Bodies twist and arch through space in a series of progressive rotations. Participants cycle their shoulders, leap into crouches, and even swing club-shaped weights that resemble a clown's juggling pins. Watching a Circular Strength Training class at Chrome Fit might call to mind scenes of a mesmerizing circus performance, but the intent of the workout is anything but laughable. Rather, its dynamic actions help to broaden range of motion while simultaneously building muscle.
Circular Strength Training is one of five specialized classes led by Chrome Fit's coaching team. Though they utilize different tools—including gymnastics rings, kettlebells, and yoga techniques—they all have a holistic focus on increasing poised and powerful mobility. Their practical applications range from reducing chronic pain and competing in marathons to, in the case of TACFIT sessions, learning to tackle and safely recover from the crisis situations faced by police, military, and emergency personnel.
Owner Sheri L. Covey and her staff supplement these group classes with private personal-training sessions, as well as customized duo or small-group seminars. They adapt their instructions to suit clients of all fitness backgrounds, instead of simply telling newer students to watch the older ones until they feel ready to lift the same weights. Through boot-camp and corporate-wellness programs, they also encourage achievements in a more general community setting, drawing from the entirety of their class curriculum to plan varied drills.
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.
The next time you're on the roof of a five-story building, look down at the ground, and you'll get a rough idea of just how high people climb at Touchstone Climbing. The gym's seven locations feature lead walls that rise as high as 50 feet off the ground, though height isn't the only dimension that makes the space feel immense. Each spot has at least 11,000 square feet of climbing terrain, not to mention as much as 3,000 square feet of bouldering.
To prevent newcomers from feeling intimidated by the magnitude of the environment, the gym holds introductory classes. During these sessions, participants learn the basic techniques they'll need if they want to conquer the gym's crack systems and boulder problems. The classes are also an opportunity for students to scope out the terrain features at each location, such as Diablo Rock Gym's steep prow, which juts out crookedly like a thumbs up from a dizzy ballerina. While they're at it, the visitors might notice something else: the social nature of the gym. As the San Francisco Chronicle recounts, the fact that lead climbs require two people means that climbers are constantly asking around for new partners and chatting back and forth as they ascend.
Each location also boasts a weight room, cardio machines, and a studio space for everything from yoga to spinning to core classes.
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.
Doctor of Chiropractic Guita Kianian, a board-certified chiropractor and certified industrial disability examiner, practices a "whole person" approach to health care. The former host and producer of a live radio talk show called Modern Health, she now educates her patients on how to lead a healthy and pain-free lifestyle at San Jose Holistic Health Clinic. In addition to experience treating complex and injury-related chiropractic cases, Dr. Kianian is certified to care for infants and expectant mothers using the Webster technique and utilizes trigger-point and acupressure therapy to loosen tight muscles.
Dr. Kianian and her staff address a wide variety of conditions with multifaceted treatment plans that may include orthopedic acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, and nutritional analysis. They also design individual weight-loss plans and perform wellness seminars that can help to reduce employee stress and the number of self-inflicted forehead marks on office walls.
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.