Rick Martinez began his career as a registered nurse, working in emergency rooms across the country to help patients overcome intense physical traumas. However, it was during an 18-month tour of service at Walter Reed Army Medical Center that Rick encountered the mother of a wounded soldier who changed his aspirations in life. Her indomitable spirit and the bravery with which she supported her son through his pain and recovery inspired Rick. Fully intent on helping people develop the unflinching resolve needed to better their own lives and well-being, he founded Fitness Porvida—Fitness for Life.
The center’s health gurus lead CrossFit and fitness sessions for students of virtually any fitness level, using functional exercises to create challenging, full-body workouts that build the strength and endurance necessary for students to bench-press their bathtubs. Yet physical exercise isn’t the only tool that the trainers employ—they also use nutritional guidance and camaraderie to empower their clients. Rick summarized this approach to the San Antonio Business Journal in 2010, saying, “when we treat the body as a whole the results are fantastic.”
The Union's instructors like to remind their students that for every expert yogi, there was a first class. They hold on to this humble philosophy at three studios, where high temperatures help both old hands and newcomers stay limber. The staff cautions their students against aiming for perfection during the 90-minute courses; instead maintaining that, by simply trying each of the 26 postures and two breathing exercises, bodies and minds achieve the maximum benefit.
To highlight the value of consistent practice, they encourage visitors to take the 60-day challenge, which charges students to attend one class every day for 60 days. Those who accomplish this task are immortalized by writing their name on the Challenge Wall, which doubles as the police force's superhero directory. The studios also honor individuals in their class community with the yogi of the month feature, a series of interviews with students about their Bikram yoga practice.
An experienced personal trainer, amateur bodybuilder, and former gymnast, Carrie Carmichael discovered her true calling while helping her fellow cops stay in shape. Her fitness career quickly evolved from part-time personal trainer to entrepreneur in 2008, when she opened her gym. Alongside a team of certified trainers, Carmichael now conditions clients of all fitness levels with a high-intensity style that uses functional movements and short bursts of cardio to whittle and tone bodies. The trainers safely guide students through the nine foundational CrossFit movements: squats, front squats, overhead squats, press, push press, push jerk, deadlifts, medicine-ball clean, and sumo deadlift high pull.
The trainers teach CrossFit classes in levels one and two to ensure that their clients' muscles are not overtaxed. They also shape up little ones during CrossFit kids' classes. When they're not teaching their students to toss around weighted medicine balls or deadlift a beached whale, trainers customize workouts with personal-training and yoga classes, as well as amplify results with USANA nutrition supplements.
Jonathan Acosta lifted his first weight in sixth grade. He was scrawny but loved sports, so he started lifting weights to bulk up. Eventually he gained the muscle mass to out-do athletes much bigger than him, and he?s been hooked on fitness ever since. After his own success, he was dismayed to learn that the typical gym experience didn?t seem to be doing much for his female friends. They wanted toned and lean muscles rather than bulk, but weren't seeing results. With their sentiments in mind, he opened Get Sexy San Antonio Bootcamps, striving to help ladies break through their fitness and weight-loss barriers.
In intense 45-minute sessions, Jonathan leads small groups through fat-burning exercises tailored to individual weight-loss goals. He throws himself into every session, motivating guests with boundless energy and enthusiastic moral support, shouting encouraging phrases such as, "You can't not do it!" To complement his intense exercise regimens, Jonathan also equips guests with nutritional plans.
Koko FitClub’s automated personal-training system rockets both men and women toward fitness goals with 30-minute custom workouts that incorporate cardio and strength training. An initial consultation determines fitness level and baseline measurements, which Koko’s machines use to design a bespoke workout plan that precisely measures the weight, pace, and rest time appropriate for each exerciser. The Koko machines guide exercisers through each workout, and adapt as the user’s fitness needs change and constantly challenge the body. Designed by professional trainers, workouts maximize the body’s lean-muscle mass, which can boost metabolism and help fight off disease by challenging viruses to kickboxing matches. Exercisers can track their shrinking waistlines and swelling muscles online by analyzing workout scores and comparing individual fitness levels to the Koko FitClub community.
The instructors at Saldivar Martial Arts Leadership Academy aren't exactly new to teaching students the passion, discipline, and integrity of martial arts. The studio itself has been open since 1986, and its four instructors have a combined experience totaling more than 60 years. Matt Saldivar, a 5th degree black belt, is among them. Together he and his wife Amy Saldivar?a third degree black belt and instructor?co-own the academy and bring 25 years of experience to their business. The duo leads not only intensive muay-thai sessions for adults, but also after-school programs and summer camps for kids as young as five. The studio's class list is just as beginner-friendly, since it separates pupils by their level of experience and their ability to quote the best lines in The Karate Kid.