Saratoga Fit's Kim McGuire knows that the pull of the refrigerator can be strong. The AFAA-certified group fitness instructor spent her childhood battling chubbiness, low self-esteem, and the barbs of mean-spirited classmates. As a teen, she resolved to rebuild her life by reshaping her body and eating habits. Bolstered by support from her family, she lost the extra weight and resolved to help others do the same. Since then, she's spent more than a decade working in the fitness industry, earning personal-training certification and a tae kwon do black belt, leaving fat too scared to think about ever coming back.
These days, Kim specializes in boot camps, which melt calories and fortify muscles with a blend of cardio, strength training, and core-sculpting exercises. Here, exercisers of all levels challenge themselves in an atmosphere filled with motivation, accountability, and the encouragement from up to 14 others who share their desire to succeed and love of culottes. Free weights tone muscles in the arms, shoulders, and back, and BOSU balls facilitate body-weight exercises that chisel the abs. Using tools such as the USDA and ACSM nutrition guidelines, Kim also teaches the group how to eat smart and requires each participant to submit a log of their daily food and exercise choices to ensure they stay on track.:m]]
Corey House founded F.I.T. Boot Camps to help people get in shape with effective workouts bolstered by nutritional support. To come up with fun, high-intensity boot-camp routines, the staff pored over research and analyzed training formats aimed at burning fat and building muscles. They've seen the results time after time as boot camp members of every shape and athletic ability shed pounds, boost their health, and fare better at family log-tosses. Because the boot camps are indoors, the staff leads them continuously throughout the year, rather than putting members on hold during breaks between sessions or taking the winter off. They help map out smart food choices with nutritious meal planning, and offer private coaching to help members make the most of their workouts.
RAW Fitness's group classes and personal-training sessions stress functional fitness, helping individuals get into peak shape for activities such as hiking, biking, and skiing by identifying the style of fitness that works best for each person, at any fitness level and ability. Aerobics and Fitness Association of America–certified trainer Jennifer Ricupero incorporates elements of everything from Pilates and yoga to kickboxing and suspension training into her exercises, creating well-rounded workout regimens. Sessions also cover balance and injury-prevention to round out fitness education.
Ballston Spa Boot Camp scales moves to challenge exercisers of all stripes. Each workout incorporates an ever-rotating roulette of agility, core, cardio, strength, and flexibility moves. The camp’s trainer constantly switches up the boot-camp routine in order to continuously challenge the body while blasting through exercise plateaus like a bull charging a wall of papier-mâché bricks. As exercisers progress and raise their endurance levels, increased intensity keeps the difficulty high to further tone muscles and boost energy reserves. For each class on the studio’s weekly schedule, students must bring a mat or towel, a pair of 5- to 10-pound dumbbells, and a light jacket in case of weather conditions such as rain or showers of sweat pouring down from the International Space Workout Station.
At Legion Training Center, a staff of professional judo artists, marines, and black belts help students of all ages boost their self-esteem, strengthen their bodies, and learn to defend themselves with martial-arts training across a variety of disciplines. The clean, sleek space combines the hard-hitting jujitsu, boxing, and muay-thai-kickboxing classes of a martial-arts studio with the rewarding self-improvement of a modern gym. Students tone muscles and burn fat with kettlebell and MMA yoga classes, or learn to fend off attackers or spar with worthy opponents with kickboxing, judo, and wrestling courses.
After fighting her way back to a size four following the birth of her third child, Debi Condon earned her personal-training-and-nutrition certification and founded Evolution Fitness. Debi and her crew lead mostly female groups of all ages and fitness levels through indoor and outdoor boot camps, TRX-suspension classes and personal-training sessions. Interval routines leverage mats, free weights, and nearby playground equipment to build up endurance against fatigue and cooties. With an emphasis on supportive motivation rather than drill-sergeant tactics or endless scrimmages against fast-food mascots, trainers strive to build accountability among their students through friendships and unlimited email support.