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]]
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.
Whether they're training for their first 5K, or an established athlete, or aiming to shed 10 pounds, clients get help from the trainers at Creations X to work with what they have—in more ways than one. The specially designed athletic-performance program, which works with all ages and any sport, focuses on improving speed, agility, reaction time, and strength. Designed around whatever equipment is on hand, personal trainers customize workouts to suit each of their clients' goals, whether they're working out at home, at a gym, or in a motel pool.
Revolutionary Velo-Watts’ CompuTrainer is a microprocessor-controlled indoor ergometer and trainer that refines riding styles to boost racing performance. Bikers of all abilities can bring their two-wheelers in to mount on the virtual tutor’s stationary wheels, allowing for immediate familiarity with their equipment while hooked up to the machine. The video software simulates famous courses that relate to trainee’s desired goals—the Lake Placid or Wisconsin Ironman for a triathlete, the Tour de France for a mountain racer, or downtown San Francisco for a motivated paperboy. While pedaling in place, data is generated showing heart rates, speed, wattage, and number of wheelies popped. After the workout, cyclists can take advantage of shower facilities or squeegee their sweat into a mason jar for a delightful memento.
Former college-football player Michael Reeves draws on his years of training and a degree in physical education as president of and a personal trainer at Top Form, a gym and field house. Whether training teams of young athletes or adults looking to get into shape, he blends his academic and practical experience to leave clients with a mental cache of exercises and routines. During personal-training sessions for individuals or groups, Reeves’ cadre of instructors uses muscle-isolating equipment such as stability balls, free weights, and medicine balls to shape cores or kick off impromptu games of dodge ball. On the artificial turf of an indoor field, athletes perform functional-movement drills while pulling weight sleds.
Reeves' wife and the gym’s vice president, Jen, leads mothers with newborns and toddlers through yoga-inspired workout classes. Little ones lie down or break dance on mats during the stretch and light-weight session as parents and progeny bond.
Travis Gil believes fitness comes not only from training the body, but from gaining control of the mind as well. He knows that a physical and mental transformation can be intimidating, so he created Fitness Artist to cater to clients one-on-one or in small groups of two or three. He and his staff of fitness professionals alter their regimens in every session, tailoring the workouts to the clients' levels of fitness and individual goals.