Led by two ACE-certified personal trainers, Carolina Adventure Boot Camp takes men and women of any age or fitness level through regularly scheduled 60-minute outdoor cardio romps. Groups are limited in size for each session, helping students get to know one another and allowing trainers to personalize each exercise to individual abilities. The bare-bones structure of each class builds routines around body-weight resistance, running, yoga, and obstacle courses, requiring each participant to bring only water, a yoga mat, and a pair of dumbbells. When not providing positive reinforcement, instructors counsel students on nutritional matters, helping craft nutritious meal plans and sharing healthful cookie recipes that replace chocolate chips with Flintstones vitamins.
The inspiring trainers at each MetaBody location lead troops of workouteers in results-oriented workouts several times weekly. Sweat sessions utilize a variety of exercises and disciplines to produce full-body results in a supportive environment, ideal for beginners and hard-core core-hardeners alike. During any class, motivational instructors will use the instinctual distrust of routine to their advantage. Begin a day of litigating with a refreshing early-morning boot-camp session, or wind down by burning evidence and pounds with a late-evening yoga class. Muscles are kept guessing with new and challenging moves during each session, so participants never fall into a boring, ineffective routine, such as regular teeth brushing. In addition to the fitness classes, students receive a success guide to help prepare for imminent pound loss, a nutrition guide, and a $100 gift certificate for individual coaching. Because the pass sets a 10-class cap at any given location, roving fitness mavens can further shake up their workout regimens by vetting a series of classes or instructors that work best for them.
At Curves, exercisers of all fitness levels move around a circuit of hydraulic-resistance machines that have been designed to work with women's bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage machine-maneuvering and muscle making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks, filling medicine balls with medicine, and losing your momentum, the hydraulic machines account for different body weights and fitness levels to create resistance that matches one's abilities, which thereby decreases the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.
As an 11-year-old, Jill Hinson lay in a hospital bed and wondered why her hip wouldn’t work properly. It was the absence of any diagnosis for her chronic pain that sparked a lifelong fascination with the human body, especially its moving parts and bone that can tell jokes. Years later, Jill occupied herself with performing and training dance, and, as she realized her desire to take on rehabilitative work, sought opportunities to teach those with special needs. It wasn't until after she had given birth to her second child that she found her calling in Pilates—an exercise system that combines the grace of dance with the healing potential of motion.
Today, Jill and her team of instructors occupy the second floor of The English Building in downtown Monroe. They have filled the historic studio—whose exposed brick walls, archway, and complete lack of eccentric billionaire subletters project the vibes of a private loft—with a slew of core-building equipment, from yoga mats to reformer apparatuses. As they lead non-competitive classes, the team members follow the principles of Stott Pilates, which mixes the tenets of modern physical therapy with classic Pilates maneuvers.
The mind isn’t the only body part that grows bored with repetition. Muscles also need constant variation to grow and function properly, and few workouts provide this variation more than CrossFit, an intense exercise program that engages muscles with a series of functional movements. In fact, “engagement” is a good word to describe the entire philosophy behind CrossFit. The program’s instructors do everything in their power to keep participants engaged, motivated, and working so hard that boredom is no longer an option.
All of this is evident at CrossFit MNC gym, where participants push and pull weighted sleds, hold themselves high on gymnastics rings, and flip over tractor tires on a daily basis. Instructors stand by to offer instruction and shouts of encouragement as participants raise their chins aloft during pull-ups or head outside to fling cars across the parking lot. The gym’s ever-changing workouts blend gymnastics, running, rowing, and weightlifting—all of which are customized to suit individual levels of fitness.