24 Hour Fitness keeps its doors open day and night so members can sculpt bodies and fitness goals on their own time with a potpourri of group classes, cardio equipment, free weights, athletic courts, and an indoor-lap pool. Armed with a 30-day membership to the recently opened Houston Rice Village Club, gym-goers kick off fresh workout routines with a complimentary fitness orientation filled with advice from personal trainers on health goals, how to use equipment, and how to interpret nightmares of being chased by dumbbells. Add fresh layers of physicality with TRX suspension-training equipment before playing a round in the racquetball court or letting sneakers squeak out healthful sonnets on the practice basketball court. Members can sign up for an array of group fitness classes, including yoga, Zumba, and Les Mills workouts ranging from martial-arts-inspired body combat to RPM, which pairs thumping beats with a stationary bike ride through imaginary mountains and ethereal monsoons. Cap off workouts by ducking into the sauna or taking one final lap in the whirlpool.
The crowd's roar flooded the streets of Chicago as Darcy Zenker crossed the finish line of her first marathon, clocking in at 3:35. After she had been running for years—placing among the top finishers at four half-marathons and competing on the Southern Illinois University track team—she decided she needed a break. She then immersed herself in a new athletic pursuit—group fitness instruction.
Three years later, she became the head trainer of her own boot-camp fitness program, NowFitness, where her years of athletic training and certification in fitness instruction shine through in her workouts. In parks throughout the local area, she and her staff of fellow trainers lead groups through high-intensity workouts that take advantage of their surroundings. She motivates patrons to scale stairs, do crunches on benches, and hoist planks across grassy fields. The trainers also offer a stroller-based boot camp for moms, in which participants blast through cardio and strength-training exercises that incorporate their stroller with baby or a watermelon they've dressed up to look like a baby in tow. In addition to hosting classes, NowFitness pairs patrons with certified lifestyle and weight-management coach Amanda Bickel for a comprehensive five-week nutrition program.
Complete Fitness Results has a well-rounded staff that includes a chiropractor, a registered dietician, a licensed massage therapist, a certified personal trainer, a health fitness specialist, a youth fitness specialist, and a certified kettlebell instructor. Their specialties range from golf fitness to resistance training to weight management, with clients of all ages, from children to seniors. Personal-training sessions take place in one-on-one, small group, and large group settings, with such bonuses as grocery-store tours and nutrition talks.
The certified trainers at Phase 5 Personal Training believe the human body is more efficient than any gym machine. Using each client’s body weight for resistance, instructors in small-group boot camps lead clients through cardio workouts, agility training, and plyometrics exercises held at this laid-back studio.
St. Louis Fitness Results Boot Camp for Women busts up gym monotony and promotes healthy lifestyles with outdoor sessions of body-trimming cardio, strength, and flexibility exercises. Each four-week camp begins with an initial fitness assessment, in which instructors take before photos and body measurements, appraising general fitness levels and offering opportunities to voice concerns or hummed renditions of Beethoven's Fifth. Then, hard-bodied fitness friends employ progressive programming over 12 one-hour sessions to ensure every participant is safely challenged no matter what her starting level of muscle mojo.
Tom Kavanaugh draws from his personal-training experience to craft a varied workout regimen to push patrons of all skill levels to strengthen and tone their entire bodies. Up to 30 boot campers band together to burn fat and tone physiques outdoors with Tom, moving indoors in the event of inclement weather. Joining in on the calorie burning, Tom throws himself into the high-intensity workouts, performing the strength training, plyometrics, core work, and high-intensity cardio exercises alongside his students rather than barking instructions from the sidelines. After blasting through routines of pushups, sit-ups, and jumping, each Saturday class culminates in up to 15–20 minutes of play time, challenging students to games of dodge ball, kickball, or full-contact checkers.