A subtle heat spreads throughout Fuel the Soul, distinct from the scorching air at hot-yoga studios that warm the room with thermostats. The muscle-melting energy seeps into muscles, coaxing tension away. This brand of heat comes from a system that emits infrared rays, capable of penetrating deeper into tissues and detoxifying patrons while they move through classic yoga poses. Co-owner Greg Fine explains to Patch.com, "Exercising … in an infrared heated sauna can help you burn calories much faster." The heat emanates from lamps that, according to Greg, are identical to those used by surgeons in neonatal hospital units and fast-food line-cooks in NASA space vessels. Customers can reap the heat's benefits, which include a faster metabolism and easier healing, whether they’re attending yoga classes or simply steeping in the far-infrared sauna.
Another offering as unusual as a cat and dog that only fight about who loves the other more is the Gyrotonic workout, "a unique method that uses movements found in swimming, yoga, and tai chi and helps improve strength, flexibility, balance, and coordination." Greg—who studied under Juliu Horvath, the Romanian dancer and exile who developed the exercise to recover after tearing his Achilles tendon and rupturing a few spinal disks—teaches the technique to students of all fitness levels and ages, whether they’re recovering from injuries or courting greater flexibility.
Achieve Fitness’s team of certified trainers builds healthy bodies from the ground up using cardio and strength exercises, ViSalus and LifeVantage nutritional supplements, and a hearty dose of encouragement. In addition to helping clients set specific long- and short-term goals, the trainers track their progress during custom fitness programs composed of personal training, small-group training, boot camps, or a combination of all three. Exercises are tailored to a variety of fitness levels during each routine, allowing new and seasoned exercisers to cultivate optimal levels of endurance, flexibility, and brawn. Personal-training sessions contain the highest level of customization and a rotating lineup of physical challenges that keep clients engaged and motivated. Workouts may take place in homes, at local gyms, or, in the case of boot camps, at nearby parks and churches.
In addition to designing exercise regimens for individuals, Achieve Fitness's trainers build fitness programs for companies, religious groups, and apartment complexes. Between face-to-face workouts, these programs' participants can access a host of online health resources, including more than 750 fitness videos, a recipe database, and a calculator that computes the number of calories burned while jumping rope or unattended roller-coaster turnstiles.
It?s apparent to anyone who watches ballet that female dancers must be extremely light. After all, they often have to be swept across the stage and effortlessly lifted into the air, and their steps must be as silent as a sneeze at the opera. Yet, as slender as ballet dancers are, they still possess bodies that look as if they were chiseled out of marble. That dancer look?a slim body with long, lean muscles?is what barre3 helps its clients achieve with a combination of ballet-barre work, yoga, and Pilates.
At locations across the country, barre3?s instructors use a three-step process that first focuses on deeply exercising muscles using isometric holds. The workout then elevates heart rate with low-impact movements before cooling down the body with a recovery stretch that also helps elongate body lines.
The workout has proved to be so effective that it has received multiple press mentions, including in the Huffington Post and In Style magazine, and it has even drawn in body-conscious celebrities such as Madonna. Mothers in particular flock to barre3?s classes, as many locations offer on-site childcare.
Travis Garza became a fitness operative at the same time that he officially became an adult, commencing his personal-training career at age 18. As the now-48-year-old progressed to earn his NASM certification and direct multiple training centers, he was constantly mounting a counteroffensive to "fitness fraud" and common gym stressors. Eventually, he created his own workout plans to help to reshape his clients' physiques, taking on the title of "The Master of Body Transformation." His methods have since been featured on KOCO, FOX 25, and KTOK talk radio for their slimming, confidence-building results.
Whether he is leading a fat-loss boot camp or personal-training session, Travis strives to be a steadfast source of support to his students?he always responds to email, telephone, or post-its stuck to lobbed medicine balls. His programs take the holistic route to health by emphasizing nutrition in addition to exercise, providing consultations and take-home resources for clients.
In 1981, the founders of Mademoiselle Figure and Fitness opened the doors to their gym with a vision for it to become a place where women can get away from everyday life and focus on their fitness. Today, the staffers continue to support their female members’ fitness goals at two locations. Every member is assigned to a trainer who can meet with them for personal training sessions at no extra charge. As an added measure, trainers will give clients a call, e-mail, or smoke signal encouraging them to stay on track if they haven’t shown up at the gym in a while.
Both locations have heated pools where members can take Aqua Zumba and other water-based classes or do laps before relaxing in the whirlpool, steam room, or sauna. The trainers also lead Zumba, step, and other workouts on land. In addition to an indoor track, the gyms stock strength and cardio equipment from Precor, Life Fitness, Nautilus, and Cybex. After working out or stopping in for a session on the vibration platforms or tanning beds, members can pick up their kids from the babysitting area.
As a professional dancer with Ballet Oklahoma, studio owner Maggie Clayton suffered chronic pain and soreness from the physical strain of her career, and turned to yoga in 1990 for its therapeutic potential. Yoga quickly became not only a source of relief for Maggie, but a catalyst for personal growth, and she spent nine years nurturing her own practice before teaching yoga classes to share "the ultimate mental and physical therapy for one's body from everyday life" with her students. Bolstered by the support of a staff of dedicated instructors, Maggie helms a studio curriculum that emphasizes Vinyasa and Ashtanga yoga styles. Instructors lead groups of pupils through mindful breathing techniques and into vigorously transitioning sequences of poses, much like an underwater dance off. During beginners' sessions, the instructors teach fundamental poses and alignment principles with demonstration and verbal cues, whereas teachers in more advanced classes keep chakras on their toes by introducing trickier arm balances and deep twists at a quicker pace.