The dress code of each fitness class at Onyx tells a lot about the curriculum: the shorter the shorts, the better in the pole fitness classes, as contact between the bare skin and the pole helps keeps students in gravity-defying inversion. Meanwhile, it’s better to wear long pants for the aerial fitness classes—you can avoid rope burn this way while climbing the silks that hang in the spacious aerial studio. These two types of classes make up the majority of Onyx Pole and Aerial Fitness Studio’s classes, and though the classes are fun, the instructors take the fitness aspect seriously, too. To that end, they offer boot camp, bodyrock, and core pole classes to help students achieve their overall fitness goals.
Darla Davis can fly. Suspended from long, flowing silks, she tumbles through the air with grace and elegance, creating movement that's athletically and aesthetically impressive at the same time. An experienced performer, she has honed her skills on the aerial silks with guidance from some of the same trainers who work with Cirque du Soleil. When she's not performing, Davis introduces others to the world of aerial acrobatics, teaching children and adults challenging and exhilarating moves. Classes at her sunny studio include hand/body balance and aerial yoga.
After turning in his marine uniform and becoming a full-time student, Tom often found that he didn't have time to exercise and cook nutritious meals. It was only after enlisting the aid of a fitness trainer that he was able to transform his eating habits and exercise his way back to sculpted muscles and chiseled abs. Today, Tom draws from his own fitness experiences and guides others at a his own training center—Trainer Zone Fitness. Within his professional studio, Tom conducts both small-group and personal-training sessions for fitness seekers of all abilities. He designs workouts to be creative and challenging, combining traditional weight, body-weight resistance, interval, cardio, and flexibility exercises into dynamic routines.
The trainers at CrossFit Aether have a unique understanding of their clients’ struggles to get in shape, because only a few years ago, they were in the same spot. Seeking to improve their lives through fitness, they rallied around owner Matt Van Dyke to mold a method of exercise that allows individuals’ inherent strength to bubble to the surface. Rooted in four fundamental elements—motivation, nutrition, action, and renewal—the CrossFit regime consists of varied daily workouts that incorporate functional movements such as burpees and sprints. This unique blend of weightlifting and gymnastic maneuvers readies athletes for more advanced classes, personal training, or running with the bulls while honing overall fitness.
The technicians at The Body Sculpt Xpress dedicate themselves exclusively to ultrasound-cavitation body sculpting, a noninvasive technique already popular in Europe and Australia. They customize treatments based on the thickness of fat and its distribution throughout the body. To accommodate clients’ schedules, the technicians offer appointments both in the office and at home with their mobile contouring machine transported on a parade float with a marching band.
Sean Keil, the founder of Renaissance Movement LLC, discovered parkour at the ripe old age of 12. Eschewing his history as a professional dancer, he followed parkour full-force, traveling extensively to train with top parkour masters and even some of the inventors of the sport. Together he and his staff have developed a community in which they help students develop the necessary skills, both physical and mental, to practice the discipline of parkour in a safe environment.
The trainers at Pure Workout have stripped away the glamour of giant, impersonal gyms. They usher guests into a no-excuses zone where simple weights and calisthenics reign supreme, leading their classes with a potent mix of fitness expertise and tough love. Their routines vary, but each boot-camp session sparks friendly competition between attendees as they flip tires, heft weights, and sprint up hills. With no regard for noncommittal members who sneak helium into their kettlebells, the staff prizes Pure Workout's exclusive atmosphere—a quality that earned the gym a feature on NBC 5 and the title of CityVoter's Best Boot Camp in 2012.