The world is a playground, according to the stunt artists and gymnasts who helm Urban Evolution. At this CNN- and Channel 11 WBAL -featured gym, there are no treadmills or stationary bikes. Instead, dance-like movements and acrobatic leaps propel visitors toward apexes of fun and fitness. To ready physiques for such feats, ropes, trapezes, and gymnastics equipment facilitate body-weight exercises that build balance, flexibility, and coordination. Seasoned instructors oversee the training space, teaching students how to jump, climb, crawl, and tumble as safely as possible during movement-focused classes such as Parkour, Free Running, and Aerial Acrobatics. Kettlebells and other functional strength-training tools power UrbanFit conditioning workouts, which give participants the brawn to perform everyday tasks such as pushing lawnmowers, lifting grocery bags, and drawing sleighs filled with lazy reindeer.
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CEO Peter Harvey believes that a quality gym staff must demonstrate more than technical expertise. "Service doesn't only mean showing someone how to do an arm curl," he says. Certified personal trainers develop workouts that zero in on each person’s specific goals, giving clients the skills to pole-vault over impassable plateaus. By steadfastly refusing to hand out fish in favor of putting on master classes in fishing, they help clients become self-sufficient, educating them on fundamentals.
During these one-on-one sessions, and in solo workouts, guests set calories ablaze atop rows of continually updated equipment. Treadmills, recumbent bikes, and strength-training tools line the walls.
Members can also drop in for as many group classes as they can muster. Inside a separate studio, stationary cycles whir in time with galvanizing music, kickboxing strikes arc through the air, and barbells rise with each BodyPump rep. For more meditative practices, Pilates sessions and several types of yoga enhance flexibility and focus.
Olivia Sheldon, the owner of Positive Energy Yoga, doesn't worry about doing yoga "right". Instead, her classes focus on doing what's right for each person in each moment. She encourages students to perform only what they have the ability and comfort to do, but not because she's going easy on them. The program is actually designed to help each student realize, and appreciate, his or her own potential and uniqueness. Her classes emphasize flow, with each pose seamlessly melding into the next for a serene workout, and she offers guidance to the students for taking that self-reliance out into their lives outside of the studio. She teaches her 75-minute classes three days a week, and students can take home a DVD of her sessions for at-home practice or to leave it on for pets looking for indoor exercise.
After meeting the physical demands of army training and working for two decades in the fitness industry, president of Custom Fitness Concepts Tom Kalka channeled his health and fitness savvy into CFC's training programs. His expert team of personal trainers visits homes and corporate offices to lead patrons in custom workout routines. Furthering fat-burning efforts, educational seminars on conditioning, nutrition, and orchestrating funerals for annihilated calories prime attendees for a salubrious lifestyle shift. CFC instructors also chisel away unwanted fat with a boot-camp series, whose ever-shifting medley of calisthenics and strength training was deemed the country's second-best boot camp in 2008 by Exercise TV.
Award-winning fitness coach Walter Lewis has trained contestants competing for Miss USA, Miss International, and Miss DC International. He’s the author of The 4 Secrets to Healthy Living for Busy Professionals and has trained over 1,000 businesspeople, helping clients build lean muscle and burn fat in his acclaimed boot camp classes and personal training sessions. Whether the goal is weight loss, muscle gain, or simply to build strength and increase energy, Walter has a plan to shape up clients’ bodies and reshape how they think about fitness.