Anchored by owner and certified personal trainer Damon Burrell, Heaven and Hell Bootcamp's staff of workout wonks help clients conquer fitness goals in group boot-camp classes and private training sessions. With a regimen of 15 boot-camp classes lasting 40–45 minutes and held every weekday—as well as three Saturday morning sessions—Heaven and Hell keeps chests heaving, heart rates thumping, and sequined leotards shimmering at a rate that suits almost any schedule. The high-octane group workouts change each day, but typically feature agility training, calisthenics, cardio exercise, and core strengthening achieved by hoisting dumbbells, jumping rope, and stealing medicine balls from the nests of predatory birds of flight. For more individualized attention, the gym plumbs the murky depths of clients' fitness capacities to craft custom training regimens for use in private personal-training sessions.
As an athlete, Ivan cut his teeth running track and field, and playing on a Division I college soccer team. As a trainer, he’s coached triathletes and MMA fighters such as Gideon Ray and Shonie Carter. He now draws upon all this experience at Powered By Ivan Training Systems.
Making use of TRX suspension training, kettlebells, and battle ropes, Ivan teaches courses that focus on each tool individually or combine all three. TRX helps muscles work in concert, while kettlebells combine more traditional isolations with heart-pumping cardio. Battle ropes eliminate impact from exercise, saving the joints and giving students the feeling that they are winning a never-ending game of tug of war.
A slideshow of Midwest Training Center's star fighters depicts them in various states of victory: sporting championship belts, hands raised by crowning referee, or slamming an opponent into the ground. Perhaps they owe their athletic prowess to the 3,000 square feet of space that the training center offers, complete with two fighting cages and one ring. That's where its instructors drill battling skills into fighters and teach MMA classes such as muay thai and Brazilian jujitsu.
Explosive Speed Gym’s website warns that it is no “vanity gym,” meaning there are no televisions or mirrors. Instead, the knowledgeable staff—comprised of a certified personal trainer, a PhD of physical chemistry, and an NASM-certified corrective-exercise specialist—opts for a serious environment where athletes of all ages can become faster and more agile. Their high-intensity workouts are composed of plyometric exercises, sprints, and body-weight lifts. Improvement is carefully monitored through performance testing so members can track their progress without competing in obstacle courses against their cats. The efforts and techniques of Explosive Speed Gym’s staff secured them positions as the speed and agility trainers for the Chicago Inferno soccer team.
Getting in shape wasn't just a good idea for Tami Haukedahl; it was the law. The state required the now-retired trooper captain to pass regular fitness exams during her 27 years of service. Today, she brings the techniques that kept her hale for three decades to her students, helping them to achieve their health and fitness goals through her boot camps and one-on-one personal training.
Patrons of all fitness levels and ages gather at her camps, where she cultivates an uplifting atmosphere of camaraderie built on positive reinforcement and respect. Using free weights and body-weight resistance exercises, Tami motivates students to increase their strength, flexibility, balance, and endurance. Her boot camps take place outdoors during the summer months, leading her students in dodging nature's obstacles while laughing in the face of minor precipitation. During the winter, boot camps move to an indoor facility, mostly to avoid all the leering snowmen, where campers work up a sweat while completing similarly varied routines.
Great music can give exercisers the extra boost of energy to leap over plateaus. Fight Fit Fitness takes that concept a step further, keeping a live DJ on staff to spin tunes for some of their classes. Instructors lead high-intensity cardio-kickboxing classes, challenging students through kickboxing drills that build strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular health, all set to bass-thumping polka tunes. Regular kickboxing classes focus on foot-flown combat, whereas other sessions, such as Zumba and Turbo Kick, aim to build muscles in a party-esque atmosphere. In addition to group classes, trainers offer one-on-one sessions for all fitness levels—ushering clients toward their health targets, whether they want to get back into shape, enhance sports performance, or jump-start a bodybuilding career.