Clad in fatigues and soaking in sweat, the denizens of Pure Power Boot Camp lift logs, climb walls, and navigate obstacle courses. If it sounds like military boot camp, that's no accident; each of the drill instructors are current or former military members. Presided over by Lauren Brenner?who became a personal trainer at 16 before playing Division I tennis and working as a trainer for the Syracuse men's basketball team?each instructor leads a platoon that trains together multiple times per week. Pure Power Boot Camp's boot-camp training is ideal for adventure races like Tough Mudder, Spartan Race, or Warrior Dash as it incorporates real obstacles and situations. After their initial training, members can enroll in maintenance courses that help them keep their new bodies in shape and offer an excuse to see the climbing wall with which they fell in love.
For more than two decades, Syosset Martial Arts Center has been a place for people to not only learn martial arts but to move toward healthy, balanced lifestyles. The black-belt instructors tutor students in shotokan karate, which focuses on building values and character as its students learn self-defense and sparring moves. Adult classes begin with a warm-up and review before they launch into sparring, bag work, or the day's theme—and the class is always a whole-body workout. In addition to karate, the instructors also teach Brazilian jiu-jitsu, a grappling-based martial art. These classes aim to help students gain confidence, lose weight, and learn how to defend themselves.
Kids' karate classes engage young ones with activities including obstacle courses and calisthenics and instill values such as self-confidence and discipline. They can celebrate turning a year older with a birthday party at the dojo, complete with pizza, karate-themed invitations, and protection from insane posses of clowns.
Members of Synergy Fitness Clubs thrive on choice. Choice of location? There are nine. Choice of activity? Instructors lead classes in almost any form of exercise imaginable, such as power sculpt, full-body circuits, and intense cycling. To make sure that members are making the choices that will help reach their fitness goals the fastest, the clubs are staffed with more than 100 lifestyle coaches. These pros are continually educated in their fields of specialty—which might mean nutrition counseling, yoga, or boxing.
A wide slate of equipment and amenities makes it as easy as possible to fit in workouts. Most locations are open 24 hours, and while parents lift free weights or dance a beautiful tango with a Precor elliptical, their kids can hang out in a free childcare room.
Sportime runs more than 150 tennis courts in the New York area, and it's not unusual to spot John McEnroe at one of them. The famous tennis player helms an eponymous tennis academy at three Sportime locations, whose young participants perfect their serves, master new techniques, and get pro tips from the legend himself.
McEnroe's academy is just one of Sportime's many offerings, however. Along with tennis lessons for adults, most complexes boast multi-sport courts for games such as basketball, volleyball, and Lean On The Net WIthout Falling. Inside group exercise studios, patrons can chisel their stomachs during "Ab-solution" classes, or dance off calories with festive Zumba routines. Most locations host multi-sport summer camps for kids, too, keeping youngsters active and teaching them to work as part of a team.
James La Mar Jr. has studied the human body's capabilities inside and out, spending 11 years as a personal trainer and exercise physiologist while assisting in more than 40 orthopedic surgeries during his premed training. His desire to help others rediscover the energy of their younger years fueled his studies, ultimately leading him to the creation of Long Island Obesity Boot Camp. There, James shepherds recruits through a fat-busting blend of cardio and strength-training drills to help them to shed unwanted weight and achieve fitness goals. James also offers nutritional counseling, tracks student progress with weekly weigh-ins, and leads private personal-training sessions. He also gives scheduled lectures on the dangers of unhealthy lifestyles, such as heart disease, diabetes, and lingering dirty looks from doctors, to educate and motivate patrons.
Covering all the bases of body-bolstering workout regimens, Titans Fitness Clubs offers a full schedule of calorie-torching group classes and an arsenal of modern exercise equipment. A month-long membership grants fitness seekers unlimited access to Titans’ free-weight- and cardio-machine-dotted terrain as well as to any of its daily classes. Sessions on offer include Latin-flavored, dance-inspired Zumba classes and vigorous Sunday-morning kickboxing, which, like PTA meetings and group job interviews, requires members to bring their own boxing gloves. All classes last between 45 minutes and an hour. A one-hour session with one of Titans’ experienced personal trainers, meanwhile, helps aspiring torso toners set and accomplish personalized fitness goals. Titans Fitness Clubs maintains a welcoming, homey atmosphere, with perks such as free child-care, a full-service locker room, and an on-staff compliment giver.