The coaches at Athletes Edge are dedicated to creating top-performing sportsmen and women. Just ask former UFC light-heavyweight champion "Suga" Rashad Evans, who benefitted from the company's rigorous mixed-martial-arts training program. They also help college prospects prepare for the NFL combine, and specialize in sports ranging from baseball, basketball, and soccer, to volleyball and tennis. The crew focuses on enhancing each adult’s or child's capacity for speed, agility, strength, and overall performance in a fun, sports-oriented environment. The classes are designed for all types of people with varying fitness goals.
Director of training Jeff Sanders, a certified strength-and-conditioning and performance-enhancement specialist, worked with several influential NFL coaches when he trained the Baltimore Ravens beginning in 2001. Sanders also gained clinical-rehabilitation and gait-training experience while working in the inpatient post-op division of Shands hospital. He and his team train athletes in the brand-new, 62,000-square-foot Fernandez Family Center and the two adjacent football and soccer fields on the Saint Thomas University campus in North Miami.
Asked about Pete Bommarito, Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker had this to say: "I heard great things... from various Pro Bowl players, and coming here I can see why the explosive type training at BPS really translates onto the field." He's not the only pro player to take advantage of the heavy-hitting regimen. Bommarito Performance Systems has trained professional baseball, football, hockey, and basketball players, not to mention a handful of martial artists and international soccer players. Working with fitness enthusiasts of all stripes, from high-school athletes to grownup weekend warriors, the business offers fully personalized programs based on preliminary evaluations and ongoing progress tracking.
After nearly 20 surgeries to repair his knee and replace several ligaments, CrossFit trainer Evan Malone was told he might never run again. The nationally registered EMT and Army combat medic almost lost his leg during a parachute-training jump when he was yanked from the aircraft by a fellow paratrooper's ripcord, which was tangled around his leg. After spending two months bound to a wheelchair and 18 months on crutches, Malone took his first unaided steps.
Though he can't remember exactly how many surgeries he endured, Malone does remember the moment at which he vowed to prove his doctors wrong. The veteran-turned-athlete has since earned his CrossFit Level 1 and CrossFit Movement and Mobility certifications, which he puts to good use at Riptide CrossFit. With the help of coach Robert Plamondon, Malone strives to help clients of all abilities blast through their perceived limitations with CrossFit's adherence to constantly varied, high-intensity interval training. The program can help everyone from stay-at-home parents to marathon runners boost their strength and stamina with such functional movements as squats, push-ups, and opening a stubborn jar with one’s mind. Workouts of the day (WODs) are performed either at Riptide CrossFit's 1,500-square-foot gym—equipped with ropes, rowing machines, and kettlebells—or outside at the beach.
Alliette Chignoli understands how difficult it can be to get in shape. After suffering injuries to her foot and spine, she tried to become a “gym rat,” by “pounding the gym and eating like a bird.” But this combination did not help her lose weight and gain strength. Instead, she discovered that each body needs an individual balance of nutrition and exercise. Using this knowledge, she founded Physical Revolution, to evaluate bodies for fitness, nutrition, and exercise needs to improve overall health. Her personal-training workouts target a variety of muscle goals including flexibility, endurance, strength, and core conditioning. Kettlebell and TRX suspension training use props to help burn body fat and build muscle endurance, while body transformation workouts focus on reducing overall body fat through intense exercises. Physical Revolution also helps clients plan their nutritional intake with food-shopping courses, a home nutrition makeover, and a restaurant field trip to determine healthy menu options.
Inside Bodytek Fitness, students of all skill levels use their own body weight to tone and firm muscles on TRX-suspension machines and Bosu balance balls. During Bodytek Fitness’s total-body fitness program, trainers spur clients along as they work with resistance bands, free weights, kettlebells, and rowers to improve cardiovascular systems and develop muscle definition. The one-hour workouts include 20–30 minutes of interval cardio to get hearts pumping and burn away the fat stores that cover up muscle tone. The rest of the 60 minutes is spent moving from station to station for new exercises that push through fitness plateaus by shocking the body much more efficiently than wearing your samurai armor to a Tesla-coil expo. Bodytek's other class offerings include yoga, spinning, and mat Pilates.
Kettlebells and dumbbells line the walls. Giant tractor tires are scattered across the entrance. Thick yellow ropes dangle from the ceiling. In this bare-bones gym, trainers use this equipment and more during intense CrossFit classes. Workouts change daily to avoid repetition and keep exercisers motivated, and feature a slew of everyday movements. CrossFit preps participants for all manner of physical activity, sculpting all muscle groups to enhance speed, power, agility, and balance.
At MimsFit, certified personal trainer Chris Mims nudges exercisers toward their fitness goals during boot-camp classes and personal-training sessions. Whether his clients want to lose weight, build strength, or run through the grocery without being caught by the store manager, Mims’s full-body workouts include body-weight, kettlebell, rope, tire, and sledgehammer exercises. To fortify newly formed muscles, Mims also sheds light on what to eat during nutritional-counseling sit-downs.