Shonda Lewis walks proudly across the stage, her toned muscles illuminated by a sea of flashing camera lights as she accepts her award as the 2009 Arnold Sports Festival figure-division champion. But Shonda wasn't always a slender, toned idol of a woman—in fact, she was once overweight. It was only through months of intense training and proper diet that Shonda became who she is today—a professional fitness model, motivational speaker, and trainer.
Committed to celebrating healthy and fit female bodies, Shonda Lewis founded her own bikini contest, Rock Star Bikini, where ladies can compete for cash prizes and photo ops at the annual Arnold Sports Festival. At Rock Star Bikini Bootcamp, Shonda and a staff of personal trainers lead ladies toward bikini bodies with high-intensity workouts. The staff holds classes at Power Shack Fitness, where private training rooms, workout equipment, and an advantageous lack of free cupcake stands create an ideal workout venue.
Shape Fitness believes that since exercise is such an important part of a healthy lifestyle, people should be able to fit a workout into their own schedules. This spacious gym is staffed and open 24 hours per day, seven days per week, and clients here have access with their own key. Cardio and strength training equipment helps members stick to their fitness regimens, and group class are available for people who like to work out in a motivating, social environment. Certified personal trainers are also on hand to help train those looking to amp up their fitness routine.
If you ask the trainers at K Zone what the keys to fitness are, they might say function and variety. And they would know: they've all lost 20?60 pounds themselves. At this studio, their main goals are to incorporate a variety of exercises for their clients during personal training and boot camps that keep muscles guessing and heart rates up. Kettlebells, free weights, resistance bands, and medicine balls are just some of the tools they use to help clients achieve their fitness goals. During boot camps, each client gets an intense full-body workout and sessions are available at varying times throughout the week to help accommodate almost any schedule.
At South Beach Fitness’s two Columbus-area locations, experienced trainers lead exercisers through calorie-torching classes such as kickboxing, Pilates, and Zumba. In addition to the more than 20 classes offered each week in the cardio cinema and aerobics studio, the spacious club houses high-tech cardio equipment and free weights. A 40-yard dash area facilitates intensive speed training or very short walks. After all the hard work, a nutritional-counseling area helps clients keep fitness goals in line with their dietary habits.
Although he's now a fitness expert and personal trainer to the stars, Todd "The Bodyman" wasn't always in perfect health. Todd struggled with both childhood lung disease and a ballooning waistline before losing more than 40 pounds and reclaiming a healthy lifestyle. Not only did he overcome those obstacles, he went on to become a black-belted martial artist, serve in the US Army, and eventually marshal his expertise as an active-lifestyle consultant for NBC 4 television. Today, Body by Todd's online resum? sparkles with celebrities such as actor Danny Glover, NFL pro and sports anchor Cris Carter, and recording artist Marti Dodson.
It's not just Todd who has emerged victorious from personal health battles. His team of trainers?which includes new moms and former cheerleaders, gymnasts, and soccer players?has each eked out hard-scrabble victories against excess weight, losing 25?75 pounds each. Todd and his crew have helped more than 10,000 clients reach their fitness goals with custom programs, using straightforward nutritional guidelines and exercises that, like dinner parties spent rubbing elbows with famous Muppets, are easy on the joints.
The coaching staff at D1?which is co-owned by professional athletes such as NFL player Peyton Manning, MLB player Chipper Jones, and NFL player Philip Rivers?refuses to discriminate between professional athletes and everyday exercisers. They scale the strength-and-cardio workouts of their group boot-camp classes and one-on-one intensive courses to individual abilities, bringing out the best in each student regardless of his or her workout history.
The typical D1 gym houses modern indoor turf fields with adjoining weight rooms, giving instructors the space to invent expansive obstacle courses that may require students to lift tires or tug 747s. In the boot-camp program, coaches meet with students one-on-one to discuss progress and find ways to improve. Each facility also houses a sports-therapy clinic, where expert therapists ease muscle injuries through rehabilitation programs and strength-restoring exercises.