Before opening Carolina Karate & Fitness Center, Shihan White garnered a slew of achievements in martial arts. He became an inductee to the National Sport Karate Hall of Fame—an honor his son and co-instructor Matthew also obtained—earned a 7th degree black belt, and clinched a Doctorate in Martial Arts Philosophies and Martial Arts Sciences. Like his father, Matthew's martial arts accomplishments could fill a breakable board, including being ranked 5th in the world as a junior black belt. Shihan and Matthew bestow their wisdom on students during adult karate classes and self-defense courses. They also oversee weapons classes where students wield wooden swords, meld yoga and karate, and round out fitness programs with boot camp, body sculpting, and other classes.
The staff at Omni Health and Fitness Center works to make the gym a one-stop shop for its members' fitness needs. The club's impressive inventory aids in this pursuit, with more than 75 cardio machines, tens of thousands of pounds of free weights, and strength-training equipment from Life Fitness. Parents can drop their youngsters off at the kids' zone or children's nursery before pumping iron or grabbing a spot in the cardio cinema room, which, like Jack LaLanne’s living room, allows people to work out while enjoying a movie in surround sound. The gym's trainers, meanwhile, lead one-on-one workouts as well as group fitness classes such as Pilates and Body Pump. After exercising, members can refuel at the juice bar.
Led by Jonathan Cobb, a former state-champion wrestler, the trainers at South Charlotte Personal Training eschew gimmicks for functional, results-driven workouts. Putting safety first, they assess new clients' fitness levels before recommending personalized combinations of yoga, boot camp, and personal training. All sessions take place in a spacious studio with red walls and equipment such as kettlebells and treadmills.
NASM- and ACE-certified personal trainer Amber, owner of CORE, believes exercise has more than just cosmetic benefits—it's usually the leading cause of a renewed sense of accomplishment. To that effect, she helps her students reach their fitness goals in one of two places: boot camp classes at Walter E. Elisha Park or one-on-one personal training sessions at exercisers' homes or the homes of exercisers' out-of-town neighbors.
Carolina Sweat helps clients achieve weight-loss goals through hard work, group encouragement, and expert fitness and nutritional advice. Chris Bryan?a certified personal trainer, nutritionist, and yoga instructor?leads group fitness classes that on any given day could include cardio exercises, athletic conditioning, strength training, or upper body trials.
Dianna Akar isn't the least bit intimidated by the fact that her clients all start at different fitness levels. On the contrary, she relishes the challenge, tailoring her programs to align with each of their goals. Akar is a certified personal trainer, using her experience to helm outdoor boot-camp sessions for both men and women that draw from yoga, aerobics, plyometrics, strength training, and chimney sweeping.