CrossFit Duck Creek’s coaches design workouts that include varied functional exercises steeped in the best parts of gymnastics, strength training, and Olympic lifting principles. Though the workouts change constantly, exercises may regularly include body weight movements and variations on moves such as squats, presses, and Olympic lifts such as the clean and jerk. Classes maintain a high coach to athlete ratio, and often tackle official CrossFit Workouts of the Day such as the "Helen," which includes sets of running, kettlebell swings, and pull-ups.
At Sunstone Yoga, students radiate calm and self-awareness as they practice ancient poses designed to stretch, strengthen, and purify the body. Instructors complete 500 hours of training in yogic techniques, teaching, and physiology before leading classes, so they can hand out researched, tested tips on safety and alignment. Most classes come in 30-, 60-, and 90-minute varieties and focus on energy or restorative relaxation. A two-class introductory series welcomes beginners with basic standing poses, and the popular fire series explores up to 34 poses in a 99-degree room that loosens muscles to facilitate deeper stretches as it ousts toxins. Filled with soothing music and 90-degree temperatures, the water series cultivates more serenity than getting a massage from a singing whale.
It's probably a good idea to stay on Lex Ronin's good side. The trainer, bodybuilding coach, and marathoner is also a hand-to-hand combat instructor, krav maga instructor, and certified Texas Tactical SWAT medic with a six-year Army career behind him. Lex is a meditation, pranayama (yoga breathing), and gentle-yoga instructor, too?all the more reason to remain in his good graces. Exercisers looking for guidance can find it at Ronin Fitness, where Lex offers personal-training sessions, group classes, beginners' marathon training, and nutritional counseling.
Thomas Volmer credits his wife, Rachel, for inspiring them to start helming boot camps. She wasn’t always a fitness guru, though. "She was a commercial banker and she was 70 pounds overweight," Volmer recalls. Once she started to reclaim her life, "she just fell in love with fitness," he says. She eventually dropped 80 pounds with proper exercise and nutrition, spurring her to earn her AFAA personal training certification and pursue a career as a full-time trainer.
Personal experience lends Rachel and the other trainers—including Sharon Monk, who lost more than 200 pounds by exercising and eating healthily—empathy and a motivating demeanor when working with campers. At each location, they get groups doing pushups, swinging kettlebells, and flipping tires in a positive environment that's focused on teamwork, rather than competition. "You start as a group, you finish as a group," says Thomas. "But the activities that you do in between might be different based on your abilities."
In addition to leading sessions, Rachel creates easy-to-use online meal plans (including a vegetarian plan), which campers can customize to help them stay on track. Options range from the simple, such as cereal with fruits, nuts, and flaxseeds, to the creative, including honey-sweetened oatmeal peanut-butter cookies. She also includes the calorie count for each recipe. Users can pick from simple meals made for one person or larger entrees designed with an entire family or pet elephant in mind.
Ohana Warrior may offer classes by veterans of high-level martial arts organizations such as K-1 kickboxing and King of the Cage, but the gym also strives to maintain a fun and unpretentious atmosphere as well as a strong connection to Filipino culture. Inside the 4,000-square-foot space, instructors lead classes in muay thai, including muay thai fundamentals, muay thai for beginners, and muay thai for kids. For students seeking to round out their mixed-martial-arts knowledge, Ohana Warrior also hosts Brazilian jujitsu sessions.
At Pilates Meditation Center, clients can participate in group lessons or get individual attention from an English- and Spanish-speaking BASI-trained instructor in one-on-one lessons. The instructor helps clients build strength, work through injuries, and tone muscles in the intimate, fully equipped studio using exercise balls, a Reformer, a combo chair, and even a Tower to help lengthen the body and build core strength.