Strength and conditioning coach Blair O'Donovan's decade of experience and work with high-level talents has yielded an array of inventive training tactics that help youth basketball players develop the same tools the pros use, including strength, agility, and speed.
While other 11-year-old boys busied themselves by playing video games or training dogs to do their homework, Max Tzentis was training to be a champion martial artist. Month after month, Max poured his afternoons into judo, karate, and tae kwon do classes, eventually beginning training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. After years of teaching and coaching in various schools and training facilities throughout the local area, Max founded his own studio—Pure Performance Martial Arts Center.
Punching bags and functional-training equipment speckle the floor of his spacious studio, where Max and his team of expert martial-arts instructors teach classes in a sweeping range of styles from krav maga to boxing. In between lessons on movement, form, and technique, instructors lead students through high-intensity routines of cardio and strength-training exercises. In addition to classes for adults, the staff offers a training program for youngsters, where kids as young as 6 can hone fitness skills while building the confidence to stand up to bullies or ask a hardhearted hall monitor to prom.
"Our bodies and minds are closely interconnected. Our state of mind is expressed in physical phenomena, and, conversely, physical phenomena reflect our state of mind," says Dahn Yoga founder Ilchi Lee, "Nothing is impossible. Keep working on it until it's possible. There is no failure, just the gradual process of success." To make this challenging, yet hopeful philosophy accessible to all, Lee combined the Eastern concept of chi energy with his own brain-management system, developing a distinctive program that unlocks inner peace and sweeps up brain clutter caused by the daily stress of always having to find Waldo. Warm-up yoga maneuvers awaken muscles before 30?40 minutes of breathing, stretching, core practice, and meditation?including a signature brain-wave vibration technique that aims to calibrate mental and physical energies. Cool-down exercises ease the body back into quotidian functionality before a 10-minute teatime invites socialization among participants while bolstering pinkie endurance. Dahn Yoga is also taught at independently owned and operated franchises called Body & Brain Yoga.
CEO Peter Harvey believes that a quality gym staff must demonstrate more than technical expertise. "Service doesn't only mean showing someone how to do an arm curl," he says. Certified personal trainers develop workouts that zero in on each person?s specific goals, giving clients the skills to pole-vault over impassable plateaus. By steadfastly refusing to hand out fish in favor of putting on master classes in fishing, they help clients become self-sufficient, educating them on fundamentals.
During these one-on-one sessions, and in solo workouts, guests set calories ablaze atop rows of continually updated equipment. Treadmills, recumbent bikes, and strength-training tools line the walls.
Members can also drop in for as many group classes as they can muster. Inside a separate studio, stationary cycles whir in time with galvanizing music, kickboxing strikes arc through the air, and barbells rise with each BodyPump rep. For more meditative practices, Pilates sessions and several types of yoga enhance flexibility and focus.
At Potomac Paddlesports, the first professional kayak school to be endorsed by the American Canoe Association, the team of American Canoe Association– and British Canoe Union–certified instructors patiently lead students through a methodical progression of flat-water paddling skills. The classes cover a variety of watersports, including whitewater rafting, river and sea kayaking, and standup paddling. The small-group classes are designed to keep students engaged, and longer trips down the Potomac challenge their skills with powerful rapids surrounded by lush scenery, interspersed with rare glimpses of bears putting on their bear suits. Outside of class, students can bond with fellow paddlers during weekly sushi meals and occasional movie nights. Further demonstrating their dedication to bodies of water, Potomac Paddlesports works to preserve the nation’s rivers, estuaries, and oceans, sharing this passion with its members through advocacy and donations to conservation programs.
Studio 310’s founder, Liz Corah, wants everyone to feel strong and beautiful. To this end, she combines traditional and modern dance moves with fitness techniques that help people slim down in a supportive and fun atmosphere. As the latest tunes bump from speakers and trained cockatoos, Liz and her supporting staff lead students through cardio hip-hop, belly dance, traditional kickboxing, CrossFit, body-sculpt, and yoga sessions. Their studio is also the place to go for personal training, fundraisers, birthday parties, and summer camps for young dancers. Anyone in need of motivation can turn to the _ Washington Post_ and read about how Liz found the strength to juggle jobs, kids, and dance classes while getting her business off the ground.