Though popular for some time at most gyms, the typical boot-camp class rarely has an actual soldier leading the charge. Not so at 7 Fitness, where active and nonactive military personnel put participants through their paces using a results-oriented blend of plyometrics, body-weight resistance, and cardio exercises. Athletes supplement their workouts with kickboxing classes, yoga offerings, sports-specific training classes, and one-on-one personal-training sessions.
With locations spanning the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom, iLoveKickboxing.com has trimmed the waistlines of thousands of members while bolstering their confidence levels with engaging and varied total-body workouts. The program blends kickboxing techniques into a fat-burning, muscle-toning, and endurance-enhancing regimen. Limbs warm up with a quick jog before taking down imaginary opponents with a set of practice kicks and punches to drive home proper technique. The pummeling then switches to the one of many freestanding heavy bags, and incorporates ducking and weaving to boost heart rates. Teamwork drills help members tone up while cultivating camaraderie, which could lead to a partnership inspiring future buddy-cop-movie sensations.
Third-degree black belt and instructor Gary Quillen was once a regular 12-year-old boy. Today, he can leap into the air and perform a dazzling horizontal split kick. This feat requires immense athletic prowess. But that physical strength means nothing without the equally immense mental strength behind it. The importance of mind over muscle informs Gary's approach to teaching his Korean martial-arts and fitness classes. He has designed each of his classes to teach novice practitioners how to defend themselves with deft, powerful techniques, but also to develop their confidence, respect, and self-control in order to minimize the chance they'll ever need to.
Founded in the late '60s, Lucille Roberts' studios were some of the very first gyms that focused exclusively on women's health. Now with locations spread across New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, Lucille Roberts have kept up with the times with such classes as Zumba, Flirty Girl fitness, hip-hop aerobics, and Piloxing, a combination of Pilates and boxing. The gyms also sell weight-loss products such as green coffee bean capsules, raspberry ketones supplements, and anti-gravity rays.
The expert instructors at Northern Shaolin Kung Fu and Tai Chi Academy have dedicated themselves to teaching adults and children ancient styles of movements such as tai chi, kung fu, and Qigong. Through their classes, they help students master wielding a broadsword in wushu or finding inner tranquility with moving meditation.