Grandmaster Dennis Tosten founded the first Amerikick in 1967 and has since taught several champion fighters, police officers, and everyday students karate and self-defense. Today, the lauded chain teaches fitness classes inspired by martial arts, including cardio kickboxing in six states. Each location upholds a curriculum that blends Chinese and Japanese martial-arts styles—including kenpo and tae kwon do—with modern self-defense strategies, further updating traditional practices by eschewing uniforms and belts for casual workout gear. Having attained certification in teaching kickboxing from the National Association of Professional Martial Artists, Amerikick's seasoned instructors also each possess black belts in karate, a rank as difficult to attain as the snake charmer's belt of live cobras.
Raquel Gleason discovered her calling while dealing with her mother’s battle with breast cancer. She enlightened her mother and others about the physical and mental benefits of exercise, benefits Raquel experienced herself after Pilates helped correct her spine and foot issues. Today, certified in such skills as personal training, Pilates, CPR, and first aid, Raquel runs Rebel Pilates, where she leads private and group sessions in Reformer Pilates, step-board dance, and barefoot Bhangra (Bollywood) Indian dance. By exposing clients to Pilates and dance, Raquel strives to impart total-body balance, which could previously only be achieved by a steady diet of gyroscopes.
Fusion Cross-Training offers group and personal training; it's not an exercise factory where rows of strangers sweat silently, but rather a chic, imitate studio where the staff works with the workouts and the heart, muscles, and mind exercise in unison. During one month of membership, students of health get unlimited access to cross-training sessions that include 25 minutes of cardio (running, biking, and rowing), a half hour of strength/resistance training with weights and bands, and 20 minutes of flexibility development via yoga and relaxation exercises. The workouts—which help clients lose weight, tone muscle structure, relieve stress, and burn through fat like hot frying pans—are led by qualified, motivational coaches, and end with a rest period that incorporates aromatherapy and massage to help relax both body and mind. Up to 1,000 calories can be burned in one session.
Hearts pound, palms sweat, and feet spiral—but wheels stay put. Such is the unique fate of the stationary bikes at The Vicious Cycle, which embark on 20- to 25-mile journeys without ever leaving the studio. Here, riders can burn up to 800 calories in each 45- or 60-minute class, though the intensity of the workout remains entirely up to them. Spinners can adjust each cycle's resistance level in order to control the difficulty of the ride or the mimic the unpredictable nature of outdoor terrain. Through every class fun, upbeat music pumps through the studio's speakers, which can help to motivate cyclists to push themselves faster, just like the memory of the menacing rollerskater who chased them during their last real ride.
CrossFit Medford's gym looks a little bit like an auto garage. And that's appropriate, because their trainers are in the business of bodywork and revving fitness engines. They do so by leading exercisers through functional movements, performing them at a high intensity. By teaching these motions, such as pushing, pulling, and lifting, they ready their students for physical exertions while playing sports or working. Trainers use everything from pull-up bars and kettlebells to ropes and resistance bands to get the job done. Making all-new routines daily also ensures their students get a completely workout and don't get bored. To ensure they all can follow through with those workouts, they scale them to individual needs and fitness levels.
GoForItKickboxing.com’s certified trainers draw on two fitness methods to get clients in shape: kickboxing and high-intensity interval training. During classes, they teach students real kickboxing punches, kicks, and combinations that work the entire body while imparting invaluable self-defense knowledge. They combine these techniques with a high-intensity interval-training philosophy, which alternates between periods of intense aerobic activity and short periods of rest. The result is a workout that is fun, energetic, and can burn up to 800 calories in one session.