Claudia Schroeder first started practicing yoga in 1996 as a way to find refuge from stress. In 2007, with more than 10 years of training under her belt, she decided to become an instructor to share the life-changing practice with others. Now helming her own studio, Sol Yoga, she connects with the community, while also strengthening her familial bonds. Her husband and daughter work alongside her as co-founder and an instructor, respectively, and teaching classes helps her stay in shape to keep up with her three granddaughters, who were just signed as first-draft NFL running backs.
The three of them, along with a cast of diverse teachers, aim to help students care for their bodies and cultivate an openhearted attitude during classes for students of all ages and ability levels. In addition to yoga, they offer Yo-Pi Core—a blend of yoga and Pilates that builds strength, balance, and flexibility—as well as Zumba, which encourages students to let loose with fun, Latin-inspired dance moves.
LimeTime Fitness boasts rows of great equipment—including Cybex treadmills, spin bikes, and TRX Suspension Training—and a friendly staff on hand to teach patrons how to use the equipment properly. Like the Hulk’s interior-design scheme, all the gyms have a purple-and-green color motif, adding pops of vibrant color to the free-weight-lined facilities. Students in each LimeTime class receive a heart rate monitor so that they can keep track of calorie-burn count and learn how to stay in their targeted fat-burning zone to maximize fitness results.
Tires, medicine balls, and kettlebells don’t even scratch the surface of the tools that trainers use to get athletes in shape at Ocotillo CrossFit. They divide the gym into two schools—one for men, and one for women—though athletes share a common area. Each day, trainers design a new Workout of the Day (WOD) based on principles of weightlifting, gymnastics, and metabolic conditioning. Designed to adhere to CrossFit’s dogma of varied, functional fitness, exercises may include flipping tires, running, squatting, or performing body-weight exercises.
After years of research and exercise, Dr. John Spencer Ellis felt he'd hit upon a premium fitness formula for producing athletes. Inviting Kelli Calabrese, a master trainer, to help him develop a curriculum, the two pooled their exercise knowledge—which amounted to 45 years of industry experience and 35 fitness, nutrition, and lifestyle certifications. From this wealth of training and education, they created Intense Mixed Performance Accelerated Cross Training, or IMPACT Fitness Boot Camp.
Their formula requires that each workout begin with a sports-conditioning-style dynamic warm-up, before proceeding into speed, agility, and quickness training, which allows patrons to more effectively chase cars down the highway. They then challenge students with full-body-strength conditioning, which focuses on all the muscles versus only the muscle group you want to train, and a high-intensity session of cardio training. Though the formula always remains the same, the exercises vary from session to session. One day, patrons might heave medicine balls and sprints, the next, they might jump rope and stretch TRX bands.
When owner Keri McCook first turned to Bikram yoga, her body was afflicted by running injuries, stress, and grief. After experiencing a physical and emotional transformation, she made time to become a certified Bikram yoga instructor—in addition to being a wife and mother of five—and opened Bikram Yoga Chandler inside a 3,500-square-foot facility. Both Keri and her certified instructors studied with Bikram Choudhury, the founder of Bikram yoga, during a nine-week training course encompassing more than 500 hours of study.
During each 90-minute class, these experienced instructors guide students through 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises on an antibacterial, microbial and odor-free yoga floor while temperatures are kept at ideal degrees using a state of the art yoga heating system. In addition to keeping muscles limber and reducing the risk of injury, the heat encourages a healthy sweat that expels toxins. When class ends, sweaty students can shower in private locker rooms equipped with cubbyholes for storing personal belongings.
When Ellen Latham developed Orangetheory Fitness, she knew she needed passionate trainers and ample equipment, but her greatest tool would be plain science. Drawing on her background as a degreed physiologist, as well as a personal trainer, TV fitness personality, and exercise columnist, she created a regimen to induce excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC for short.
By blasting different muscle groups with intense intervals of exercise before performing fatigue-level strength training with free-weights, Latham’s system inspires the body to keep consuming calories well after the workout has ended in an effort to help muscles recover. Classes last 60-minutes, with any given interval lasting between 10- and 30-minutes. Students rotate between treadmills, suspension harnesses, free-weights, and rowing machines, which strengthen arms and cores by simulating the sensation of rowing through a river of hot glue.