It's hard to learn how to fight until you've actually stepped into the ring, which is why the expertise of professional fighters is so highly valued in instructors at martial-arts clubs. With teachers whose in-the-ring careers earned them nicknames like "Merciless" and "Little Giant," American Combat Club's crew members turns their own grappling and striking experiences into a lineup of mixed-martial-arts classes fit for all levels. They teach a fusion form of boxing and kickboxing that incorporates elbow and knee strikes, as well as a Brazilian-jujitsu-based grappling program that elucidates takedowns, submissions, and defenses against commonly encountered holds. Becoming a well-rounded fighter requires more than just technical skill, however, so the teachers also offer full-body conditioning classes in which participants flip tractor tires, swing sledgehammers, and heft medicine balls until they finally confess that they can't actually cure the common cold.
The staff at Legacy Fitness never yells, berates, or curses at their patrons during Legacy Fitness boot camps. Instead, they motivate them with a sense of humor and positive encouragement. To keep them engaged and prevent them from suffering workout burnout, they lead them in a new routine every day. This ever-varying approach prevents bodies from adapting to the workouts, so muscles must always work their hardest, burning more calories and building strength more quickly. They conduct the camps at multiple indoor and outdoor locations, drawing from the surroundings to guide the workouts. On any given day, students might flip oversize tires end over end and work as a team to push a car down an empty street or do sprints and heave medicine balls in a gym. These functional workouts help patrons tone their entire bodies more safely and effectively than swimming laps in a quicksand pit.
You don?t have to be a professional boxer to benefit from boxing training. In fact, many of the athletes who've trained at Gym Rat Boxing & Fitness have been your run-of-the-mill pro basketball players. Coach Todd?s dynamic, results-driven regimen helps people of all fitness levels?from all-stars to amateurs?attain a wide array of fitness goals without resorting to repetitive gym routines. Instructors use cardio-boosting calisthenics, footwork training, and shadowboxing techniques to help students lose weight and build muscle tone over time. Classes cover basic striking skills as students launch flurries of jabs and crosses at speed bags and heavy bags stuffed with the shirts of high-school bullies. Outside the ring, the gym offers personal-training sessions and intensive boot camps as well as access to the facility's free weights and cardio equipment.
When Roald Dahl wrote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, he imagined a much-coveted golden ticket that granted access to myriad wonders and unveiled the inner workings of an entire industry. Adele Fridman, founder of MetaBody, created a real-life version of that ticket with her MetaBody Yoga & Fitness Pass, though it applies to fitness instead of candy. The pass grants access not to a single gym but to classes at a variety of local studios, specializing in everything from yoga to boot camp. With the freedom to move from location to location, students can sample different regimens, instructors, and styles of exercise to cobble together a program that fits their needs and goals. MetaBody's nutritionists supplement class packages by coaching clients in healthy eating, recipe cooking, and speed-reading nutrition-fact labels.
Since its 1965 founding in Venice Beach, California, Gold's Gym has dotted the globe with more than 600 locations where professional athletes and exercise newbies gather under the umbrella of personal strength. Nearly 3.5 million Gold's members chart and aim for their fitness peaks, perspiring beneath the gaze of certified personal trainers or pedaling beside peers at cycling sessions. In a diverse lineup of group classes, patrons strengthen cores with Pilates, finger-paint pictures of ninjas in martial arts, and amp up heart rates to the pulsating soundtracks of Les Mills routines. Many Gold's Gym locations stockpile futuristic amenities, such as cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated.