After 17 years as a professional fighter and nine titles, kickboxing and karate champion Brian Schwartz stepped out of retirement to try his fists at MMA. A broken hand and, subsequently, the first professional loss of his career slowed him down, but not for long?the next year, he returned to face and beat that opponent. Naturally enough for a man who can?t let a new challenge go untested, Schwartz then turned his focus to a new endeavor: the creation of Undisputed Boxing Gym, where he would share the secrets of the fight with a new generation.
Schwartz has assembled a dynamic staff of fighters with backgrounds in jujitsu, boxing, tae kwon do, and kickboxing to train both aspiring fighters and average fitness enthusiasts. Students can tone up and learn self-defense techniques or even chase a spot in the gym's amateur competitive program. The sweat flows in expansive training facilities that include a tae kwon do dojo, a cycling studio, a set of 40 Everlast heavy bags, and displays that track class progress as well as show the music videos for the songs being played. An in-house chiropractor helps align muscles and massages away any knots from learning an especially brutal tickle submission.
C.J. Easter understands the value of physical fitness. As a former defensive back who faced some of college football's most fearsome offenses during a four-year stint with the Stanford Cardinal, he could only be as effective as he was lean. With visions of sleek physiques in mind, Easter earned his personal-training certification from the American Council on Exercise, founded Performance Science Training Institute, and set to work devising a fitness system of his own.
The gym's exclusive Cardio Resistance Core (CRC) System is the result of all that hard work. Designed to torch calories and tone up muscles, the system combines the most effective aspects of three different training styles. Cardio sessions hikes heart rates and boosts stamina, strength training increases balance and posture, and resistance work builds muscles with the help of dumbbells, bands, and clients' own body weight.
The institute's team of instructors also augment CRC exercises with counseling on how to make responsible nutritional decisions and set goals that are both challenging and achievable. This all-over approach doesn't simply help people get fitter; it helps them remake their entire lives in a healthier, happier image.
Jeff Smith, a college swim coach and swim-club aquatics director, and Joan Smith, an NCAA all-American swimmer and triathlete, joined forces to open a swim academy that teaches youngsters how to swim safely while having fun. The pair operates two facilities, each with its own heated pool staffed by instructors who have all graduated from King's Swim Academy's training program. Their program begins with Parent and Me classes for kids as young as 6 months old, which introduce children to the water and teach basic skills such as kicking and changing their own diaper underwater. As students progress through the levels, they eventually learn skills such as freestyle swimming, backstroke, flip turns, and survival swimming. Instructors also lead a swim-technique and fitness class that prepares swimmers for swim team while promoting a healthy lifestyle and honing stroke skills.
Team Taf's head trainer Adam Tafralis designs personal training sessions as well as group classes and elite programs specialized for athletes of all levels. Alexa's Fit Crew sessions pair total body interval training with cardio and strength workouts, and Mike's Noon Bootcamp incinerates calories with a series of fun and intense exercises. In addition, Team Taf hosts youth training classes to instill budding athletes with fitness fundamentals and the ability to fend off junk food-peddling cartoon mascots.
Founder and CEO Allison Beardsley's passion for Pilates sparked after struggling to find exercise that would not aggravate her basketball-related ailments. The discovery that the efficient resistance moves helped her to develop a strong core without subjecting her joints to pain inspired her to spread the word of Pilates' benefits to others, which she does from more than 20 clean and sunny Club Pilates?studio locations.
A team of certified instructors teaches the group classes, which are designed to strengthen, tighten, and tone the entire body. The staff leads students through controlled movements and breathing techniques performed on specialized Pilates machines, such as the Reformer, a Pilates ballet barre, and retired kitchen chairs. To ensure each patron can craft a well-rounded workout regimen that suits his or her needs, the studios offer stretching and sculpting classes that touch upon a variety of fitness modalities.
When creating Affinity Badminton Club, the owners studied courts from around the world to develop playing conditions specially optimized for badminton. The results can be seen and felt on Affinity's seven custom-built courts made from four layers of material designed to create ideal traction for running and jumping. The 30-foot ceilings are painted black to improve overhead visibility and light fixtures are placed so they don't blind players or set fire to airborne shuttlecocks. In addition to drop-in play sessions, Affinity hosts group lessons for beginners and private one-on-one lessons for players of all ages and skill levels.