Evolve owner John Cook has competed in wrestling, power lifting, mixed martial arts, grappling, and jiujitsu. Over 20 years he's also taught thousands of people of all ages to do the same. The reason for his success: a fundamental and common-sense approach to fitness that focuses on self-confidence and mental conditioning as well as strength training and physical conditioning. To bolster this rounded strategy, he serves up varied functional workout routines that draw upon body weight and kettlebells, as well as classes that teach Brazilian jiujitsu, boxing, and kickboxing. Regardless, at all times?throughout 80 training options each week?five skilled coaches remain onsite to ensure students use proper form and refrain from trying to bench press each other.
The trainers at Root 18 CrossFit, formerly known as Cross 18, are dedicated to body transformation and meeting the goals of their clients through cross training, nutritional counseling, and stress-management clinics. They help those struggling with weight loss, as well as those working to stay in shape or achieve higher fitness levels, through daily workouts that incorporate everything from planks and rope-climbing to the use of resistance bands and gymnastics rings. By changing up the routines each time, they help stave off boredom while maintaining focus on achieving goals. The team also has classes designed to ease in newcomers, as well as classes for teens.
A Greek-themed fitness center might conjure the images of ancient Olympic events, but at Mediterranean Fitness, chariot races and javelin poles are nowhere in sight. Instead, crisp white architecture and ocean-blue accents decorate the boutique gym where exercisers build strength and self-confidence among free weights, modern cardio machines, and daily fitness classes including hot yoga and cycling. Complimentary childcare keeps kids busy while parents work up a sweat training for arm-wrestling matches with Zeus.
The instructors at Tumble Athletics—all of whom were former college cheerleaders at Division 1 schools—emphasize precision and teamwork over somersaulting for the spotlight. During classes for 3- to 18-year-olds, they demonstrate acrobatic skills that build both strength and a sense of sportsmanship. Students rehearse maneuvers from front tumbles to back handsprings, looking to their coaches and recorded videos for feedback on their form. An 8 to 1 ratio of tumblers to teachers ensures that they each receive personalized, positive attention.
A quick breather. Just a few seconds. Then boom—it’s back to punching, and kicking, and dedicating whatever is left in the tank to the next exercise. That’s how the intense, full-body workouts at Adventure Mixed Martial Arts go down. They’re fast, and they’re a constant challenge. At the same time, though, those workouts build self-confidence and camaraderie between participants in addition to strength and endurance. The facility’s instructors go a long way in helping that happen, too, through personalized attention. They take care to recognize that mostly everyone is there not to compete, necessarily, but to simply look and feel better.
Jazzercise is 60 minutes of cardio, strength training, and stretching that incorporates moves from jazz dance, yoga, Pilates, kickboxing, and resistance training with handheld weights. Dancing with the Stars multiple-champion Cheryl Burke is a big fan of Jazzercise's improvisational workouts, though luckily you won't need her dance moves to get the most out of your class. If you're prone to first-class jitters, though, you can review the basic moves online before you go. Expect to burn off up to 600 calories with each go-round.