Beginning in 2001 as a small fitness operation in the basement of an office building, Pure Barre has since blossomed into a widely acclaimed, widely publicized approach to exercise with a nationwide following. Dancer, choreographer, and fitness buff Carrie Rezabek Dorr founded Pure Barre more than a decade ago in Birmingham, MI. Since then, Carrie has traveled around the country, hopping from gym to gym demonstrating the innovative program that draws techniques from ballet. Much like angering a witch with a penchant for frog spells, performing the Pure Barre technique can be a fast and effective way to transform your body. Motivating music slices through the 60-minute workouts, each of which utilizes a ballet barre and small isometric movements designed to burn fat and tone muscles.
Studio180 Fitness instructors have spent years helping clients transform their bodies. These instructors draw on their experience to lead group classes in yoga, spin, and Pilates. Their core specialty, however, is the prestigious BarreAmped method, which they insist is one of the best body-sculpting workouts available anywhere. This intensive method incorporates the movements of ballet to tone muscles and teach hearts to beat in time with The Nutcracker Suite. Studio180 Fitness also offers free childcare and one-on-one nutritional and wellness counseling.
Heather and Sarah may both be seasoned exercise instructors and personal trainers today, but they took very different routes to fitness. Heather Miller grew up living and breathing sports, as an active participant in the outdoors at her family horse farm. Whereas Sarah Roap only turned to exercise as a last resort when her doctor informed her in 2009 that at 285 pounds, she wouldn't live to see her grandchildren. Through a combination of working out and gastric-bypass surgery, Sarah shed those dangerous pounds. Today, both trainers help clients stay on a healthy track at Sustainable Fitness, where they offer group fitness classes and personal training.
When Roald Dahl wrote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, he imagined a much-coveted golden ticket that granted access to myriad wonders and unveiled the inner workings of an entire industry. MetaBody created a real-life version of that ticket with the MetaBody Yoga & Fitness Pass, though it applies to fitness instead of candy. The pass grants access not to a single gym but to classes at a variety of local studios, specializing in everything from yoga to boot camp. With the freedom to move from location to location, students can sample different regimens, instructors, and styles of exercise to cobble together a program that fits their needs and goals. MetaBody's nutritionists supplement class packages by coaching clients in healthy eating, recipe cooking, and speed-reading nutrition-fact labels.
Head trainer Lee Gravlee humbly founded Gravlee Fitness in his mother's garage 20 years ago and eventually expanded his business to a duo of Birmingham-area gyms staffed by nine trainers and fitness instructors, and was nominated for an award as one of the best gyms in northern Alabama in the process. The Mount Laurel hub’s legion of treadmills, ellipticals, and stairmasters torches calories before free weights forge new colonies of lean muscle. Upstairs, an expansive fitness studio hosts Zumba, Pilates, and yoga classes, Fit Train, TRX, and senior sessions, and thumb wars between patrons who wish to be the first to descend the stairs back to the first floor. TRX sessions levitate limbs in hanging straps to create body-weight resistance and toughen toning moves, and high-energy Zumba sessions torch calories with a Latin-inspired dance routine set to international hit tunes.