Seven extreme athletes and one Royal Marine banded together to design Spartan Races' intense miles-long courses, each strewn with obstacles to test resilience, stamina, and strength. Clad in event T-shirts, runners collect smudges and stains as they clamber across mud pits, slide unscathed under barbed wire, and juke feral linebackers. Depending on where in the world they're participating, the course may be as short as three miles or, for extremely practiced athletes, as long as a full marathon.
Since launching their flagship 10-week program in 2001, the instructors at Farrell’s eXtreme Bodyshaping have spurred more than 35,000 trainees across 42 locations toward their weight-loss goals. Classes burn fat and build lean muscle with fitness kickboxing and muscle-building with anaerobic bands. Coaches support trainees with a nutrition plan that breaks up food intake into six daily meals, increasing sustaining bodily energy and a sense of déjà vu. The founders of Farrell’s eXtreme Bodybuilding are so confident in their program that they offer a money-back guarantee for those dissatisfied with their results.
Elite Rehab Institute’s chiropractors, acupuncturists, massage therapists, and physical therapists may not share the same specialties, but they all have one thing in common: a belief in the efficacy of holistic medicine. At each of the clinic’s six locations, staffers work together to relieve aches and pains caused by conditions such as stress, asthma, and arthritis. Their multidisciplinary approach ensures care from multiple doctors at a decreased cost as well as access to advanced treatments. Chief among these treatments are active-release technique—a soft-tissue massage that relieves pain in overused muscles—and the four-step ideal-protein weight-loss program, which helps shed pounds by stabilizing blood sugars and injecting muscles with daily shots of helium.
Chris and Pam Schmick had spent six months cleaning out the scrap metal from their abandoned silos and just finished drilling thousands of holes in its walls. With little time to spare, they prepared for their climbing gym's grand opening on September 2, 1995—a date on which they had already agreed to hold a regional JCCA competition. The effort they've expended in the nearly 20 intervening years shows: today, climbers scramble on top ropes, lead ropes, and more than 20,000 square feet of lava-free climbing surface.
Instructors prepare visitors to surmount the gym's features in a range of classes, such as Rock Gym 101, which is an introduction to top-rope climbing that covers climbing safety, basic technique, and equipment. Once climbers are equipped with gear from the pro-shop, staff shows them around a multi-level bouldering cave, a main climbing area with 30-foot walls shaped by arêtes, cracks, and waves, and the building's five original silos. Elsewhere inside the gym, six auto-belays safely cradle visitors who wish to climb without taking a class.
New Health Centers consists of more than 400 health-care practitioners across the country, each working to alleviate corporeal discomfort with natural techniques. Doctors work in conjunction with experienced practitioners to soothe aches, pains, and lawn-gnome infestations.