Dianna Akar isn't the least bit intimidated by the fact that her clients all start at different fitness levels. On the contrary, she relishes the challenge, tailoring her programs to align with each of their goals. Akar is a certified personal trainer, using her experience to helm outdoor boot-camp sessions for both men and women that draw from yoga, aerobics, plyometrics, strength training, and chimney sweeping.
At Hayastan-IMB Mixed Martial Arts, expert fighters teach adults and kids to not only fend off potential attackers, but also to evade a less tangible assailant: workout boredom. Rather than training with repetitive treadmill runs, students tone their physiques in combat classes using techniques such as grappling—a mostly ground-based style that blends jujitsu, judo, and wrestling. Kickboxing-and-MMA-fusion courses mix knee and elbow strikes with classic kicks and punches, and multiple levels of fitness boot camp burn fat, bolster endurance, and strengthen and condition bodies.
In addition to conquering triathlons, Regina Gunn has put her athletic prowess to use transforming college-level football, tennis, and soccer athletes into optimum versions of themselves, earning herself a feature in July 2009’s issue of Shape magazine, according to staff. She eventually founded Gunn’s Fitness with Air Force Staff Sergeant Kevin Ardnt to bring her fitness expertise to the public. The duo draws from military conditioning techniques and athlete-level speed and strength-training programs, boiling these complex sciences down into one-hour sessions. They work in a vast facility lined with free weights, dumbbells, state-of-the-art strength machines, and giant exercise balls pilfered from the toy chests of Brobdingnagian toddlers.
Located in Matthews, Scott Shields Martial Arts Academy offers instruction in martial-arts disciplines such as jujitsu, jeet kune do, and muay thai. With fitness-kickboxing classes and programs for kids and adults alike, the experienced instructors at this light-filled studio not only help clients burn calories and build muscle but also teach them discipline and self-respect. All classes introduce students to self-defense moves; they then learn to grapple, punch, and kick with efficiency as they gain strength and confidence.
At Trim Up, a gym run for and by women, trainees exercise independently on meticulously cleaned machinery or bask in the communal vibes of workout classes in disciplines such as yoga, Pilates, and Zumba. The gym’s whole-body vibration plates stimulate rarely used fast-twitch muscle fibers, working 98%–100% of muscles up to 3,000 times per minute, a feat usually only achievable when measured in dog minutes. The center’s detox diet retrains stomachs to crave healthy foods by sifting out late-onset allergens. Members can also enjoy discounted onsite sunless spray tans, which bronze skin to a choice of three shades with Mystic Tan’s MyMyst System.