Angie Acosta, founder of Queen City DanceOut, has a simple motto for her students: "If you're moving, you're doing it right." This encouraging, low-pressure attitude attracts people of all ages to her dance-inspired fitness classes, which meet at 18 public locations. Angie and her instructors aim to make exercise feel like a celebration and a refreshing break rather than a dreaded routine. To this end, their classes incorporate intuitive dance moves and invigorating music. DanceOut, the signature course, blends genres as diverse as swing, hip-hop, and reggae into a workout, relying on repetition and basic choreography to keep everyone grooving. Other highlights of the curriculum include the Latin rhythms of Zumba; the Dance Impact class, which fuses dance and kickboxing; and JamStrong, a mixture of core-conditioning, dance, and fun.
Community is a central aspect of every DanceOut class. As pupils practice their twirls, they can follow both the teacher and the Jam Crew—a team of regulars who help make the steps easy to follow and can assist fellow dancers. In addition to group workouts, instructors host skill workshops such as Booty Bootcamp, where attendees learn rump-shaking techniques and how to turn any chair into a rocking chair. They also put on performances and lead private classes for special events and parties.
Owner Shannon Hudson developed the 30-minute circuit to be fast and challenging with a pinch of hateful fun so participants stay engaged while getting ripped. The workout program includes a certified trainer who will provide guidance through stages such as jump rope, speed bag, heavy bag, and more. By combining the best functional, interval, cardiovascular, and circuit training regimens into one beast of a workout, the 9Round training program places a great deal of emphasis on results, just like the retired Keebler elves that now live inside Scantron machines.
Strength is both a physical quality and a state of mind at Athlete's Arena. Here, NSCA-certified personal trainers, strength and conditioning specialists, and weightlifting coaches propel athletes of all levels toward fitness goals using intense workouts and constant motivation. In addition to teaching drills that boost speed, agility, and joint mobility, trainers lead functional training sessions that sculpt and strengthen the entire body with tools such as kettlebells and weighted sleds. Inspired by Olympic weightlifting and gymnastics, CrossFit sessions teem with barbell drills such as power cleans and functional bodyweight exercises such as pull-ups and burpees. Cardio challenges such as rowing round out these workouts, strengthening hearts and lungs while shaving away calories and moustaches made of string cheese.
Uncluttered by impersonal equipment, The Firm's mirrored expanse of blond wood floors and taupe walls provide plenty of room for the instructors to move around. Trainers motivate clients to sweat toward svelte physiques during BodyPump sessions and BodyCombat classes that blend cardio and martial arts to get students kicking and punching through excess calories. Most of the classes leverage body weight or light equipment to trim waistlines and tone muscle with the exception of RPM classes, which build endurance and cardio strength using state-of-the-art Body Bikes.
Shannon "The Cannon" Hudson is an International Kickboxing Federation world champion, a fifth-degree black belt in Japanese shotokan karate, and a survivor of more than 70 bouts in the ring—yet, one of his most influential titles is "father." With two kids clinging around his waist like a squirmy fanny pack, Shannon started brainstorming a way to channel his boxing and kickboxing training into a quick, effective workout that even those who are busy or out of shape could tackle. The result was 9Round, a 30-minute routine of aerobic, anaerobic, and resistance moves divided into a circuit of nine stations. The ever-changing series of workouts maximizes morale and results while minimizing boredom.
His trainers launch the workouts every three minutes, motivating exercisers through each station—which might include jumping rope or pummeling speed bags. Online nutritional counseling supplements the workouts, teaching patrons how to construct and eat healthy meals instead of falling back on old habits, such as snacking on cheese sculptures.
At CrossFit Aiken, the medicine balls come in several spherical sizes. Their diversity, which allows guests of all fitness levels to heft and throw their weight, reflects the gym's two major goals: customization and variety. Each CrossFit workout conducted in the space can be scaled to suit a total newcomer as well as a seasoned athlete. Certified trainer Brent Eno leads his students through barbell lifts, gymnastics movements, and a host of calisthenics during the Workout of the Day, or WOD, remaining mindful of everyone's limitations and prioritizing safe form. In fact, he requires new patrons to attend an introductory assessment class, which illustrates the proper techniques for CrossFit's repertoire of moves.
When CrossFit Aiken's staff members aren't leading guests through pull-ups, kettlebell swings, or rowing-machine piloting. Additionally, the staff teaches yoga classes that keep physiques limber in between the one-hour Workouts of the Day.