Viewed from above, Basic Training’s fitness boot camps look like a track meet designed by worker ants. On the ground, participants bound over hurdles, crawl through obstacle courses, and wield heavy objects such as sandbags, sledgehammers, and beer kegs. In actuality, these workouts are designed by a human fitness expert: Rodney Carson, a drill instructor who has trained at military bases such as the Army National Guard Camp San Luis Obispo and the United States Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego.
Based on the Marine Corps physical-training regimen, his boot camps propel participants toward fitness goals while boosting their confidence and breaking their bad habits. Many workouts draw from his experiences preparing for track-and-field events, such as the International Masters Track Circuit, where he won three gold medals for his speedy footwork. Calories melt during his boot camps’ sprints and fartlek runs, and bodyweight exercises make muscles more ripply than an ocean preparing a shaken martini. During field-meet days, dodge ball, kickball, and tug-of-war battles jump-start workouts with an extra dose of fun.
Experienced instructors lead each session, inspiring the group with friendly shouts, hearty claps, and tips on form and technique. In addition to helming camps for civilians of all fitness levels, Rodney and his crew train first responders, such as police officers, firefighters, and soldiers, during special-operations sessions.
Clint Robinson's U.S. Air Force duty took him around the world, but it was his time in South Korea that made the biggest mark. There, he learned the art of tae kwon do—and the positive fitness and values associated with it. When he returned to the states and left the Air Force, it didn't take long for him to found his own martial-arts school. More than 40 years and 19 locations later, Robinson's Taekwondo continues to thrive on the same principles on which Clint founded his business: excellence, personal attention, and tradition. He now counts children's, adult, and family programs as part of his curriculum. With continued training, students of all ages not only hone their fitness, but also improve their mental sharpness, self-confidence, and discipline.
As they enter the training circle at Curves, female guests come face-to-face with the smiles of other women. And just as points on a circle share a common distance from the circle's center, workout participants share the experiences of those nearby, trading stations throughout the 30-minute training session. One minute is spent on a piece of strength-training equipment built for feminine frames and designed to work two opposing muscle groups with a single movement. Exercisers then move on to a recovery station, where they run, jog, or dance to maintain heart rates and keep platforms in place during momentary losses of gravity.
Sandra Quallo has always been athletic, but it wasn't until after the birth of her children that she decided to become competitively fit. With the help of a personal trainer, she was able to sculpt her body into a bodybuilding champion, winning the overall title at the INBF show and earning rank as a WNBF professional. Today, she helps others make the same transformation through one-on-one coaching and fitness guidance.