For years, Life in Synergy founder Helena Collins was frustrated with her body. Despite vigorously working out and dieting, she wasn't seeing results. But she knew there had to be a way to achieve the figure she wanted while still eating the foods she loved and actually enjoying her workouts. So she set out to find a solution. After more than 30 years of research, she now lives by the motto "Work smarter, not harder," and has developed a fitness method that motivates her clients to make long-term changes through custom nutrition plans, exercise, and life-coaching sessions.
Along with her team of certified trainers, Collins first meets with each client to assess their goals, which might include losing pounds or finally being able to bench-press their older brother. The staff then develops a customized nutrition plan that eschews fad diets and starvation, as well as a fitness plan that hones in on specific problem areas such as the thighs, love handles, and belly. During Life in Synergy's signature Synergistics Fitness Method classes, clients work toward those same goals in a group setting, using exercise bands and medicine balls for low-impact moves that don't damage joints. The metabolism-boosting workouts also emphasize stretching and strengthening weak muscles to correct any imbalances in the body. The trainers further hone in on problem areas during classes including Butts and Guts, Lean Legs, and Abs and Arms.
Fists fly amid a regulation sized boxing ring as the stern commands of an on looking coach keep the fighters in check. Though there may be gravel in his voice, each demand is intended to motivate students of all levels as they hone their boxing skills during small group boxing sessions at Peter Welch's Gym. And leading the pack of coaches who "… will motivate you, but never intimidate you," as told to the Boston Common by Melinda Sarkis—is the owner himself, Peter Welch, a Golden Gloves champion and fighting coach for UFC fighters Kenny Florian and Brock Lesnar. With decades of "old school" boxing experience tucked into his belt, Peter has developed a hands-on boxing program that teaches novice fighters using the same workout as professionals, while instilling confidence through effective conditioning and coaching.
His namesake gym recently moved to a new location that boasts a free weight area, flat screen TVs, and spacious locker rooms. The gym's week-long schedule is open to all including men and women of any age, and has even had visitors such as Anthony Bourdain.
At Peak Fitness, trainers use workouts devised by physical therapists to help groups and individuals get in shape fast, improve their agility for sports, or build functional strength. In one-hour personal-training sessions, trainers lead clients through acceleration drills, core exercises, and functional strengthening exercises that work to reshape bodies. The 3,500 square-foot center features rugged turf, comfortable air conditioning, and full showers, ensuring that busy professionals can return to work fresh and energized.
Drawing from more than 20 years of experience, certified trainer Bobby Spindell doesn’t rely on intensity alone to draw calories from his clients—he also uses rest periods as a fitness tool. Recognizing that fitness is a process that occurs in phases, he motivates clients during boot camps and training classes to complete the full number of reps before giving their muscles strategic rest periods. He advises clients on how to help their bodies recover for the next workouts with low-resistance training, proper sleep, and what to eat after workouts.
Cofounders Jill Tomich and Peter Lavelle had both been active in the fitness world before they opened Ultimate Bootcamp in 2004. Jill threw her energies into boxing, ballet, yoga, and blogging for a wedding diet-and-fitness website, and Peter, a native Irishman, was a triathlete. In all his pursuits, Peter adhered to the motto "We're not here for a long time?we're here for a good time."
This credo infuses all of the boot-camp programs. Campers from all across the fitness spectrum find accommodation as the workouts meet them close to home. Trainers never push too far, but always challenge. An energetic mix of outdoor-resistance and interval training layers patrons in svelte muscle, builds strength, and burns calories to promote weight loss more effectively than a rice cake's PR agent. Far from the stereotypical idea of a boot camp, encouragement and support roll in from instructors who foster cooperation and camaraderie between fellow boot campers.
Next Level Fitness has four studio locations throughout the Boston area, but those aren't the only places its trainers do their work. The trainers also travel, showing up at clients' homes, offices, and gyms with equipment and exercise regimens ready. Whether clients are participating in a summer boot camp or a corporate fitness workshop, they can be sure that trainers are leading them in a workout that's appropriate for the group's fitness level.