Grandmaster Dennis Tosten founded the first Amerikick in 1967 and has since taught several champion fighters, police officers, and everyday students karate and self-defense. Today, the lauded chain teaches fitness classes inspired by martial arts, including cardio kickboxing in six states. Each location upholds a curriculum that blends Chinese and Japanese martial-arts styles—including kenpo and tae kwon do—with modern self-defense strategies, further updating traditional practices by eschewing uniforms and belts for casual workout gear. Having attained certification in teaching kickboxing from the National Association of Professional Martial Artists, Amerikick's seasoned instructors also each possess black belts in karate, a rank as difficult to attain as the snake charmer's belt of live cobras.
Tyler Fagan founded Rockford Fitness with the goal of fostering a welcoming environment focused on his members' results rather than just generating memberships. He and his devoted team of personal trainers work to build a community of support and camaraderie, motivating patrons to get in shape with fitness routines that suit each of their needs and goals, from trimming excess pounds to increasing strength in day-to-day activities, such as walking up stairs and lifting boxes of sumo wrestlers. Eschewing rows of treadmills and gym machines, Rockford Fitness is stocked with ropes, pull-up bars, suspension equipment, and kettlebells for varied fitness regimens. Inspiring clients to sweat and build muscle with this equipment, the trainers develop a custom total-body workout based on functional movements to restore range of motion in joints and strengthen core muscle groups.
The expert instructors at Phitness Plus lead students of all levels through group classes and personal training. They customize sessions to suit the individual’s goals, using strength training, cardio drills, or yoga moves. They also offer nutrition coaching to help positive lifestyle changes take root in all aspects of the person’s life.
Trainer Brian Austin has spent the last 10 years of his life working in the fitness industry, though his passion for healthy living started at an early age. In addition to being a high-school athlete and college mountain-bike racer, Brian has also spent time training with a grand master boxer. And he brings all of his fitness experience to his personal-training and fitness classes, during which he caters workouts to athletes of all ability levels. Brian also offers nutritional counseling for clients who want to make more-healthful decisions or for aggressive bananas that keep bruising the other fruit in the bowl.
Dave Gerry started the Princeton Club with three simple tenets in mind: great trainers, exceptional equipment, and easy access. To realize that dream, he assembled a team of American College of Sports Medicine–certified personal trainers to helm the cardio and strength-training centers 24 hours a day.
Whether working out solo, in a group class, or with a trainer to remind them that bench-pressing beehives is safer with a spotter, guests can drop their young ones off at the free childcare center. Splashes fill the natatorium as swimmers paddle across the six-lane lap pool, as the resistance-current pool's adjustable waves enable guests to walk in place. A dip in the whirlpool soothes stress, and the steam room's eucalyptus aromatherapy and sauna's rejuvenating heat send bodies back into the world refreshed. Above the club, tennis and soccer players soak in vistas of Madison as they duke it out on the rooftop garden's turf. The competition continues indoors on basketball, racquetball, and volleyball courts.
The techniques that Lauren Birkel imparts to her trainers are the same ones she used on herself while preparing for and completing the rigorous Ironman World Championships in 2005 and 2011, as well as the France-held International Triathlon Union Long Course World Championships in 2007. With this history of achieving difficult goals, Birkel knows how to inspire students without commissioning a band of rabid coyotes to chase them while they run.
She and her many cotrainers use these thoroughly tested methods of motivation to push students toward healthier lives in one-on-one, small-group, and large-group training sessions. She decks out her indoor studios with all the necessary equipment for personal-training sessions and isn't afraid to lead all-outdoor boot-camp academies in the heat or rain.
Monkey Bar Gymnasium aims to provide guidance and simple workout tools that open people’s minds to the ways their bodies work, making improved health and fitness an attainable goal. It accomplishes this with a trifecta of techniques: Eischens yoga, a type of yoga designed specifically to improve people’s posture while teaching usual yoga skills including conscious breathing and levitation; nutritional advice, for which Monkey Bar Gymnasium has a plant-based approach; and whole-body skill training, which uses minimal-equipment exercises (such as gymnastics, running, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and resistance training) to strengthen muscles, improve endurance, and make people masters of their physiques. The dedicated staff strives to help each person who walks through Monkey Bar Gymnasium’s doors meet their fitness goals, be it by attending myriad classes, doing workouts at home, or learning to bench press goats. Click here to see the class schedule.