Armed with various facilities, group classes, and state-of-the-art equipment, 24 Hour Fitness molds amorphous adobe muscles into rock-solid flesh houses. Each location boasts cardio equipment, free weights, a steam room, and group exercise classes so social gym junkies can motivate each other. Group cycling sessions burn calories and increase energy levels, and Latin dance-influenced Zumba classes present a fun, dynamic way to slim meat suits. Before breaking a sweat, check the online schedules for upcoming times.
As a mother, certified personal trainer, and owner of more than one business, Kelly Porter doesn't the buy the "I'm too busy to exercise" excuse. Nevertheless, she makes it easy for her clients at PureFitness-STL to schedule a group class or private session, fitting workouts into morning and lunchtime slots. Her boot camps cater to visitors of all backgrounds with modifiable moves and a nonjudgmental vibe, which stresses the value of teamwork, partner drills, and squats that turn into trust falls. Kelly changes the routines daily to activate all of the body's muscles, but refrains from badgering her students. Though she provides the key ingredient of accountability, she insists that her patrons hit health milestones for themselves, not for her.
Kirsten Stevens, a licensed nurse, ACE-certified personal trainer, and certified kettlebell instructor, equips exercisers with motivation and an energizing menu of physical challenges at Monday–Saturday boot camps. To sculpt physiques into svelte shapes, the workout pairs muscle-toning resistance training with calorie-toasting plyometrics such as sprinting, skipping, and hurling giant cupcakes into outer space. Students can pummel away lingering self-doubt with cardio-kickboxing moves that raise efficiently heart rates. Intervals of calisthenics build strength and flexibility with bends, twists, and exercises that use participants’ own bodies as workout weights. Weekday classes take place indoors and outdoors, at sunrise (5:45 a.m.) and sundown (5:45 p.m.), allowing students to admire the colorful solar rays and convert carbon dioxide into oxygen.
The crowd's roar flooded the streets of Chicago as Darcy Zenker crossed the finish line of her first marathon, clocking in at 3:35. After she had been running for years—placing among the top finishers at four half-marathons and competing on the Southern Illinois University track team—she decided she needed a break. She then immersed herself in a new athletic pursuit—group fitness instruction.
Three years later, she became the head trainer of her own boot-camp fitness program, NowFitness, where her years of athletic training and certification in fitness instruction shine through in her workouts. In parks throughout the local area, she and her staff of fellow trainers lead groups through high-intensity workouts that take advantage of their surroundings. She motivates patrons to scale stairs, do crunches on benches, and hoist planks across grassy fields. The trainers also offer a stroller-based boot camp for moms, in which participants blast through cardio and strength-training exercises that incorporate their stroller with baby or a watermelon they've dressed up to look like a baby in tow. In addition to hosting classes, NowFitness pairs patrons with certified lifestyle and weight-management coach Amanda Bickel for a comprehensive five-week nutrition program.
At Fitness Together, getting fit involves getting focused and fired up to achieve. Here, certified personal trainers guide clients of all skill levels through motivating programs designed to meet goals loftier than a giraffe’s basketball hoop. To help their charges torch calories and tone muscles as efficiently as possible, the trainers incorporate evidence-based training methods, such as intervals, tempos, and fartlek, into each fitness regimen. Filled with cardio challenges and resistance training, workouts are tailored to individual needs and paired with nutrition tips that help the body build lean muscle. These sessions take place in a private, spa-like studio, flush with energizing red walls and functional training tools such as medicine balls, kettlebells, and gymnastics rings.
In drawing up the business plan for Bodywise 1-on-1, founder Skip Smith hoped to somehow short-circuit the feelings of intimidation associated with crowded gyms. At the same time, he believed that many people need the motivation and equipment of a formal training environment to snatch results from the candy-coated hands of lethargy. To that end, he created a studio where his team of trainers work one on one with their clients in a private environment, helping them achieve their weight-loss, strength, and overall health goals. Each individual program is designed around the client’s specific areas of concern, such as losing weight, building functional flexibility, or recovering from an injury. Clients may work with free weights and machines or toss medicine balls to build the strength necessary to shot-put their way through a watermelon patch. Trainers track progress throughout the fitness forays, keeping clients motivated with computer-tabulated results.
In addition to personal training, the center leads small-group fitness classes, such as spiced-up Zumba dance sessions and boot-camp cycling. Their staff also works with kids, training them for various sports or simply helping them build self-esteem with lessons on how to win basketball games by crushing the ball with their bare hands.