After a career creating fitness programs for groups such as prenatal women, obese youth, and people with debilitating diseases, Althea Lawton-Thompson opened her own studio dedicated to helping people of every age and ability embrace wellness in a fun atmosphere. Along with her team Althea leads a bustling schedule of up to four classes a day. Classes range from Tribal Fusion, which combines African dance and jazz moves with toning exercises and light resistance, to Althea's own creation Yo-Chi-Lates, which she acknowledges sounds like a fruity drink, but is actually a blend of yoga, chi gong, and Pilates. Special programs include training for those with joint and muscle pain or immobility from lupus, fibromyalgia, and other conditions. Camps for kids inspire the fitness and self-esteem youngins need to arm-wrestle college counselors and win admission.
Additionally, concern for the earth is literally built into the studio. The dance floor's natural bamboo floors are suspended over a pine subfloor to create a sustainable surface that lowers impact as students jump into Zumba's Latin-inspired moves. In the personal-training studio, the floor is made of recycled natural-cork material, and recycled carpet comprises the lobby floor's mosaic. Low-voltage fluorescent lights cast a glow inside, and most of the center is underground, keeping it cool in the summer and safe from low-flying reindeer in the winter. :m]]
Offbeat exercise gear, a group of friends, and the great outdoors. These are key ingredients in Sweat Atlanta's always-changing, always-challenging boot camp, named Atlanta's best outdoor fitness class in Jezebel Magazine's Best of 2014 issue. Classes incorporate equipment as diverse as weighted sleds, speed parachutes, tires, and combat ropes.?Trainer and ubiquitous local fitness personality Nicholas Jacobs is certified in both personal training and group training, letting him fold?disciplines such as?kickboxing, Pilates, yoga, dance, and circuit training into a high-intensity interval-training format that's adaptable to all fitness levels. "By the end of the workout, you'll have toned all your major muscle groups," Jacobs told the hosts of local TV show The A-List. Aside from boot camps, Sweat Atlanta also offers safe, considerate personal training and fun, high-energy?group classes such as Dance Jam.
Women of all ages and sizes spin, boogie, and laugh within the glamorous, hot-pink confines of Bellissima Studios. Owner and instructor Sharon Gray knows what it's like to feel unconfident in her skin, and she credits self-reflection, faith, and a passion for dance with helping her become "diva-fied." Her own life journey has imbued her with a keen understanding, therefore, of what it's like to be supported by a welcoming community. And so, with fellow instructors Nicole Sullivan and Starr, Sharon cultivates a supportive atmosphere conducive to personal growth and fun.
The trio teaches Zumba, yoga, pole dancing, and Hoopnotic, all of which help clients obliterate calories and tone their bodies, and opens the studio for BYOB, private events. Celebrities, including Chili of TLC, have been spotted at the onsite boutique, mingling with guests.
The falcon stalks its prey with a mixture of cunning and agility, waiting for the opportune moment to swoop in and strike. The same can be said for the skilled martial artist, who patiently wears his opponent down before unleashing a flurry of kicks. Master Leroy N. Johnson Jr., the founder of Rising Falcon Fitness & Martial Arts, knows this well. Though the falcon serves as his inspiration, he is first a student of human anatomy. Master Johnson draws on his extensive knowledge of the body's inner workings to lead his students through challenging martial-arts fitness programs. To limit the intimidation factor, he keeps his class sizes small and discourages advanced students from demonstrating their falcon screeches in front of beginners.
Semi-pro football player Kareem Goodwin was a defensive back and a coach for the Georgia Gladiators (formerly the Georgia Pride) when he tore his ACL in 2007. He worked hard to gradually regain his strength, health, and speed, and in the process became well versed in the sciences of human anatomy and nutrition. Over the course of his journey, Kareem realized he wanted to help others—both athletes and nonathletes—improve their health as well as their physiques. He traded his Gladiators coaching role for that of a fitness coach and entrepreneur, and opened Pure Fit United in Norcross. Through personal training, group classes, and self-guided workouts, visitors to Kareem's facility forge their own fitness stories.
Fitness 19's founders launched their first family-oriented gyms in 2003, hoping to splash the exercising experience with local flavor and familiarity. At each of seven Georgia locations, Life Fitness cardio machines—including treadmills and ellipticals—unite with strength-training machines and free weights to help members to build leaner physiques as certified personal trainers patrol the deep-red-carpeted workout area. The expert staff can also guide clients through yoga-, martial-arts, and weight-loss-centric personal-training sessions. Every location also hosts a kids' room, where youngsters can craft macaroni kettlebells under the supervision of a full-time staff member.