Jazzercise is 60 minutes of cardio, strength training, and stretching that incorporates moves from hip-hop, yoga, Pilates, jazz dance, kickboxing, and resistance training with handheld weights. Dancing With the Stars multiple-champion Cheryl Burke is a big fan of Jazzercise's improvisational workouts, though luckily you won't need her dance moves to get the most out of your class. If you're prone to first-class jitters, though, you can review the basic moves online before you go. Expect to burn off up to 500 calories with each go-round.
The LuvMud Benefit Event sends costumed sprinters charging and trudging along a 5K course riddled with mud, obstacles, and more mud in order to raise funds for Habitat for Hope, a nonprofit organization supporting the families of seriously ill children. Having grown each year since its inception in 2010, the annual race challenges individuals and teams to conquer tough terrain designed with varying levels of difficulty so as to accommodate participants of all fitness levels. Along the route, spectators gather to scout the action, and volunteers stand by to provide directions and tips, such as reminding racers not to eat any mud without sprinkling on a few blades of grass first.
After making it through the final, massive, 50-foot mud pit and crossing the finish line, finishers recharge their bionic legs with fruit, water, and snacks. Meanwhile, an all-day festival celebrates the occasion with live music and food vendors, and showering equipment supplied by the Memphis Fire Department cleans off any caked-on mud and sweat from the race. LuvMud also holds special races that allow participants’ dogs to join in the fun, as well as all-night camping events that include nighttime racing and live music.
The course designers behind the Mud Crusade know how to handle a physical challenge. Mark Chmura, a former Green Bay Packer; Chris Watts, a former US Marine Corps reconnaissance officer; Matt Peters, a former Los Angeles police officer and sniper; and John Thomas, a middle-aged dad and carpentry extraordinaire, devised the 5K course to test participants’ mettle by bombarding them with 18 obstacles, including barbed-wire crawls, climbing walls, and mud pits. Like Poseidon during a pillow fight, athletes tackle the course in waves, competing for bragging rights before heading to a rollicking after party drenched in mud, sweat, and good spirits. A portion of the race’s proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society and the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, which supports wounded troops and their families.
Becca Marino fought an eating disorder for 13 years before enlisting in a six-month recovery program. During this time, mentors surrounded and supported her. Thanks to their encouragement, she broke free of the eating disorder and nourished a desire to help others do the same. Marino marched off to earn a bachelor's in health, fitness, and recreational resources, specializing in exercise science. Then, she racked up personal training certifications to start her career in fitness. But even as she went to work in gyms, wellness centers, and other fitness facilities, she felt as if she couldn't help people the way she wanted to.
In 2009, she broke down the barriers that kept her from inspiring others and opened Fitness Inspiration!. She and her team promote mindsets and beliefs that facilitate external action. This positive approach to physical and mental transformation manifests itself in every workout, from personal and small-group training sessions to group classes and boot camps. Teachers also host wellness workshops and outreach events that nourish self-worth and awaken a desire for participants to treat their bodies like temples or shrines to JTT.
Becca's powerful positive methodologies won her a 2012 Natural Memphis award for Best Personal Trainer, and her Best Me! boot-camp program was awarded the title of Best Natural Body Care Program.
All About Yoga’s resident teacher Gabrielle Louise found that a heightened state of well-being, enhanced by yoga and meditation, brought her above the physical pain she experienced on a daily basis. Since then, she's practiced what's known as StressAce yoga, a modality whose movements and breath are patterned to trigger reflex responses not unlike those from childhood. These responses are what help the body and mind release deep stress and may result in sudden, unprovoked moments of joy, increased mental clarity and awareness, and an overall sense of balance, mentally, physically, and spiritually.
The classes at Gabrielle's studio range from three yoga modalities to kriya meditation. She guides students through a variety of yoga poses and, in the process, shows them yoga's many benefits, including deep relaxation, boosted flexibility, increased body awareness, and increased overall physical wellness. In addition, she also taps into other Eastern arts, restoring balance and boosting memory with meditation, increasing peace of mind with gentle movements, and activating dormant happiness energies with focused poses.
Dexter Tenison knows how to lose weight. Weighing nearly 300 pounds after college, Tenison decided it was time to make a change. Throwing himself into martial arts and personal training, he discovered a healthier lifestyle that he realized was inspiring others to reach their own goals. With that, he decided to open Memphis Adventure Boot Camp. Voted Best Health Club by Memphis Most in 2011 and 2103, Tenison’s all-female boot camps combine the group vibe he found in his martial-arts classes with the personal attention and drastic results from personal training. Camps span several weeks at a time, aiming to whip frames into shape with ever-changing fitness regimes that spice up traditional exercise, such as jogging and resistance training, with fresh add-ins, including obstacle courses, lunging, and building body bridges across quicksand. To cater to all conditioning levels, every workout is easily modifiable, and no participants will ever be pushed to overexert themselves.