The experienced instructors at TM Martial Arts aim to help their students strengthen more than muscles in their hapkido, tae kwon do, and self-defense classes. They prize the character development and cognitive benefits—such as self-confidence, perseverance, and improved concentration—that people can experience with regular practice. That said, their American kickboxing and Ultimate Fitness programs blend strength training with sparring drills to help students reshape their bodies and embrace fitness for the rest of their lives, no matter their age or starting level.
It's not easy to become a trainer at Metabolic Fitness Management: the company only recruits those with the proper education and certifications from organizations such as the National Personal Training Institute, the American Council on Exercise, and the National Council on Strength and Fitness. At a handful of gyms, these experts lead personalized one-on-one sessions as well as group boot-camp, kettlebell, and TRX suspension-training classes.
Surrounded by wooden floors, large mirrors, and minimalistic equipment, the instructors behind A Whole Lotta Class help students forge fitter frames with exercises that exploit the body’s natural, intuitive motions. During TRX classes, students develop chiseled cores as they battle against elastics designed by a Navy SEAL, eschewing heavy steel plates in favor of resistance bands that increase or decrease workout intensity using each student’s own body weight. Certified also instructors teach Piloxing classes—which ramp up traditional Pilates techniques with a cardio workout—alongside endurance-boosting boot camps and strength-building interval training. In contrast to the other classes, Zumba takes an otherwise grueling workout and turns it into a party with Latin-based moves found in salsa, merengue, and interpretive-dance editions of Virgil's Aeneid.
The trainers at Fit on Demand (formerly 3rd Dimension Fitness) believe that time flies when you're having fun. That's why they structure workout sessions around having a good time, supplementing their always-changing energetic routines with doses of personal attention for participants of all fitness levels. Each group class, including Zumba, spin, and yoga, varies with each session, preventing boredom and muscles from becoming accustomed to movements, resulting in less-effective workouts. Though more intense than a traditional exercise session, boot-camp classes still infuse fun into their steps with varying techniques and classes held in parks packed with feral clowns. Boot camps are held in rain or shine, and stadium boot camps incorporate stair sprints and bleacher workouts. Further helping clients reach their fitness goals, nutrition and stress-management counselors are on hand to coach participants through lifestyle changes with meal-planning tips and an upbeat perspective. The gym’s name isn’t the only recent change. New group classes such as SpinFusion and kickboxing have been added to the schedule; new elliptical machines, treadmills, and stationary bikes now beckon exercisers; and extended hours make finding time to work out easy and convenient.
Grounded in the idea that group exercise not only is suitable for all levels of fitness, but works to motivate participants in a unique and positive manner, the staff of Elixir gets bodies in motion. A dozen different classes—ranging from Zumba to Les Mills BodyCombat—are set to upbeat music, designed to inspire movement, tone the body, and shed pounds. The club also offers childcare six days a week, so parents can drop their kids in a safe, friendly environment while they get in a workout.
Heaven & Hell Bootcamp's trainers reflect more of the angelic side of their company's name. Unlike boot camps that aim to cultivate a military atmosphere, their workouts never include shouting or require camouflage formal wear. Instead, certified trainers Damon Burell and Michael Caputo keep an upbeat, friendly attitude as they lead workouts for all fitness levels. These sessions take place indoors or outside and might incorporate exercises such as jumping rope, sports drills, and resistance training.