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 12 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.
Bryan Guidry and Dave Burke lead students of all levels and ages through a variety of martial-arts classes. They teach students the grappling maneuvers of Brazilian jujitsu, the throwing moves of judo, and the kneeing and elbowing of kickboxing.
No matter how different their students’ lives may be, Yoga Six’s teachers tease out common threads and knit them into a sense of community. Registered by the Yoga Alliance, they pursue goals such as freedom and intelligence while guiding yogis of all levels toward physical and emotional well-being. Whether leading group classes or private sessions, instructors impart pose modifications and gently adjust body alignment to promote safety and personal growth. Students bend and balance inside a pair of classrooms filled with warm, indirect light and tatami-mat flooring made from recycled, nontoxic materials. Instead of distracting classes with a rousing air-horn concert, the heating system quietly cultivates 102-degree temperatures for hot yoga routines. In addition to making muscles extra pliable, the heat helps bodies to sweat out toxins. Room-temperature classes range from slow and mellow restorative sessions to Y6 Barre workouts, which pair basic yoga poses with ballet-inspired isometrics and interval-training techniques. After class, students can socialize in a cozy lounge, unwind in private showers, or browse a boutique filled with yoga apparel, coconut water, and BPA-free water bottles.
Build A Body founder Christa Stagner wants to make it as easy as possible for her clients to adopt a healthier lifestyle. Sometimes those efforts are subtle, like when she holds boot camp outdoors during warmer months, and maintains small-size, personal-training groups to give everyone as much individual attention as possible. Other times, she downright makes it a piece of (low-fat) cake, leading training sessions over Facetime or Skype, grocery shopping for you, and even preparing healthful meals from whatever's in your kitchen.
• For $63, new members get a two-month household metro membership plus joining fee (a $252 total value). • For $42, new members get a two-month adult metro membership plus joining fee (a $166 total value). • For $15, current members get $30 toward a class or program.
Yoga's ability to facilitate deep inner relaxation while building strength can seem as paradoxical and profound as the Zen koans of Yogi Berra. Attain a Yogi-yogi's level of enlightenment with today's Groupon: for $19, you get five drop-in yoga classes (a $55 value) at Urban Breath Yoga in Dogtown. Bringing your own yoga mat and yoga security blanket is recommended, although Urban Breath will have several mats available to use in case of emergency. Students must use their remaining four classes within six months of their first class.