Even before he founded PowerFit Bootcamp, JR Spear always felt a calling to transform people into fitness machines. A fourth-degree black belt and studied martial artist, Spear spent years training future Marine Corps officers and Iraqi soldiers in self-defense and combat skills. Later, Spear taught his own MMA fitness and cardio-kickboxing classes, along with personal and group training sessions. At PowerFit Bootcamp, he and his staff of fitness instructors encourage each student to persevere by leading motivational and high-energy classes. At 14 indoor and outdoor locations, students undergo full-body workouts designed to jettison fat and tone muscle. Trainers welcome students of all stripes, giving them a period of time to complete each move, rather than a number of repetitions, encouraging each student to do as much as he or she can without feeling uncomfortable, overexerting, or resorting to time travel. Along the way, coaches track progress and motivate students by noting benchmarks during physical fitness tests on the first Monday and Tuesday of each month.
Guided by the spiritual tenets of mindfulness, MindBody Health's owner, director, and teacher Diane Barnes watches over a spiritual sanctuary in her studio. In the Three Hours of Bliss renewal retreat, minds and bodies withdraw from the stressors of everyday life, focusing on the present moment and casting aside worries of morning traffic, speeding tickets, and upcoming mail-fraud trials. Because every mind and body is different, the theme and focus of every session depends on the needs of its participants—though each remains rooted in the spirit of mindfulness and balance within the individual. Previous and planned retreats include Learning to Let Go and Mindful Eating. Holding the highest of yoga training and education, Diane leads a supportive, disciplined classroom, strengthening her students' minds while expelling stress, tension, and chronic spit ballers.
Members at Curves, a fitness center designed exclusively for women, rotate around a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines that have been designed to work with female bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage participants’ machine maneuvering and muscle making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing momentum, the hydraulic machines use your own body weight, fitness level, and aerodynamic water bottle to create resistance that matches abilities, decreasing 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.
Neither gym nor spa, The Balance Institute cobbles together something wholly unique, blending the best of both to alleviate pain and prevent future maladies. The buzzing, anonymous atmosphere of a gym gives way to friendly, personalized attention. Trainers and massage therapists join forces, working with clients one on one to unravel the underlying cause of pain and reverse years of unhealthy habits, such as poor eating or only ever using your right arm. Personal training begins with a health assessment and veers into moves and stretches designed to strengthen bodies and assuage pain. In private rooms, massage therapists quiet the cries of sore muscles with Swedish strokes, deep-tissue work, or myofascial release therapy.
Youth, amateur, and professional boxing. MMA fighting and jujitsu. Fitness bootcamps centered on throwing a good punch, and classes that help you find your fighting stance. Fight Club University's team of professional boxers, MMA fighters, and personal trainers teach all these skills and more, as well as helping develop self-confidence, strength, and common sense in young people through the S.T.R.O.N.G. program. Newly toned and slim patrons strut out of the gym past a forest of equipment that includes heavy bags, medicine balls, and jump ropes. Instructors suggest that the courses can help bolster overall health, a sense of timing, and hand-eye coordination.
In Brickhouse Gym’s 12,000-square-foot exercise emporium, clients can sweat solo on cardio equipment, hoist barbells in strength-training areas, or hone muscles in more than 30 group fitness sessions each week. Specialized practice domains, focusing on disciplines such as circuit training, agility, and free weights, help muscle masons zero in on particular skills, and a spinning room stocked with stationary bicycles amuses hamsters bored with predictable habitat wheels. Exercisers can also get in touch with nature by working out on a turf floor or can let playful breezes wick away their sweat in the open-air room. Alternatively, spirited instructors help students cultivate flexibility, increase endurance, or prepare for cage matches with stubborn garden weeds with a variety of fitness classes in disciplines such as yoga and mixed martial arts.