After discovering a passion for pole dancing, friends and business partners Mia King and Ashley Nelson founded Black Diamond Studios so they could share the sensual fitness regimen with the women and telephone poles of Huntsville. Their candy-colored studio hosts a range of classes designed to boost both strength and self-confidence, including pole classes for all abilities, belly dancing, and tantalizing burlesque sessions. Instructors also lead occasional workshops to school students in a particular modality or subject, demonstrating the sultry moves required to get inside a fireman's heart without the use of chili.
Spartan Group X, or SGX, is a group fitness experience designed to transform not only bodies, but also participants' perceptions of fitness and health. The rigorous program challenges students to overcome physical and mental obstacles as they move through resistance, weightlifting, and circuit-training exercises. With a boot-camp-style method of teaching, Spartan trainers use motivation and personal attention to lead students through workouts.
Jason Carley, who holds a brown belt in American jujitsu, both owns Lights Out MMA and works as the head trainer. He teaches mixed martial arts to all ages and experience levels. He runs classes six days a week in a well-padded room and guides students through jujitsu, muay thai, karate, and sparring moves to build muscles and teach discipline.
The coaching staff at D1—which is co-owned by professional athletes such as NFL player Peyton Manning, MLB player Chipper Jones, and NFL player Philip Rivers—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 his or her 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 the boot-camp program, coaches meet with students one-on-one to discuss progress and find ways to improve. Each facility also houses a sports-therapy clinic, where expert therapists ease muscle injuries through rehabilitation programs and strength-restoring exercises.
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.