Tru Fit Bootcamp?s owner Ditanyon Demps helps clients build strength and shed pounds through a simple strategy?he confuses muscles. When muscles adapt to a certain exercise, they burn fewer calories while completing it, making rote routines less effective over time. Instead of boring the muscles and their owners with repetitive workouts, he draws on nine disciplines of exercise to construct a new routine for his classes each day. He sets students into motion power lifting, stretching, and performing Pilates, among other exercise modalities, all while fostering a positive atmosphere focused on camaraderie. On any given day, students might work in teams to carry one another across a field in gurneys, or individually hop through hoops and swing kettlebells until they finally start ringing.
Cristina's not the type of personal trainer who will yell at you. Instead, she greets all new clients with a big smile and a supportive attitude. "If you come here," she says in the video on her homepage, "I will never judge you on how you look or what you can do. I really don't care! Because I'm going to get you wherever you want to be." Cristina—who, by the way, speaks eight languages and is qualified to work with students who have various conditions such as arthritis—keeps her Pilates and swimming classes small to maximize personal attention. Classes include swimming lessons for all ages, Pilates, yoga, ball, and stretch and tone. Whether leading a group class or a one-on-one program, Cristina makes sure her clients have a good time. "We have a lot of fun here," Cristina says, "and it's a very loving and caring environment, with a lot of beautiful individuals."
When Andromeda Stevens and Kelli Altounian founded Pilates Sports Center, they set out to create a studio that eschewed run-of-the-mill Pilates routines. To achieve this, they gathered a team of experienced fitness and Juilliard-trained dance instructors who teach a variety of inventive fitness classes, including Burn at the Barre, which uses a ballet barre and light weights to tone muscle, and Stretch & Stamina, which blends cardiovascular and endurance-training routines. In addition to offering reflexology, chiropractic, and physical-therapy treatments, Pilates Sports Center is home to a teacher-training program that nurtures aspiring Pilates and Burn at the Barre instructors.
True to its name, Bikram Yoga Encino specializes in one thing: challenging 90-minute, 26-pose Bikram yoga classes. Suitable for beginners and seasoned yogis alike, each class flows through 26 different asanas?from Eagle to Cobra to Cuddly Baby Penguin?that are designed to systematically move oxygenated blood to every part of your body. As students progress in the practice, muscle tone, healthy weight, and a sense of well-being naturally follow.
Christina Lindeman has cultivated lean muscles and graceful movement since she first began dancing at the age of 3. Today, she works to share these skills with others as a certified Pilates and spinning instructor and head of Reforming Bodies Pilates.
Using her fitness training experience, Christina generates custom classes with an emphasis on easy-to-follow instructions, suitable both for gym newbies and experienced athletes. Reforming Bodies' curriculum is designed to promote full-body health: spinning classes boost cardio fitness with fast-paced pedaling set to music, and Pilates Reformer sessions complete the equation by working on flexibility, posture, and core strength. Since each class is limited to five students, Christina can also closely supervise her students, correcting their placement, adjusting the lesson's pace, and pulling them over if they exceed the stationary-bike speed limit.
65-year-old Judith Harris hadn't worked out a day in her life. In her testimonial on CardioBody Fitness & Lifestyle's website, she says, "It was with absolute fear that I entered a gym for the first time, knowing I needed help, but not having any idea what to expect." Jessyca Slaymaker, the center's owner and head trainer, worked with her to devise a personalized fitness regimen, then helped her build the confidence to push herself past her preconceived fitness barriers. Today, Judith is down to 5% body fat and can curl a 15-pound dumbbell. "What I am learning from [Jessyca] has impacted my life beyond the gym," she says. "I give her the highest recommendation."
This is just one of the success stories from CardioBody Fitness & Lifestyle, where experienced teachers and trainers forge fit bodies in the seasoned and inexperienced alike. For parents with small children, Jessyca and her certified staff host Mommy & Me yoga sessions and the Tiny Jammers music class, which keeps little ones engaged with creative music activities while parents work out. Jessyca calls on her prenatal fitness certification to lead Baby Bump Bootcamp, which keeps expectant mothers healthy and helps stave off the common aches and pains of pregnancy. Naturally, CardioBody Fitness & Lifestyle also offers a host of classic fitness classes, leading students through everything from restorative yoga to medicine ball workouts. Morning Mix Flow vinyasa yoga classes help detox the body with vigorous poses and breath work as ballet barre sessions harness the lengthening and strengthening powers of traditional ballet techniques.