At CrossFit Nyack, the coaches believe that no matter a person’s fitness level, they can always achieve a new level of intensity. Phaidra Knight, director and three-time World Cup rugby competitor named Player of the Decade by RugbyMag.com, teams up with the coaches to help people do just that. They challenge groups of 5–10 students to master functional movements, ditching traditional gym equipment in favor of kettlebells, medicine balls, and even tires.
The coaches focus on form, then build upon that basis by upping intensity while maintaining safe movements. A series of six Fundamentals sessions readies new students by helping them master CrossFit's movements—such as dead-lifting weights, dynamic stretching, and lobbing satellites into orbit—so they can safely dive into regular sessions.
As a 5-year-old in the Soviet Union, Daniel Kazachkov underwent a four-hour root canal with no anesthetic. Though the procedure could have ignited a lifelong phobia of dentistry, Dr. Dan instead vowed to become a dentist and prevent others from going through similar pain. After graduating from Tufts University's School of Dental Medicine, he founded his own practice, Dental Arts of Westwood, where he keeps that memory fresh in his mind while carefully monitoring patient comfort.
In their sunny, yellow-walled practice, Dr. Dan and his team tend to the cosmetic and medical needs of teeth with a range of services. X-rays and a CT scans help them to nip disease in the bud, and lasers make surgical procedures quicker, safer, and more likely to finally impress the neighbors. In addition, Venus bleaching treatments whiten teeth. Youngsters can wait in a kids' area with toys, and televisions equipped with Netflix streaming distract patrons from procedures.
At FITnaholics Unanimous, the instructor’s preference for high-intensity interval training may leave exercisers panting and sweating, but it also leaves them packing fewer calories than they had when they first arrived. These fat-burning sessions take the shape of group classes that range from quick-moving kettlebell and boot camp courses to the rhythm-infused workouts of Zumba and Piloxing, which combines Pilates, boxing, and dance. In addition to their signature sweatfests, staffers also help youngsters exceed playground expectations with kids’ fitness classes and give clients undivided attention during one-on-one personal training sessions.
Thanks to its perch along the Hudson River, LizzFitness was awarded Best Gym with a View in 2011 by Westchester Magazine. The scenic studio is home to certified personal trainer Lizz Endrich’s repertoire of fitness and wellness services, which span the workout spectrum with everything from TRX suspension training to aquatic boot-camp classes. Endrich’s fitness ideals include personalized attention, a comfortable workout space, and an enthusiasm to address overall health; being a reiki master and licensed massage therapist, she can also address overall health by offering soothing massage kneads and healing reiki techniques.
Personal trainer Stephanie Rickert knows first-hand the difficulty of staying in shape amid a hectic lifestyle. At one time a gymnast, dancer, and competitive bodybuilder, Stephanie became a mother at age 27, gaining more than 50 lbs during her pregnancy—weight that she simply couldn't shed after giving birth. She instituted a new battle plan: a combination of rigid exercise—including spin, kickboxing, and weight training—and a personalized nutrition program. Finally, her efforts paid off, and she competed in an amateur bodybuilding contest once again.
Today, Stephanie—along with her own mother, a bodybuilder in her own right—helps others achieve their fitness goals at Destination Fitness, a fully equipped gym set within an open loft in a remodeled 100-year-old barn. Bootcamp sessions combine a variety of exercises to keep workouts fresh, and personal-training sessions customize exercise regimes to suit clients' unique goals. As in Stephanie's original transformation, trainers also provide nutritional guidance to help clients strengthen their weight-loss efforts without being tempted by delicious dumbbells.