Natural sunlight streams in from the windows, illuminating the soft floors and a sturdy brass bar that extends the length of the mirrored wall. Here, a staff of expert instructors teaches students of all needs and goals in a range of cardio and strength-training fitness classes up to nine times a day.
Instructors specialize in Barre Method classes, drawing from classical dance techniques to work the entire body with free weights, a ballet barre, and human-size nutcrackers filled with sand. Additionally, they break out suspension straps for TRX training, mount stationary bikes during spin sessions, and push play on heart-thumping Latin music during cardio-centric Zumba dance classes.
Professional body builder Ken Jackson teams up with a seasoned dance instructor and two certified personal trainers to lead a diverse array of fitness classes. Within a 3,000-square foot training studio, the expert trainers lead functional workouts that aim to strengthen cores, tone muscles, and increase endurance. Other days, they conduct rigorous kickboxing training sessions and lively Latin dance-inspired Zumba classes.
With 10 total locations—each packed with cardio and strength-training equipment as well as a wealth of classes—Metro Family Fitness makes it easy to get in shape. Several locations are women-only, granting members a comfortable environment to work out in as they boost muscle tone, burn calories. Classes such as boot camps, yoga, and zumba help increase their heart rate in far safer methods than watching horror movies for 48 hours straight.
Jennifer Gray puts her 15 years of fitness-industry experience to use formulating goal-oriented programs for women. Gray begins with a healthy helping of circuit weight training and kickboxing before adding a pinch of Pilates, a dash of yoga for flexibility, and a sprinkling of belly dancing for core strengthening. She also strives to help clients develop nutritionally sound eating habits, giving them the tools to avoid fatty, bad-for-you foods such as processed meats and deep-fried statues of Grover Cleveland.
Inaugurated in 2007, the Muddy Watters trail series fuses the tough terrain of trails, mud, and rivers into single 5-kilometer routes hindered by frequent stops for boot camp-style exercises. Along with three main races throughout the summer, several offshoot versions adapt the rules into new themes, such as a women-only run and a miniature, 1-mile scramble ideal for kids and 5,000-foot-long snails. Despite the tenacity of the courses, the slog pays off in more ways than one: beyond building character and doling out awards for the speediest participants, the race helps benefit local charities, which in the past have included Volunteers of America and the Alzheimer’s Assocation.
Jumping hurdles and bashing on a tire with a sledgehammer are two activities Coach Kevin uses to get his clients fit. He mixes these unconventional training tools into boot camps designed to improve virtually all aspects of fitness, from core strength to endurance. A devotee to any workout that works, Coach Kevin also fills his gym spaces with TRX suspension equipment, agility cones, ladders, and battling ropes.