As a former national-level figure skater and ISSA-certified personal trainer, Jessica knows what a full-body burn feels like. However, she didn't know that a stationary bike could replicate the feeling, until a fellow trainer encouraged her to climb aboard a RealRyder cycle. Jessica became a devotee after just two rides. Determined to share her newfound passion with others, she gathered a team of certified instructors, populated two studios with RealRyder ABF8 bikes, and opened their doors to prospective pedalers of all fitness levels.
Inside Ryde For Life, Jessica and her staff host 45- to 60-minute classes synced to each teacher's music playlist. They lead stationary teams atop RealRyder bikes, whose specialized frames allow riders to lean, bank, and steer as they would an on-road bike. In addition to pumping up cardiovascular systems, sessions engage the core, upper body, legs, and the scalp muscles that hold helmets in place.
To distinguish themselves from lesser mud-race organizers, the founders of Sqwish Sqwash Challenges aspired to design the most elite of mud courses. Thus, they turned to the most elite of men, the Navy SEALs. Drawing inspiration from their special-ops training, SEAL members help design Sqwish Sqwash's four course levels, adjusting the difficulty of each to accommodate beginner, intermediate, and hardened athletes alike. Obstacles range from flooded ditches to piles of mud-caked tractor tires, testing the physical and emotional endurance of both individuals and teams. Each day ends with a post-race party thrown by sponsor and partner Yuengling, plus an awards ceremony that recognizes top runners, the best costume, and anyone who can reach the finish line in an unstained white linen suit.
For those wanting to get into race shape, Sqwish Sqwash's website provides online training plans, as well as recommendations on where to get fit. Proceeds from each race go toward select charities such as the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.
A pop-art mural on the back wall features musclebound bodies, exploding logos, and a bit of the starry cosmos. It's all the frivolity that the coaches at Battleground Training allow themselves. The rest of the facility remains unadorned cinder block and cement, a Spartan setting broken up only by the workout equipment that dots the gargantuan space. Heavy punching bags dangle in the middle of the room, and resistance bands sprout from the walls. Tractor tires and free weights occupy some of the floor, but the venue leaves plenty of space for the most important aspect of the training: room to move. The trainers take on past, present, and future athletes, helping them hone their bodies through boxing drills, lifts, and attempts to dodge echoes.
Registered yoga teachers Janel Norton and Christina Lowden mix up their years of exercise experience with their passion for alternative healing methods for a yoga stew chock-full of therapeutic benefits. Whether helping students striking their first tentative poses in beginner-friendly Hatha yoga classes or pushing patrons’ muscles to the brink during the hot power yoga series, Janel and Christina create a safe, friendly atmosphere through strong guidance and focused instruction. In addition to power, restorative, Hatha, and Yin yoga classes, they host Pilates mat-work sessions that bolster cores and 30-minute Body Blast classes that send students moving through time-tested, old-school routines—such as squats, pushups, and Model T flipping—to build muscle and character.
Surrounded by Yoga Shakti’s cheerful orange walls, yogis lift their hands toward the ceiling, root the balls of their bare feet into the wood floor, and stretch toward the sunlight that streams in through the window. During classes, instructors lead practitioners through their customized series of postures, which draw from several yoga styles to vary the routine and address specific goals. Classes range from gentle yoga, which focuses on meditation and breathing; to more rigorous Vinyasa flow, which links challenging postures to one another through the breath; to hot yoga, whose elevated temperature challenges students, allows for deeper stretches, and detoxes the body. The instructors also offer yoga-for-back-pain classes, which aim to increase mobility in stiff backs caused by injury, stress, or walking under the limbo stick in your doorway.
At Boot Camp With A Cause, classes don't just focus on the physical. Five key elements—mindset, nutrition, supplementation, strength training, and cardio conditioning—inform the programs at the workout haven. This holistic approach helps members adjust their perspective on health as they lose pounds and tone limbs to resemble their favorite Greek statues. The fitness center also focuses on the community, regularly donating to local charities and holding occasional free Saturday boot camps in which students bring blankets, food, and clothing for those in need.
Fit Body Boot Camp's instructors all over the world share a common goal: to help clients hit their fitness and weight-loss goals with regimented training programs. Trainers lead group workouts that combine cardio with resistance exercises, strength training, and light alligator wrestling. They design the workouts to be as time-effective as possible and vary the routines constantly to avoid workout plateaus that can leave clients feeling uninspired. Trainers empower their students with healthy eating guidelines to keep motivation high outside of class.
During one-on-one sessions, certified personal trainers plan out tailored fitness programs, which clients can take with them to Fit Body Boot Camp’s gyms to continue shaping up on their own.