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.
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.
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.
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.
In addition to conquering triathlons, Regina Gunn has put her athletic prowess to use transforming college-level football, tennis, and soccer athletes into optimum versions of themselves, earning herself a feature in July 2009’s issue of Shape magazine, according to staff. She eventually founded Gunn’s Fitness with Air Force Staff Sergeant Kevin Ardnt to bring her fitness expertise to the public. The duo draws from military conditioning techniques and athlete-level speed and strength-training programs, boiling these complex sciences down into one-hour sessions. They work in a vast facility lined with free weights, dumbbells, state-of-the-art strength machines, and giant exercise balls pilfered from the toy chests of Brobdingnagian toddlers.
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