Offbeat exercise gear, a group of friends, and the great outdoors. These are key ingredients in Sweat Atlanta's always-changing, always-challenging boot camp, named Atlanta's best outdoor fitness class in Jezebel Magazine's Best of 2014 issue. Classes incorporate equipment as diverse as weighted sleds, speed parachutes, tires, and combat ropes.?Trainer and ubiquitous local fitness personality Nicholas Jacobs is certified in both personal training and group training, letting him fold?disciplines such as?kickboxing, Pilates, yoga, dance, and circuit training into a high-intensity interval-training format that's adaptable to all fitness levels. "By the end of the workout, you'll have toned all your major muscle groups," Jacobs told the hosts of local TV show The A-List. Aside from boot camps, Sweat Atlanta also offers safe, considerate personal training and fun, high-energy?group classes such as Dance Jam.
Semi-pro football player Kareem Goodwin was a defensive back and a coach for the Georgia Gladiators (formerly the Georgia Pride) when he tore his ACL in 2007. He worked hard to gradually regain his strength, health, and speed, and in the process became well versed in the sciences of human anatomy and nutrition. Over the course of his journey, Kareem realized he wanted to help others—both athletes and nonathletes—improve their health as well as their physiques. He traded his Gladiators coaching role for that of a fitness coach and entrepreneur, and opened Pure Fit United in Norcross. Through personal training, group classes, and self-guided workouts, visitors to Kareem's facility forge their own fitness stories.
Fitness 19's founders launched their first family-oriented gyms in 2003, hoping to splash the exercising experience with local flavor and familiarity. At each of seven Georgia locations, Life Fitness cardio machines—including treadmills and ellipticals—unite with strength-training machines and free weights to help members to build leaner physiques as certified personal trainers patrol the deep-red-carpeted workout area. The expert staff can also guide clients through yoga-, martial-arts, and weight-loss-centric personal-training sessions. Every location also hosts a kids' room, where youngsters can craft macaroni kettlebells under the supervision of a full-time staff member.
During their frequent appearances on NBC's American Ninja Warrior, elite athletes from around the country test the limits of human fitness against an unforgiving obstacle course. When they're not on camera, where do they go to get so buff? Some of them train at CrossFit Lilburn 678, where seasoned trainers specialize in getting the most out of every workout. Here, students spend their days plowing through a high intensity work out of the day, learning personalized lessons during one-on-one personal-training sessions, or testing their mettle against obstacles like the ones seen on television.
The mission of Absolute Fitness extends beyond helping visitors stay in shape. In addition to offering personal training and group fitness classes, the facility hosts dance lessons blending jazz and ballet. Martial arts classes for kids and adults teach self-defense and provide attendees with helpful advice on wearing colored belts. An onsite massage therapist helps athletes keep their bodies in top form with Swedish and deep-tissue massages as well as reflexology treatments.
Valencia Kelly knows what it takes to help athletes succeed, as she once played Division I women's basketball at Western Illinois University. She teaches kids developmental sports skills and trains teens who seek to reach the next level athletically. Adults aren't left out at Excel With Kellz, either; she tailors workouts to her personal-training clients, whether they seek to lose weight or look better in their favorite pair of leather bike shorts.