After obtaining three fitness certifications and training for years at the YMCA and LA Fitness, Kathie decided it was time to open up her own studio. So, in 2008, the fitness expert welcomed health seekers into Body Designer Fitness Studio, where today she continues to help everyone—from athletes to quadriplegics—work up a sweat. Hourlong boot-camp classes held four times per week put every muscle to work with high-intensity cardio and resistance-training exercises, supplemented by nutritional tips such as fat-loss meal plans and how to eat cake while running. Kathie also enlists the Theraplex unit in her studio, allowing clients to recline and absorb the system's passive motions that quell stress, improve sleep patterns and mood, and aid in cardio training and weight loss.
A longtime practitioner of yoga, Holly Hope was inspired to start her own Bikram yoga studio after taking a Bikram yoga class in Las Vegas. She earned her teaching certificate in 2010, and began to practice immediately. Now, she and her team of 12 fellow yogis bend and stretch bodies in their superheated classrooms, delivering instructions to dozens of students from atop their mirrored mini-stage at the front of the classroom.
The D4L 5K Zombie Mud Run challenges its participants to think the unthinkable: “Could I survive a zombie apocalypse?” Throughout the 5K mud-slicked course, only the savviest runners will maintain their humanity, dodging hordes of the undead and navigating strength- and agility-testing obstacles. Runners start with three flags that represent their life force. Those who can keep at least one flag safe from the zombies’ corpsey clutches remain human, and those who lose them all make the harrowing transformation into a brain-hungry zombie. But the D4L 5K Zombie Mud Run is more than a grueling race; it’s also an attempt to set the Guinness World Record for the largest zombie gathering on Earth.
After the race, every participant’s name is entered in a drawing for the grand prize—a trip for two to Las Vegas—and event hosts dole out speed prizes to those with at least one flag remaining. Zombies also compete for a set of undead awards and strut very, very slowly in a zombie beauty pageant.
Whether leading an individual, pair, or group, Evolutionary Fitness’s trainers add muscle to their workouts with StrengthFlo. Created by Josh Parish, winner of Living magazine's Best Personal Trainer of 2013 award, StrengthFlo is a medley of functioning training techniques meeting each exerciser where they’re at, so anyone can take on its sequences of repetitive movements. It not only strengthens and lengthens the whole body, but also bolsters connective tissues, which can mean quicker recovery from injuries. A trip to floCamp doesn’t just burn calories; it also decompresses the spine as cores strengthen.
When Southwest Houston Adventure Boot Camp’s owner and head trainer, Stacy Agee, chose her team of certified personal trainers, she knew she would need a deep bench. As a former college and semipro basketball player and a two-time MVP on the Houston Energy women’s football team, she understood the value in building a team with diverse skill sets that play to the strengths of the others. To that end, she recruited Kim, a veterinarian turned certified trainer and rehab specialist; Darrin, a father, marathon and triathlon runner, and boxing instructor; June, a yogi and tai chi practitioner; and TJ, a trainer with a love of plyometrics.
These coaches draw from specialized backgrounds in personal training, Pilates and yoga instruction, massage, and mixed martial arts to design a range of workouts that change constantly, much like every encyclopedia once time travel is invented. In each of their four-week outdoor fitness programs, comprised of 20 one-hour sessions scheduled for early morning, mid-morning, or evening, they train participants of all genders, ages, and fitness levels. They foster a noncompetitive, support group atmosphere with a personal training feel.
Koko FitClub’s digital keys unlock personalized strength-training regimens tailored to each guest’s abilities and goals. Each user receives a small, USB-like device that stores personal fitness data, which is extracted during an initial fitness consultation. During each workout, guests plug their keys into the host of strength-training and cardio equipment. Based on the key’s data, the machines display the user’s ideal strength-training and resistance level or number of reps for each session—and even rate how they’re performing. The system adapts routines as members work toward their goals, offering them the intelligence of a personal trainer without the costly fees or hassle of matching schedules. Online tracking further digitizes training, allowing users to see their progress on their home computers, in the very same browser where they’ll soon order smaller clown suits.