When Southwest Houston Adventure Boot Camp’s owner and head trainer, Stacy Agee, chose her team of certified personal trainers, she knew she would need a deep bench. As a former college and semipro basketball player and a two-time MVP on the Houston Energy women’s football team, she understood the value in building a team with diverse skill sets that play to the strengths of the others. To that end, she recruited Kim, a veterinarian turned certified trainer and rehab specialist; Darrin, a father, marathon and triathlon runner, and boxing instructor; June, a yogi and tai chi practitioner; and TJ, a trainer with a love of plyometrics.
These coaches draw from specialized backgrounds in personal training, Pilates and yoga instruction, massage, and mixed martial arts to design a range of workouts that change constantly, much like every encyclopedia once time travel is invented. In each of their four-week outdoor fitness programs, comprised of 20 one-hour sessions scheduled for early morning, mid-morning, or evening, they train participants of all genders, ages, and fitness levels. They foster a noncompetitive, support group atmosphere with a personal training feel.
Running on Faith. That’s the acronym and motto behind ROF Bootcamp, and no one understands its meaning better than the camp’s owner and founder, Doug Hazlewood. After catching a “horrifying” glimpse of his body in the mirror, Hazlewood slipped into a brief depression. Deciding that his “bad genetics” were to blame, he essentially gave up on getting in shape. Thankfully, that isn’t the end of Hazlewood’s remarkable story. Once his depression lifted, he began to realize that the secret to health was actually very simple: exercise and nutrition. He dedicated himself to these core aspects of fitness, and he is now fully transformed and happy in his own skin. Doug founded ROF Bootcamp to share his success with others through 60-minute boot-camp classes held six days per week. He and his staff devise intense workouts that combine strength and cardio training and vary as constantly as a weatherman’s political allegiances.
Art Montage Yoga is a welcoming yoga studio that was created to take its members to their natural limits by offering hands-on attention that's crucial to teaching correct postures. In this spacious, soothingly minimalist studio, many classes are heated to 105 degrees to help loosen up participants, deepen stretches, and detoxify bodies during sweat-producing sessions. The experienced instructors lead participants in classes such as hot Hatha flow, which combines sun salutations with meditation and breath work to heat up the body. Additionally, yoga basics offers beginners a slow-paced class that focuses on proper alignment in a cooler, 80-degree room.
A longtime practitioner of yoga, Holly Hope was inspired to start her own Bikram yoga studio after taking a Bikram yoga class in Las Vegas. She earned her teaching certificate in 2010, and began to practice immediately. Now, she and her team of 12 fellow yogis bend and stretch bodies in their superheated classrooms, delivering instructions to dozens of students from atop their mirrored mini-stage at the front of the classroom.
President and vice-president John and Cara Eckerman have developed an efficient boot-camp program that effectively cultivates muscle farms with a fruitful yield. Expert instructors lead new recruits through 45-minute classes that fluidly meld stretching, core-toning, and strength-boosting exercises into full-body fat-blasting sessions. Motivated groups help propel fitness-seekers throughout high-intensity interval training that sheds calories and stress faster than a robo-lion’s rise to the top of the food chain. A convenient schedule will leave busy boot campers with enough time to maintain their normal lives, regular routines, and Chia Pet collections, while indoor facilities ensure that visitors will get a workout regardless of rain, snow, or locust swarms.
"Train like a beast, look like a beauty." This is one of the mottoes of Gina Clarke, the Air Force vet-turned-gym owner and founder of Brickhouse Cardio Club. Gina lives up to this motto by simultaneously challenging her clients and encouraging them to have fun. Neither of those things are difficult to do at Brickhouse, thanks to Gina and the expert instructors, who lead a wealth of unique classes.
Fitness coach Cynthia Asberry fuses Pilates and boxing in her high-energy Piloxing classes, and Melissa Lewis Fitzgerald helps clients tone with Sandblast sessions, which pairs them with sandbells and resistance bands in a bootcamp-like environment. Gina pumps up the volume to match heart rates during hip-hop workouts and Zumba instructors, where Giancarla di Laura and Lizbeth Aguero set fancy footwork to Latin rhythms. Conversely, Angela Hernandez relaxes and rejuvenates members with yin yoga, encouraging them to hold poses for minutes at a time.