After years of working at a "globo gym," Marty Pajek and Kyle Eshleman decided to provide a better route to fitness than routine cardio and strength training. At Crooked River CrossFit, they join two other certified coaches in teaching functional, constantly varied CrossFit classes. The classes begin with aerobic activity and instruction to proper form, and then students take off on a high-intensity workout that may include lifting heavy objects and moving large loads.
Heidi Braun discovered the concept for Thank Dog! Bootcamp in Fitness magazine, and thought it the perfect fit for herself and her high-energy border collie, Maggie. She traveled to beautiful downtown Burbank to check out the program in person, and decided that she wanted to become its ambassador in Ohio. She got her ISSA personal training certification, and began recruiting humans and dogs to join her on her new mission.
During a class, Heidi teaches her students an entire suite of circuit-training exercises designed to be performed outdoors in the natural beauty of parks. Simultaneously, she instructs their canines, training them to respond to nine different commands as issued by their owners. This regimen has the added benefit of teaching pooches to be calm in the presence of other dogs without feeling the need to growl, mark territory, or play poker.
At Willowick Fit Body Bootcamp, the certified personal trainers burn fat without pelting students with intimidation tactics. Instead of shouts, they slenderize students with science, motivating them through workouts designed to keep calorie furnaces burning for up to 30 hours after the workout has been wiped off and wrung into a Corvette’s gas tank. They help their clients achieve these prolonged metabolic crescendos with strategic combinations of cardio exercises and resistance training.
The trainers at Fit 4 Evr Fitness design intense workouts to help clients improve their physical and emotional lives. They specialize in three different group classes, which they combine with nutritional education to educate, motivate, and support clients. Their group cardio classes work to strengthen the heart and lungs, and group cardio toning offers the same benefits with the addition of free-weight exercises and strength training. Zumba classes help burn calories with moves inspired by Latin dance routines and music.
The trainers at Cleveland Boxing Academy include domestic and international champs—Vonda Ward is an International Boxing Association and World Boxing Council heavyweight world champion, and Robert Francis is a two-time New York state champion. During classes and lessons, they teach students the science behind boxing while providing an intense workout that can help fighters sculpt their physiques.
History pulses through Lemko Hall, a turreted brick building in Cleveland's Tremont neighborhood. Over the past century, it has served as a saloon, a ballroom, and a movie set where stars Robert De Niro and Christopher Walken filmed a scene for The Deer Hunter in 1978. Nowadays, one of the space's tenants, Studio 11, channels an even older legacy: the yoga tradition of ancient India.
The studio's seasoned teachers impart moving meditations that have been passed down from generation to generation via careful instruction and epic games of telephone. Classical Hatha poses help yogis of all levels cultivate strength and flexibility as they learn to center their minds and control their breath. Students steep their minds in yoga's meditative qualities during flowing, breath-focused Vinyasa routines or explore the practice’s athletic side during Ashtanga sessions teeming with dynamic poses and vigorous thumb-wrestling bouts. Those seeking a more private yoga experience can engage in a Thai massage, in which a trained practitioner guides the body through assisted poses and stretches.
Yoga-inspired Pilates sessions revolve around centuries-old isometrics that promote balance and help chisel the core. Students seeking a full immersion in yogic history can enroll in studio-sponsored trips to India, which pair yoga classes with sunset meditations and spiritual discourses.