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 Metabolic Movement Training (MMT) System is the result of all that hard work. The system is designed to jump-start the metabolism, so it continues working long after the session is complete by helping the body burn fat all day long. After a dynamic warmup to boost flexibility and coordination, trainers lead students through progressive resistance training to strengthen bones and muscles. Next, exciting, short-burst cardio intervals work to condition the heart and lungs and boost endurance, and a final core-training session chisels the midsection. Every exercise includes modifications and progressions to ensure students at every fitness level will glean benefits, and every session ends with a cool-down and stretch to leave bodies feeling better than when they came in.
The institute's team of instructors also augment MMT 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.
When Forrest Folen says he believes in a mind-and-body approach to fitness, he isn’t referring to pseudo-spiritual workouts. Rather, he is drawing from the simple advice given to him by his grandmother: “Take care of your body, and your body will take care of your mind. Take care of your mind, and your mind will take care of your life.” His partner Roy Schuhmacher, on the other hand, comes at fitness from a strictly physical angle. Fueled by a personal goal to become a bodybuilder when he was younger, he turned to scientific methods and empirical data to craft his regimens. This research eventually led him to the slow and steady approach to bulking up that he uses today. In 2008, both Folen and Schuhmacher joined forces, bringing their unique mix of perspectives and exercise approaches to the public at Fit for Life Solutions.
Through their studio, the two trainers slim bodies with large group boot-camp sessions, tame waistlines with Next Level personal training, and accelerate heart rates during intensive small group exercises that incorporate kettlebells and industrial-grade defibrillators.
At Almaden Yoga, owners Ron Victor and Anuja Chaudhri work alongside a team of instructors to reach out to those who have always wanted to practice yoga but never thought they could. Targeting the mind and body, their classes ensure that everyone, from beginning pupils to experts to expectant mothers, can find a course that suits their needs.
Aside from a way to stay in shape and lengthen limbs, the instructors see yoga as a philosophy for navigating the world. They believe that a combination of postures, focused breathing, and meditation is a method for discovering calmness in any uncomfortable situation, be it an all-night study session or a postapocalyptic decade trapped in a fallout shelter. Their life-changing approach has extended to charity events, such as a sun-salutation event to benefit St. Jude Children?s Research Hospital, and their positive influence on health and mental wellness made them a Talk of the Town winner in 2012.
In 1976, educator, musician, and kinesiologist Robin Wes longed for a children's gym that prioritized personal growth over competition. Unveiled at a time when physical-education classes pushed students to focus almost exclusively on winning, Robin's program was swiftly adopted and is now used in more than 300 Little Gyms worldwide. Robin still pens original music to accompany lessons, which engage whippersnappers aged 4 months to 12 years with gymnastics, dance, karate, and parent and child activities.
Each of The Little Gym's classes introduces simple movements that sharpen motor skills and set brains whirring, allowing kids to progress at their own pace until they can finally build a computer out of macaroni and glitter. Staff members strive to build a base for lifelong social skills and self-assurance with each exercise, including activities rooted purely in fun, such as summer camps or birthday parties, which helped The Little Gym to earn title of #1 Birthday Chain in Parents Magazine.
As CEO and chief instructor of Condition and Competition Kickboxing, Ed Carpio draws from a victory-studded background of competitive fighting. Though he came to the art of Chinese kickboxing (also called sanshou) at 21, later than many greats, he rose through successive bouts to become a national lightweight champion. Ed then turned to training others with his expertise, remaining devoted to his sanshou students throughout his sporadic returns to the ring, a study in judo, and a government summons to deflect an impending asteroid.
CCK preaches acceptance and positivity through programs for all ages, from toddlers to adults. Its gym has been highlighted on one of KRON 4's "Best of The Bay" segments for casting a familial air over martial-arts learning. Bordered by camouflage-painted walls, guests can launch strikes at bags, pads, and partners during kickboxing courses, or focus on classical conditioning with weights and fitness machinery.
Fueled by the passion and expertise that led to a degree in kinesiology, certified personal trainer Audra Baker established Be Fit Boot Camps to help patrons of all fitness levels to get in shape. Audra has since headed up a 2012 weight-loss challenge?featured on NBC Bay Area?and contributed to 3 Steps to Your Best Body in Record Time, a compilation of fitness advice penned by field experts.
Her determination teams up with nonjudgmental encouragement, inspiring students with enthusiastic, kind words and copious foot-fives. Following Audra and her trio of highly skilled instructors, clients sprint through outdoor boot-camp drills and swing kettlebells in a semiprivate setting, and they also work one-on-one during personal-training sessions pushing toward their desired physiques. Body-composition assessments, measurements, and nutritional tips augment services to round out clients' newly realized lifestyles.