St. Louis Fitness Boot Camp's creator and head trainer, Johnny King, knows how hard it can be to start working out. Enormous corporate gyms seem designed to intimidate the new exerciser, and the workout genies trapped inside at-home DVDs can only offer motivation after they’ve been put in the player. That’s why he made it his mission to design an exercise program geared toward beginners, providing a low-stakes introduction to training and plenty of positive motivation.
He constructs easy-to-follow circuit training routines that alternate between working the lower body, core, and upper body, relying on the combination of exercises over time to whip bodies into peak shape. His small groups of trainees often encourage one another and help keep one other accountable to exerting their maximum effort during routines. Within the climate-controlled facility, exercisers shed sweat and pounds on spring-loaded floors that ease impact on joints. To supplement the workouts, he and the trainers provide nutritional counseling and even emotional counseling, gently reminding each student why they chose to start working out.
The certified and experienced instructors at No Excuses have one goal: to help their clients achieve more than they thought possible. To get them there, the trainers offer high-energy, focused workouts along with meal planning, grocery lists, weigh-ins, and a team-like atmosphere. Held in a no-frills indoor/outdoor gym, the Zumba, boot-camp, and Kangoo classes help participants burn fat and build muscle.
The crowd's roar flooded the streets of Chicago as Darcy Zenker crossed the finish line of her first marathon, clocking in at 3:35. After she had been running for years—placing among the top finishers at four half-marathons and competing on the Southern Illinois University track team—she decided she needed a break. She then immersed herself in a new athletic pursuit—group fitness instruction.
Three years later, she became the head trainer of her own boot-camp fitness program, NowFitness, where her years of athletic training and certification in fitness instruction shine through in her workouts. In parks throughout the local area, she and her staff of fellow trainers lead groups through high-intensity workouts that take advantage of their surroundings. She motivates patrons to scale stairs, do crunches on benches, and hoist planks across grassy fields. The trainers also offer a stroller-based boot camp for moms, in which participants blast through cardio and strength-training exercises that incorporate their stroller with baby or a watermelon they've dressed up to look like a baby in tow. In addition to hosting classes, NowFitness pairs patrons with certified lifestyle and weight-management coach Amanda Bickel for a comprehensive five-week nutrition program.
Essential Fitness’s expert instructors use common-sense fitness strategies to help motivate any out-of-shape athlete, bored gym rat, or couch potato so musty it’s sprouted an extra eye. The friendly exercisemen devote plenty of personal attention to each participant; they care about your family, pets, and pets’ family as much as they care about working out, because they know getting in shape is all about you and what you need to start a healthy lifestyle. Workouts will focus on weight loss and strengthening the entire body, so you won't have to worry about your trainer making one of your arms twice as large as the other.
Complete Fitness Results has a well-rounded staff that includes a chiropractor, a registered dietician, a licensed massage therapist, a certified personal trainer, a health fitness specialist, a youth fitness specialist, and a certified kettlebell instructor. Their specialties range from golf fitness to resistance training to weight management, with clients of all ages, from children to seniors. Personal-training sessions take place in one-on-one, small group, and large group settings, with such bonuses as grocery-store tours and nutrition talks.
With an expansive, 1,200-square-foot sprung hardwood dance floor in its 4,000-square-foot space, Central Studio serves a smorgasbord of healthy lifestyle choices. From Pilates and Zumba to classical ballet, jazz, and hip-hop, its expert instructors lead all manner of dance and fitness classes. Other workouts adopt a rigorous bootcamp style, such as outdoor cardio interval training and cardio barre. Elsewhere, the studio offers massages, Thai healing sessions, and personal training; there’s also an art gallery with work from local artists and a library where you can brush up on the latest health and wellbeing literature.