For Debbie Benko, owner of Fitness Bootcamp Canada, boot camps aren’t just for sculpting muscles and melting calories. They’re a tool for shedding hang-ups and unlocking pent-up potential. A certified personal trainer and enthusiastic life coach, Debbie draws upon more than 20 years of fitness expertise and recent training in neuro-linguistic programming to help women become more focused and resilient. She’s also driven by an important lesson learned while teaching English overseas: everyone wants to feel valued, no matter how they look, where they live, or what language they speak. To blaze a trail to the future, people often need to look at the past, at those times when they’ve felt undervalued or misunderstood. “That’s why I’m about making breakthroughs,” Debbie explains. “I help my clients take a close look at why they want to accomplish a particular goal and how their past has affected that goal so far.” Listening carefully is a key to achieving these breakthroughs, as is a strong support system. During one-on-one activities such as nutrition consultations, Debbie showers clients with personal attention while helping them make positive changes in their lives, from planning healthier meals to establishing clear boundaries with overly clingy shadows. She rallies exercisers of all levels for indoor boot-camp classes, where team-like camaraderie propels each participant toward goals while enhancing confidence and self-esteem. Most classes teem with calisthenics, plyometrics, and short sprints, which boost energy levels while toning muscles throughout the body. Exercises are often performed in intervals to maximize calorie burn and cultivate endurance at a manageable pace.
Platinum Family Fitness puts an array of fitness goals within reach. Members can enlist the help of a personal trainer, embark on self-guided workouts, or do martial arts, yoga, and CrossFit training in a group. The gym occupies two locations, and though they differ slightly, each is spacious and well-stocked with equipment. Clad in bright colors and infused with what trainers call a "motivational atmosphere," the center is designed to challenge and inspire people of all fitness and experience levels.
Focused on balance, power, and wellness, Navina Yoga mindfully blends Sukha, Sthira, Virya, and Vinyasa yoga styles to ease and invigorate students' bodies and minds. A monthly pass ($100) covers daily drop-in classes that are guided by passionate yogis who culled their skills from years of intense practice and hours of watching grasshoppers sleep. Newbies can explore flowing postures and powerful breathing techniques in Sukha and Sthira sessions, and Vinyasa and Virya hours delve into deeper levels of stamina, strength, and flexibility. Class times range from 60 to 90 minutes, and all posture-perfecting participants are asked to remove their shoes and the shoe shiners living in their hearts.
Dr. Weightloss Clinics assists patrons in shedding up to two pounds a week through exercise and meal plans customized around foods of their choice and individual weight-loss goals. During one-hour body assessments, clients discuss dietary history as specialists record body mass and blood pressure, all culminating in a carefully crafted program based on individual goals. The Intelligent Prescriptive Nutrition program, which Canadian bodybuilding champion John Cardillo dreamt up while bench-pressing a refrigerator in his sleep, grants clients 42 balanced meals a week. Each meal is crafted with client tastes and caloric requirements in mind. Specialists lead two one-hour shaping and toning sessions, and two one-hour cardio meetings string together exercises that burn serious calories. By program's end, partakers are well versed in fitness hieroglyphs, independently capable of slimming their physiques, decreasing cholesterol, and resisting the tempting calls of Spam loaf slathered in Nutella.
The Garden Grove molds muscles with an inspiring array of classes geared toward all ability levels. Certified yoga instructors lead numerous stretch sessions, such as the studio's signature Grove Yoga, focusing on the connection of breath with each strengthening movement. The Yoga 101 class caters to neophytes and anyone who wants to revisit the basics, which includes a review of the fundamental postures and the most efficient way to fold one's body into a travel-size case. Mix it up with Pilates, Zumba, or YogaLates Boot Camp, or care for pre- and postnatal needs with mom-geared yoga classes. The studio gives half of all mat rentals ($2) to charity, so students can borrow benevolently.