Created by fitness trainer and life coach Dr. John Spencer Ellis, and conducted by ISSA certified trainer Josh Allen, the Nashville Adventure Boot Camp program shepherds women to physical fitness with motivational workout regimens and nutritional counseling. Before the camp starts, trainers take your measurements and body-fat percentage before hopping into a curious pod, leaping into the future, and comparing them to those of the trimmer post-camp you. In the interim, the four-week workout regimen cycles through circuit training, jogging, kickboxing, and yoga to surprise and challenge muscles. During inclement weather and unforeseen renaissance festivals, sessions move into a 10,000-square-foot heated and air-conditioned facility, complete with showers and bathrooms.
Tell us about your business.
Happy Hoops uses your basic, run of the mill hula hoop to burn fat, tone muscles, and improve cardiovascular function. It is a great, all-body, low-impact workout that allows you to set your own intensity. We believe that everyone can hoop and are proud to boast a 100% success rate in teaching adults to hula hoop
We are absolutely dedicated to the happy part of Happy Hoops. We have only two rules in our classes.
Rule #1: No negative self-talk. Students and instructors are absolutely forbidden to say things like "I can't do this," "I'm terrible at this," or "I’ll never learn this."
Rule #2: We don't say sorry. At some point, your hoop will fly across the room and hit the instructor—just smile, make an animal sound and move on. We even practice our animal sounds at the beginning of the class for good measure. No sorries.
What inspired you to open the fitness studio?
I hate gyms. I hate treadmills. I hate exercise. I hate sweating alone. And I really, really hate being fat. I used hula hooping to lose 40 pounds after our first child and hula hooping is how I lost 30 pounds after our second child. I found I could watch all the TV I wanted as long as I hula hooped the commercial. I got addicted to that and started hula hooping through entire shows. I am utterly convinced that exercise can be fun, and with a hula-hoop it is. The possibilities are limitless, really. No more workouts, just hoopouts!
What’s your favorite spot in the gym, and why?
Have I mentioned that I hate gyms? So, yeah—I like the smoothie bar when I am at a gym.
How did you personally get involved in fitness?
I've done sports competitively my entire life and my dad was an athletic trainer. As an adult, competitive sports just aren't as fun so I needed something different to get and keep myself fit. So, in 2008, when my tattoo artist was inking my arm and told me his wife was teaching hula hoop classes, I immediately signed up for one.
Tell us one interesting fact most people don't know about your business.
10% of all our class and hoop sales support the academic and residential care of an orphan in Port au Prince, Haiti.
What's your favorite workout?
I like off the body hooping combinations that involve shoulders and elbows.
What’s the best food to eat before a workout, and after?
I'm supposed to say lettuce, but I'm gonna be honest. I go for the ice cream.
Equipment: Kettlebells, Tubing. Sled. Ropes, TRX,
PVC, Medicine Balls
Students should bring: Water, towel, yoga mat. Men should bring a 15-lb to 35-lb kettlebell and women should bring a 10-lb to 25-lb kettlebell.
Average class length: 60 minutes
Number of Staff: 1?5 people
Class location: Mix of indoor and outdoor classes
Registration required: Yes
Good for beginners: Yes
Guests allowed: No
Parking: Free street parking
Pro Tip: Please show up dressed ready to workout ten minutes before class.
Exercise is challenging, and people frequently give up on their fitness routines. How do you keep clients motivated?
I highly recommend ... the full 12-session Balanced Athlete Program. The program is for newbies and veterans alike. You will be immersed in movement patterns and healthy eating practices that automatically turn you into a Balanced Athlete. These movement patterns can be practiced anywhere, so working out becomes second nature. Later on, if [you] wants to begin our Olympic lifting program, [you] will be ready for a challenging and fun workout all without injury.
Sweating to the oldies is acceptable, but sweating to the blues less so. Do you find that certain styles and genres of music generate more intense workouts?
I find that music with a hard, driving bass and ... 128 to 140 [beats per minute] works best. Also top 40 fan favorites.
When and how did you first develop a passion for fitness?
I was in my twenties and I started taking step aerobics and hi lo aerobics at my local gym. I loved the music and exercising to it. It was so addictive. I still see friends from the eighties working out to this day. [Exercise] is by far the best anti-ager and an easy way to keep a good figure. Most importantly, [it's] the best tool in leading a healthy lifestyle.
When three of your immediate family members are some of the world's best fighters, chances are that you're destined for greatness. Carlos Gracie, Jr. spent his formative years watching and learning from the men who are credited with founding the art of Brazilian jujitsu: his father, Carlos Gracie, Sr.; his uncle, Hélio; and his older brother, Rolls. They borrowed from a fighting style that originally evolved in India, practiced by Buddhist monks as a means to restrain opponents without having to injure them. The "gentle art," as the monks called it, focuses on redirecting an opponent's momentum, grappling them to the ground, and employing powerful joint locks to arrest their motion and prevent them from escaping or dancing the robot. The family practiced and polished this reinvented technique at the Teresópolis House, an expansive ranch in the mountains of Rio de Janeiro where martial artists honed their craft in a community that necessitated getting along, sharing, and learning from one another.
Carlos Jr. drew on these lessons when he founded the first Gracie Barra school in 1986. The school, which eventually expanded to more than 300 locations worldwide, focuses on maintaining the signature Gracie Barra technique while allowing individual teachers to make the most of their own talents. Much more than a fighting style, Brazilian jujitsu emphasizes discipline and respect for others and oneself, and students at Gracie Barra will quickly learn the rules of etiquette that come standard in every classroom.
Q&A with Bethany Hard, Owner of Bethany Hard Yoga:
Tell us about your business.
Naam Yoga is a style of yoga that opens the heart and leads to self-healing. Prenatal and postpartum yoga are extremely beneficial to the new mom as they are complete workouts that strengthen the physical body as well as the emotional and spiritual self. My prenatal yoga classes are specially designed to relieve physical discomforts, prepare new moms for labor and childbirth, and assist in releasing any fears or doubts surrounding pregnancy.
What inspired you to start this business?
I was inspired to offer prenatal yoga after the birth of my son. The prenatal yoga exercises I did during my pregnancy led to a complete shift in my experience of pregnancy. I went from a place of fear to a place of empowerment and excitement. This also led to a beautiful, fulfilling birth experience. I cannot express how profoundly prenatal yoga affected my life as a woman and mother. It simultaneously brought me strength and tranquility.
At the helm of Cargo Fitness is Carlos R. Gonzalez, a former track athlete at the high-school, collegiate, and international levels and a former strength and conditioning coach with the Tampa Bay Rays baseball club. Gonzalez draws upon this experience to provide a variety of training programs for those looking to lose weight, build endurance, and improve their health. His group fitness classes welcome exercisers of all skill levels to engage in full-body workouts, working to burn fat, tone muscle, and jump high enough to finally get that raccoon out of the top cupboard. Meanwhile, his strength and conditioning programs use individualized exercises to steer athletes toward their goals. Finally, he also offers online workout programs that augment personalized plans with weekly feedback sessions via phone or email.