Austin Fit Magazine named RockBody Boot Camp its Best Boot Camp of 2011 and also lauded its owner, Brian Prinzo, as one of the city’s Top 10 Fittest Trainers in 2010. But for Brian and his staff of experienced trainers, it’s not about the accolades; it’s about helping others lose weight and reach their fitness goals. Classes eschew routine courses of treadmills and bench presses for a variety of challenging workouts that put participants through a mash-up of strength, core, cardio, and interval training designed to push them to their personal limits. Best of all, the workouts provide the motivation and accountability needed to help exercisers push past plateaus, and exercises can be tailored to accommodate many fitness levels and concerns, such as arthritis, body pain, and conjoined sweatbands.
The leading ladies at The Girls Room, who believe that every woman has the right to be pretty, sexy, and strong, help their students build both physical and mental strength during fitness classes that combine alluring dance moves and hardcore workouts. They put their love of burlesque to use in pole-dancing classes and barre-based Barre-lesque sessions. The team also helms tamer, less sensual fitness classes such as yoga and Zumba. The girls' online shop stocks virtual shelves with accessories such as Mighty Grip gloves, which allow wearers to perform gravity-defying pole-dance moves or safely carry out celebratory cartwheels in bowling alleys. Their bachelorette parties eschew the concept of traditional bridal get-togethers for more unconventional gatherings, teaching brides-to-be and their entourage signature pole dances, lap dances, or burlesque techniques.
Brian Crull, the founder of Crull Fitness, has been creating sports-specific training programs for more than three decades. At his gyms, he continues to pursue his specialty, helping athletes hit baseballs further, chase soccer balls faster, tackle quarterbacks harder, and win the 100-meter dash without the use of rocket shoes. At the same time, he and his team of certified trainers help other clients meet their fitness goals with a wide selection of fitness programs, from boot camps and yoga classes to weight loss programs, which slim bodies in a supportive environment.
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.
Jeremy Jones and Jason Johnson, two United States Marines and professional fitness trainers, lead the classes at Corps Fitness Strength & Conditioning. Influenced by military workouts, sessions begin and end with clients in military formation before they tackle exercises that involve unconventional tools, such as sand bags, weighted bars, and tires. The 50-minute workouts also include a military-style obstacle course, and they can be scaled to each individual’s fitness level. Corps Fitness Strength & Conditioning also donates a portion of proceeds to veteran charities.
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.