Before becoming owner and head trainer at Sityodtong Muay Thai Academy, Mark DellaGrotte spent a decade in Thailand, training under muay thai guru Kru Yodtong and competing in high-profile bouts. His experience transformed him into a formidable muay thai kickboxer, earning him spots on several TV shows including Spike TV's The Ultimate Fighter and UFC Countdown. However, it also made him an expert ambassador for Thai-style boxing. Today, Mark and his team of instructors foster fight-ready fitness with classes in muay thai, Brazilian jujitsu, mixed martial arts, and boxing.
Collegiate Basketball Academy’s experienced trainers, who blazed up the NCAA courts for Gordon College and Lesley and Tufts Universities, share their expertise with kids at the elementary, high-school, and college levels. Calling upon their knowledge of the sport from both the athlete’s and coach’s points of view, they school students in ball handling, shooting, and speed in both one-on-one sessions and group training academies. To help their clients find areas for performance improvement, they also come to games and film players before analyzing their forms and discussing potential fixes.
As one longtime student says, "Jess doesn't care if you have three left feet." And it's probably this supportive and congenial attitude that earned her spots on Boston A-List as Best Zumba Class and RateYourBurn as one of the 10 Best Zumba Instructors for 2012. She approaches the dance-fitness hybrid sessions as a "feel-happy" workout, helping students of all experience levels feel welcome regardless of their natural rhythm. She only offers drop-in sessions, allowing students to come when it's convenient for them or when they've accidentally sleepwalked to the studio again.
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Safety-trained staff man all aspects of Atlantis's clubs, whether stationed near the free weights and resistance machines or leading group classes in practices such as yoga and Pilates. Treadmills, stationary bikes, and stairmasters set pulses racing without the need to keep convincing oneself that the oven's still on at home. As high windows set indoor pools sparkling at the Braintree, Danvers, and Hyannis locations, tykes reclaim their amphibious heritage in swim classes and adults aggressively burn calories as they cradle tender joints in aqua fitness classes. Afterward, guests can put in an intensive lounging session in the steam room or sauna.
On its website, Redline Fight Sports boasts that it is not a typical, low-intensity health club. Rather, it is a 5,000-square-foot facility designed to train fighters and fitness enthusiasts who want to train like fighters but do not want to interact with large slabs of meat. Its coaches—most fighters themselves—preach purposeful and practical training, where natural movements replace rote exercises to help boost strength, speed, flexibility, and stamina. For example, instead of sitting at a bicep-curl machine, a student in the popular Fighter-Fit class may slug an uppercut bag or whip into a teardrop knee bag. This choreography of punches and kicks takes place in the training area, where heavy bags and lightweight striking bags hang, some on a custom, 40-foot rail system that slides them to and fro. In a back cage room, grapplers can train over fully matted floors and walls, even practicing throws on a crash mat.
A regulation-sized sparring ring is available for dedicated boxing training, and free weights work to boost strength capacity. An air exchanger circulates fresh oxygen into the gym, which also rents towels for its fighters in training.
Most boxers train to punch an opponent in the face, but some train to knock out fat instead. At Boston Boxing & Fitness, former fighters turned certified instructors lead classes focused on both the competitive and fitness aspects of the sport. Coaches design each course to tone specific body areas, teach students to spar, or improve the body's overall fitness through strength and conditioning sessions. The studio also runs ladies-only boxing classes, allowing women to perfect jabs in an encouraging, dude-free environment. Classes run five days a week, with the gym hosting weekend sparring sessions and amateur team-oriented fight nights. When not in class, trainers and students alike also supplement their training with the gym's 1500 pounds of free weights, athletic training, and fire pits designed for the ritualistic sacrifice of old gloves.