Fitness specialist and certified nutritionist Ron Lyons wasn’t always so svelte. Before he became a health guru, Ron was a police officer, but his 240-pound frame didn’t fit with the position. It wasn’t until a suspect in a DWI case resisted arrest and outran Ron, leaving him unable to call for backup, that he buckled down. Now, 16 years later, he helms Ultimate Body Studios, sharing the fitness and nutrition skills he has learned and mastered along the way. He leads seminars, grocery store tours that teach healthy shopping habits, and a weight loss and exercise program that combines healthy eating with effective exercise techniques. With continued dedication to the program, some of his students have lost more than 150 pounds, or roughly one ACME cartoon anvil.
At Sunstone Yoga, students radiate calm and self-awareness as they practice ancient poses designed to stretch, strengthen, and purify the body. Instructors complete 500 hours of training in yogic techniques, teaching, and physiology before leading classes, so they can hand out researched, tested tips on safety and alignment. Most classes come in 30-, 60-, and 90-minute varieties and focus on energy or restorative relaxation. A two-class introductory series welcomes beginners with basic standing poses, and the popular fire series explores up to 34 poses in a 99-degree room that loosens muscles to facilitate deeper stretches as it ousts toxins. Filled with soothing music and 90-degree temperatures, the water series cultivates more serenity than getting a massage from a singing whale.
Private Workout's efficiency-focused staffers draft half-hour workout regimens specifically designed to meet each client's physical needs and personal-health goals. The trainer explains the workout and introduces all equipment, then evaluates clients' fitness and helps them set goals. Members can then return for their 30-minute sessions, which are held nearly every day between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. The workouts are designed to keep heart rates up for 30 minutes, which helps stave off disease and ramp up metabolisms. Guests who'd like more individualized attention can also sign up for personal-training sessions to work toward milestones, whether they'd like to tone up for fingerless-glove season or lose weight.
Nestled inside the ultra-modern Willow Bend Fitness Club, Equipt Pilates borrows moves from yoga and strength training to create effective Pilates-fusion workouts. The studio’s six instructors maximize the muscle-toning impact of the Pilates regimen by incorporating specialized equipment, including Pilates reformer machines, TRX bands, and ladder barrels. Group classes corral four or fewer students per session to ensure each participant scores an ample share of the instructor's attention. Those unfamiliar with any of Equipt Pilates' accouterments must enlist in an introductory course to acquaint them with each of the apparatuses' functions and preferred snacks.
The CrossFit regimen builds warriors with a body blasting blend of cardio and functional fitness routines that do not rely on relentless rows of exercise machines. Developed by fitness coach and part-time crime investigator Greg Glassman, CrossFit rapidly gained followers after Glassman began posting free workouts on his website in 2001. Today, Navy SEALS, firefighters and Lance Armstrong all use Glassman's short and intense daily routines to push themselves to their physical limits, though students of all fitness levels can participate in the CrossFit program. Along with delivering fast shape-up results, CrossFit enhances competency at functional physical tasks such as lifting heavy grocery bags, moving sofas and tiger juggling. Exercisers are under the guidance of a trained professional during all classes, eliminating the risk of injury that comes with attempting CrossFit's exercises at home or inside a trash compactor.