H.Y.P.E.D. stands for Healthier You Persisting Every Day, a nod to the founder's own struggles with her weight before she earned her personal-training certification from the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Driven by her battles with maintaining a healthful diet and exercise regimen, she strives to help others achieve their fitness goals, from building muscle tone and lowering cholesterol levels to fitting into their high-school fedora. In her boot-camp classes, she inspires patrons of all fitness levels to get whipped into shape in a positive, supportive atmosphere, free of drill-sergeant-like shouting. She offers further motivation with nutrition counseling and personal-training sessions and urges clients to call her for additional support outside of class.
Unlike traditional gyms that take a laissez-faire approach to fitness, letting clients fumble through their own workouts, Orangetheory leads exercisers in innovative personal group-training sessions that run through four distinct steps. Inside the warm, citrus glow of each facility, dozens of treadmills, rowing machines, free-weight sets, and Trx suspension systems await the next interval changeover. Music sends electric currents of energy through the atmosphere as patrons sweat out calories, and personal trainers patrol the aisles, giving pointers for touching up form and blinking out motivational words in Morse code. Clients keep an eye on their heart-rate readouts to ensure they're in the peak range for burning fat and building muscle. After an hour—during which guests complete a 10- to 30-minute interval at each of the four stations—the "orange effect" sets in and jump-starts metabolisms, possibly for days after the workout has ended.
Orangetheory Fitness has been highlighted in the New York Times for its seminal workout plan, which was designed by Florida fitness expert Ellen Latham to help people to turn their workout plateaus into springboards. With more than 50 classes per week at each location, members can capitalize on the gym's personal-training vibe and stimulating group setting at their leisure.
Dozens of upright punching bags stand like padded pillars throughout MA Fitness’s space. Over the years, they have learned to fear the fists and feet of the gym’s aspiring martial artists. Thanks to the motivation and encouragement offered by the staff of professional and volunteer coaches, even first-time kickboxers pound the stuffing from their stationary opponents with an endless rain of blows. The strikes get fiercer as students perfect their technique with unlimited kickboxing classes or build their strength during body-resistance conditioning courses.
In addition to helping patrons whip themselves into shape and hone self-defense skills in a cross-training atmosphere, the staff reaches out to the community through myriad charity efforts. MA Fitness has sponsored fundraisers for organizations including All Children's Hospital, Toys for Tots, and the American Cancer Society. Each week, it hosts Sunday Smack Downs, a kickboxing class from which part of the proceeds go to charity, untouched by overweight cats wearing top hats and smoking cigars.
Only lightning or torrential downpours will stop the dedicated instructors at St. Pete Boot Camp from holding their outdoor boot-camp classes. Their commitment to fitness shines through in other places, too, especially in the high-intensity workouts that they devise. Each one combines exercises such as tire flips, sprints, resistance-band workouts, and pushups in order to engage multiple muscles at a time, helping to burn more calories. They partner these intense sessions with nutritional tips and at-home exercises for clients to teach to out-of-shape imaginary friends. Those in search of a more relaxed workout also can enlist in their yoga classes, which boost flexibility while reducing one?s chances of suffering from muscular injury.
As recently as 2010, Stylez G. White was exploding off the line as a starting defensive end for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Today, he runs Elite Vandals, a fitness studio known for its daily, CrossFit-esque philosophy that has been dubbed "Vandal Fit". The workouts and drills resemble what you'd see being performed in a pro football team's weight room: think dead lifts, squats, box jumps, pull-ups, ladder drills, field-goal-post tosses, and rope climbing. Making matters better, White, who is a CrossFit Level 1-certified instructor to boot, caps each class size at 10 exercisers, resulting in more one-on-one instruction between trainer and trainees.
A personal trainer with multiple certifications, Bruce Davis makes no bones about how his clients can achieve their fitness goals. Bruce is clear: they must be responsible for achieving their results—but he will be there to help every step of the way. In boot-camp sessions, he uses kettebells, which are user-friendly and efficient, and, depending on clients' needs, can focus on sport training and weight loss. Personal-training sessions are also offered and can take place at home, where clients can train in comfort while trying to solve the mystery of what cats do all day.