Even before he was a certified strength and conditioning specialist, Erik Traeger was exploring every fitness avenue he could. He played soccer, wrestled, raced motorcycles, and fought fires as part of a U.S. Forest Service hand crew for 13 seasons. Once he discovered a knack for coaching, he spent nine years training Division I college athletes, and another four taking on youth and adult clients. As owner and head instructor at Fresno Indoor Boot Camp, he funnels all his exercise know-how into classes for every age, gender, and ability level.
Though Erik's resumé is formidable, his camp stresses acceptance over intimidation. Instructors motivate students to move at their own pace through agility ladders, calisthenics, and tire flips, all of which inhabit an indoor facility to eliminate mix-ups between beehives and medicine balls. Because each trainer is a kinesiology major, they have mastered modifications that can scale boot-camp drills to suit any participant, from sports stars to 70 year olds.
While teaching jazz dance in the 1960s, Judi Sheppard Missett decided to step away from tradition by offering an experimental class that allowed her students to simply dance without the judgment of mirrors or the constraints of rigid technique. In these sessions, she began infusing popular dance moves with specific fitness workouts to forge a distinctive blend of cardio exercise, strength training, and dance instruction. Little did she know that this ?just for fun? class was the prototype for what would become the national fitness sensation known as Jazzercise.
Today, Jazzercise takes its aerobic techniques from a variety of sources that include jazz dance, hip-hop, resistance training, Pilates, yoga, and kickboxing. The class formats, which vary according to different toning goals, are just as diverse as the program's move set. Instructors cultivate a noncompetitive atmosphere where all exercisers?with the exception of those marked as cursed by jazz-hand palm readers?are welcome regardless of age, build, or fitness background.
After being diagnosed with juvenile arthritis at the age of 6, Kettlebells of Fresno's Dina Juve spent more than 15 years in a sedentary lifestyle. At 21, she decided to take charge of her health and began to educate herself on the principles of a healthy lifestyle. Today, this mother of three, certified Russian-kettlebell instructor, and personal trainer stays in shape using the same exercises that she teaches in her fitness classes and private group training sessions. Her kettlebell workouts have even been featured on the KSEE 24 News.
During training sessions, Dina uses weighted cast-iron kettlebells and the TRX suspension-training system to help clients of all fitness levels increase strength, endurance, and muscle tone throughout their entire bodies. Using the knowledge she gained to turn her life around, Dine also helps her clients reach their fitness goals with nutritional guidance, giving them the know-how to steer clear of tempting chocolate-covered barbells.
Walk past the water fountain in Fort Washington Fitness's palatial lobby to its training rooms for group classes and you'll meet nationally certified personal trainers, who tailor sessions for all fitness levels and goals. The studio is alive with opportunities to tone every muscle in the body: chisel your core in a Pilates mat lesson, or build up strength in a kickboxing class. Alternatively, there's the Fun Fitness course, where adults can siphon out their childlike energy through activities such as dodge ball, relay races, obstacle courses, and food fights. The TV-lined studio also has plenty of equipment designed for solo exercise, including spin bikes and selectorized weight machines. The expansive facility affords space for private showers, saunas, and steam rooms, and free high-speed WiFi allows you to immediately list your old loose-fitting pants on Craigslist.
To give her students a well-rounded workout, Brandy Daugherty isn't content with teaching one style of Pilates. Instead, she blends the regimen's mat and reformer styles so her students can reap the benefits both of their bodies' own resistance and that of the reformer's series of cables, straps, and pulleys. Backed by a dozen certifications?including in Zumba, personal training, and turbo kickboxing?Brandy leads her students through sessions that blend core-stability work with plyometric moves and resistance training. She also switches up the workouts so that the body can?t adapt, because, like baby Hulks, confused muscles grow more quickly. Brandy holds class as early as 5:30 a.m. and as late as 6:30 p.m. to accommodate every schedule, with personal training available on an appointment basis.
People escape the stresses of everyday life in many ways, such as reading, watching movies, or donning Groucho Marx glasses and sneaking out of their car during rush hour. The team of instructors at Sisters Yoga leads female yogis through an alternative take on traditional yoga. In addition to the limb-stretching postures and focused breathing commonly associated with the art, instructors infuse each class with up-tempo R&B, pop, and world music, creating an atmosphere that?s equal parts celebration and meditation.
In addition to their regular series of classes, the Sisters also lead Christian-inspired Holy Yoga as well as monthly dance and meditation workshops, and private yoga parties.