One can look behind every stationary bike or beneath each treadmill, and never come across a man at American Woman Fitness Center. They will, however, find a swimming pool, rows of cardio machines, and a studio that hosts more than 50 fitness classes. Because the health club only admits women at its two locations, gals can feel more comfortable and confident as they break a sweat on elliptical machines and weight-training equipment.
The all-female staff leads a slew of group fitness classes, including CrossFit, Corebar training, Zumba, and yoga classes, some of which take place in the swimming pool and can result in highly desirable dolphin abs. In addition to classes, they offer personal-training sessions along with weight-loss and nutritional counseling tailored to female physiques. Clients can also monitor their children in the childcare area via TV screens while they work out in cardio or group fitness areas.
Much like the clients they now teach, Crossfit201's four co-owners each bring a different history to their CrossFit training. Alon Soundry sought a new type of workout to boost his performance in the martial arts and motorcross. Keith Ferrara had tired of his extra pounds and found relief in a CrossFit regimen. Artie Kreutzer and Wilson De Dios enjoyed staying active even before discovering the regime. No matter their clients' background, the trainers seek ways to make the CrossFit regimen work for them.
At CrossFit Nyack, the coaches believe that no matter a person’s fitness level, they can always achieve a new level of intensity. Phaidra Knight, director and three-time World Cup rugby competitor named Player of the Decade by RugbyMag.com, teams up with the coaches to help people do just that. They challenge groups of 5–10 students to master functional movements, ditching traditional gym equipment in favor of kettlebells, medicine balls, and even tires.
The coaches focus on form, then build upon that basis by upping intensity while maintaining safe movements. A series of six Fundamentals sessions readies new students by helping them master CrossFit's movements—such as dead-lifting weights, dynamic stretching, and lobbing satellites into orbit—so they can safely dive into regular sessions.
CrossFit XT's coaches give their students the tools to achieve total-body fitness through CrossFit. With its series of constantly varied functional movements performed at a high intensity, it works all muscle groups. Since CrossFit is scalable, trainers can get students of all ages and fitness levels on track to reaching their goals. Each day they develop new workouts that keep students and muscles from getting bored. Because of CrossFit's intensity, coaches prep students with a fundamentals course.
The house rules are CrossFit Momentum are simple: hustle, get after it, and be sure to clean up any chalk or sweat after each workout. Trainers preach a dynamic approach to fitness rooted in high-intensity, functional movements. Each 40-minute workout might include a mixed bag of plyometrics, handstands, dead lifts, clean and jerk, and a couple kettlebell swings for good measure.
Cesar Bravo—a gymnast who holds certifications from CrossFit, the International Sports Sciences Association, and the USA Gymnastics National Safety association—opened Bravo CrossFit in 2009 with a few sandbags and a single rusty barbell. His gym has evolved leaps and bounds since then; it recently moved to a new, 3,000-square-foot facility, in which Cesar still teaches every class. He helps clients from all walks of life get in shape, including students, business executives, athletes, and stay-at-home parents. He leads these clients through functional exercises that eschew the muscle-isolating machines and movements of traditional gyms. The daily-changing routines harness kettlebells and calisthenics as well as training skills from Olympic weightlifting and gymnastics. He further helps his clients overhaul unhealthy lifestyle habits with nutritional training, and posts healthy, flavorful recipes online for dishes such as slow-cooked coconut-ginger pork and bacon-wrapped chicken to ensure that taste buds don’t get bored and wander into a pint of ice cream.