition, trainers?each of whom is well-established in his field?help members achieve their goals by offering a range of workout programs. By combining strength- and endurance-building exercises, these programs help build muscle tone, burn fat, and improve health over time. Boot-camp sessions, for example, can incorporate indoor and outdoor exercises into each workout, allowing exercisers to safely challenge their limits with cross-training activities. Meanwhile, instructors monitor their progress and provide assistance and encouragement when necessary.
For a more individualized approach, opt for personal-training sessions, which offer the most immediate results and are led by trainers who emphasize giving clients enough fitness knowledge that they can succeed even outside the S.W.E.A.T. gym. Experienced athletes organize specialized training regimens for boxing and track and field. US Olympian Rae Edwards provides runners with pointers to help with their speed, agility, and overall aerobic exercise. Olympic boxer and Texas super welterweight champion, Hector Vazquez bolsters strength and stamina by teaching students how to how to bob, weave, and lash out with a flurry of jabs, crosses, and distracting tongue twisters.