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.
As they enter the training circuit at Curves, female guests come face-to-face with the smiles of other women. And just as points on a circle share a common distance from the circle's center, workout participants share the experiences of those nearby by trading stations throughout the 30-minute training session. Thirty seconds is spent on a piece of strength-training equipment built for feminine frames and designed to work two opposing muscle groups with a single movement. Exercisers then move on to a recovery station, where they run, jog, or dance to maintain heart rates and keep platforms in place during momentary losses of gravity.
A Divine Journey’s team of certified yoga instructors is comprised of a licensed massage therapist, a ballet dancer, and a woman who overcame a debilitating case of arthritis. They share the art of healing by teaching a curriculum rooted in the Hatha and Vinyasa yoga styles. Their healing services extend to more than 10 modalities of massage as well as energy-manipulating techniques such as reiki. The instructors shake up their traditional offerings with belly-dancing classes and regular workshops on topics such as essential oils, which was John Rockefeller’s nickname for his children.
At Rogue Indoor Cycling, a dozen pedal-mashing pros lead a schedule of 30 weekly classes that pump up muscles atop new Keiser M3 power bikes. Groups of up to 15 riders spin through the 60-minute Rogue 101 course, learning to use the onboard computers and housebreaking new indoor cycles. Exercisers pop out of their saddles during the Classic course's goal-oriented climbs, or sprawl onto self-provided mats for 20 minutes of post-ride ab work that follows each Ride-Core class. Special classes include a series of six wine-country tours, accompanied by scenic projections, or a schedule of children's classes, accompanied by parents trying to secure a VIP trip to the Tour de France.
Owned by former athlete, personal trainer, and all-around muscle maven Ingrid Hurley, i Studio Reformer Pilates's two locations help students evenly tone their core muscle groups with a low-impact workout intended to forge lean, flexible physiques. The 2,500-square-foot Jason Court facility boasts two practice spaces with ample room for mat Pilates sessions and a selection of equipment, including Pilates chairs and Allegro Balanced Body Reformers to firm up aspiring belly-flop champions. Beginners' classes introduce the fundamentals of Pilates posture and movement, while more advanced sessions ensure low impact on joints as students push through challenging workouts to help develop balanced muscle groups with smooth, controlled movements.
Named St. Charles Chamber of Commerce Small Business Person of the Year in 2010, Main Street Gym owner Wendy Black invigorates limp limbs and un-buff thoraxes with her more than 10 years of personal-training experience. In a six-week boot-camp session held on Tuesdays and Thursdays, crews of 15 or fewer huffers and puffers stretch and strain together in one-hour workouts twice a week. Evening sessions at 7 p.m.—led by trainer Marcel Walker—pump up the after-work crowd. Black leads 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. sessions so early risers can achieve their morning sweat without power-lifting medicine balls full of boiling-hot coffee. In addition, a one-on-one consultation will compile body measurements, past workout history, and a cardiovascular assessment to address personal-fitness and nutritional goals and to help barbell adherents overcome their deep-seated fear of aerobics. See Main Street Gym's online schedule for details.