Fitness changed Craig Stocker's life. Dedicated to physical activity since age 5 and a second-degree black belt in kung fu by age 18, Craig was always in top physical condition. However, after enduring a personal tragedy, Craig sought refuge in food, gaining weight and losing the will to care about exercise and everything else. He knew he needed to change—not just for himself, but also for his daughter, Cassidy. Craig mustered up his remaining strength and got back into the gym, undergoing what would be a six-month physical and mental transformation in his late 30s. Relying on his daughter as inspiration, Craig lost his excess weight and shed his depression, and now he shares his experience to motivate himself and clients whose lives often interfere with their ability to get in shape.
An NCCPT-certified trainer since 2002, Craig opened Marina Athletic Club to inspire others to change their lives. The private club houses weight machines, cardio machines, and free weights, with personal-training and group-training services leading patrons to fitter versions of themselves in a fun and supportive atmosphere. Craig also leads boot-camp classes, which cover cross-training principles in various scenic environments including parks, beaches, and inside Monet paintings.
Matteo Baker didn't put “220” in the name of his fitness center just to help people remember its street address. He did it to remind them of his goal for the center's services: to be “second to none.” With body-bolstering services that range from personal training to acupuncture to nutritional counseling, 220 Fitness blends conventional gym practices with holistic wellness therapy to forge a multifaceted approach to health. While in one of three studios or out on the beach, guests can get hearts pumping in one of the center's group classes, including boot camp, karaoke cycling, and yoga. Each takes place frequently enough to let latecomers find fun alternate classes and early comers join in the previous classes' naptimes.
The center recently introduced Second To None Boxing Academy to its workout repertoire, adding classes that help students burn up to 1,200 calories per session while learning self-defense techniques. When workouts are finished, the modern facility's licensed and certified health practitioners work to help guests recover from or prevent injuries with physical therapy, chiropractic care, acupuncture, and massage therapy.
Inside a 1,200-square-foot facility, the instructors at Bio-Mechanix prize functional training above all else. In doing so, they pack their schedule with classes that focus on weight loss and posture, calling upon equipment such as Bosu balls, kettlebells, and resistance bands. With safety in mind, they demonstrate how to use this equipment in order to minimize impact and outfit the studio with Pavigym rubber flooring.
From strikes and defense to strength and speed, the trainers at JFM Boxing Club arm their students with the tools they need to step into the ring—even if they never intend to. More than just for sport, these lessons imbue practitioners with potentially life-saving self-defense techniques. During each of the boxing, kickboxing, or MMA classes, students stay so focused on striking punching mitts or pinning opponents to the mat that they may not even notice their receding waistlines and firming muscles.
The Gym@Hayden is a loft-like, 5,500-square-foot fitness facility staffed with certified fitness professionals who are determined to help their clients feel supported along their fitness journey. Offering kickboxing, circuit-training, and boot-camp group classes, along with cardio and strength-training equipment, The Gym@Hayden strives to be a laid-back place that helps its clients get in, work out hard, and get on with their lives.
Kempo’s movement patterns may look beautiful—fluid, swooping kicks, graceful evasions, smooth takedowns—but underneath the beauty lies a tradition nearly 2,000 years old. Since 1968, the instructors at United Studios of Self Defense have armed students with these techniques, leading classes where participants of all ages and skill levels soak up fighting skill while galvanizing self-confidence.
But before they can share their tactics and Mortal Kombat cheat codes, the instructors themselves must be trained. Each instructor who cinches the black belt around their waist has graduated with honors from the Studio’s own rigorous training academy. The training doesn’t stop there; every week they meet with the founder himself, 10th-degree black belt Charles Mattera, who refines their strategies and instills them with advanced techniques.