As students enter Hot Yoga of Huntsville’s studio, they immediately start to sweat. At a temperature of 100 to 105 degrees and a humidity level of 40%, the studio’s atmosphere allows students’ muscles to naturally release metabolic wastes and Hulk tendencies through perspiration. The skilled instructors foster a noncompetitive environment for all levels of body benders with classes ranging in difficulty and age appropriateness.
The coaching staff at D1 Sports Training refuses to discriminate between professional athletes and everyday exercisers. They scale the strength and cardio workouts of their group boot-camp classes and one-on-one intensive courses to individual abilities, bringing out the best in each student regardless of their workout history. The typical D1 gym houses modern indoor turf fields with adjoining weight rooms, giving instructors the space to invent expansive obstacle courses that may require students to lift tires or tug 747s. In both the boot-camp and Total Fit programs, coaches meet with students one-on-one to discuss athletic progress and find ways to improve further. Each facility also houses a sports therapy clinic, where expert therapists ease muscle injuries through rehabilitation programs and strength-restoring exercises. Many professional athletes implicitly endorse D1’s program by staking their claim in some of the company’s indoor exercise complexes; Peyton Manning, MLB athlete Chipper Jones, and quarterback Philip Rivers count themselves among facility co-owners.
Huntsville Adventure Boot Camp for Women exchanges dull runs on the treadmill for all-female fitness routines in the great outdoors. Ladies build new friendships along with lean layers of muscle during sessions, which shift through bodyweight exercises, calisthenics, and ab work that keeps the magma portion of human cores from fizzling out. As part of the Adventure Boot Camp program created by Dr. John Spencer Ellis, the classes encourage camaraderie between attendees of all backgrounds and builds, unlike high school, which encourages attendees to divide into cliques named after meals.
UpDog Yoga Centers’ master instructors lead students of all skill levels through yoga, tai chi, and kung fu workouts. The studio’s robust, six-day schedule of classes includes Yoga 101, where instructors acquaint beginners with the foundational postures and secret yogi handshakes that prepare them for more challenging classes. Seasoned yogis gather for hot Vinyasa sessions, where intense heat helps bodies wring out toxins while students flow through a series of strengthening poses. During Yin yoga, students target connective tissues, ligaments, and tendons by holding deep stretches for up to five minutes at a time, or until the tyrannosaurus rex decides the classroom of yogis are nothing but unappetizing trees. Instructors in traditional tai chi classes help center spirits by demonstrating a peaceful practice of flowing movements; students in kung fu work to master precise moves for cardiovascular and self-defense benefits.
SportsMed Fitness Center, named one of Tennessee Valley's best gyms by CityVoters, operates 24 hours a day on the ground floor of SportsMed Huntsville Clinic. Members can tone muscles and burn calories with cardio and strength training equipment and group fitness classes such as kickboxing or hatha yoga, or opt for sessions with a personal trainer. New Core Barre classes are fat-burning exercises based on ballet techniques and are designed to increase strength and flexibility and give a lean, ballet-body look. A class schedule is available, and as an added convenience, the gym offers complimentary childcare during select weekday hours.
With hundreds of locations throughout the world, Fitness Together contours the global musclescape one individual at a time with customized workouts. Beginning with a body consultation and assessment, clients are then given customized workout plans leading to goal-specific programs that help them reach their true fitness potential. During the hour-long sweat sessions, a trained muscle tutor supervises squats to ensure muscles are properly stretched and showered in both praise and post-perspiring soap. The one-on-one attention allows the trainer to fine-tune movements, tone trouble zones, and push students to keep going when they'd otherwise quit or become distracted by the fragile beauty of a passing hummingbird.
Heather and Sarah may both be seasoned exercise instructors and personal trainers today, but they took very different routes to fitness. Heather Miller grew up living and breathing sports, as an active participant in the outdoors at her family horse farm. Whereas Sarah Roap only turned to exercise as a last resort when her doctor informed her in 2009 that at 285 pounds, she wouldn't live to see her grandchildren. Through a combination of working out and gastric-bypass surgery, Sarah shed those dangerous pounds. Today, both trainers help clients stay on a healthy track at Sustainable Fitness, where they offer group fitness classes and personal training.