At GenXCrossFit, trainers take clients of any body type or fitness level under their wings, helping them build muscle and burn fat with high-intensity CrossFit techniques. Students eschew treadmills and weight machines for functional exercises of rope climbing, pull-ups, push-ups, rowing, and sprinting that build physiques as sleek as they are strong and healthy.
Angie Acosta, founder of Queen City DanceOut, has a simple motto for her students: "If you're moving, you're doing it right." This encouraging, low-pressure attitude attracts people of all ages to her dance-inspired fitness classes, which meet at 18 public locations. Angie and her instructors aim to make exercise feel like a celebration and a refreshing break rather than a dreaded routine. To this end, their classes incorporate intuitive dance moves and invigorating music. DanceOut, the signature course, blends genres as diverse as swing, hip-hop, and reggae into a workout, relying on repetition and basic choreography to keep everyone grooving. Other highlights of the curriculum include the Latin rhythms of Zumba; the Dance Impact class, which fuses dance and kickboxing; and JamStrong, a mixture of core-conditioning, dance, and fun.
Community is a central aspect of every DanceOut class. As pupils practice their twirls, they can follow both the teacher and the Jam Crew—a team of regulars who help make the steps easy to follow and can assist fellow dancers. In addition to group workouts, instructors host skill workshops such as Booty Bootcamp, where attendees learn rump-shaking techniques and how to turn any chair into a rocking chair. They also put on performances and lead private classes for special events and parties.
Inside Body Synergy’s lofted, sun-lit space, a collection of wood-paneled Pilates machines stand over a carpeted area—each with a unique purpose in strengthening students’ core. Instructors provide small groups with individualized instruction here, or lead larger classes that focus on mat and release work. Elsewhere in the wellness studio, slate-colored rooms create a tranquil environment for undergoing customized, organic facials.
At Curves, exercisers of all fitness levels move around a circuit of hydraulic-resistance machines that have been designed to work with women's bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage machine-maneuvering and muscle making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks, filling medicine balls with medicine, and losing your momentum, the hydraulic machines account for different body weights and fitness levels to create resistance that matches one's abilities, which thereby decreases the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.
Shannon "The Cannon" Hudson is an International Kickboxing Federation world champion, a fifth-degree black belt in Japanese shotokan karate, and a survivor of more than 70 bouts in the ring?yet, one of his most influential titles is "father." With two kids clinging around his waist like a squirmy fanny pack, Shannon started brainstorming a way to channel his boxing and kickboxing training into a quick, effective workout that even those who are busy or out of shape could tackle. The result was 9Round, a 30-minute routine of aerobic, anaerobic, and resistance moves divided into a circuit of nine stations. The ever-changing series of workouts maximizes morale and results while minimizing boredom.
His trainers launch the workouts every three minutes, motivating exercisers through each station?which might include jumping rope or pummeling speed bags. Online nutritional counseling supplements the workouts, teaching patrons how to construct and eat healthy meals instead of falling back on old habits, such as snacking on cheese sculptures.
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.