Melinda Elaine Hoye tried for years to shed extra pounds. It wasn't until she abandoned diet trends and began exercising regularly that she achieved her fitness goals. She says she dropped 76 pounds in only 10 months.
Today, the toned fitness guru extends her expertise to others at her own boot-camp program. She breaks her program into three phases. The first focuses on weight-loss and the second on weight-maintenance. The final phase is designed to help patrons train for challenging physical activities such as running marathons, competing in triathlons, and getting rid of crates of stolen bowling trophies. In addition to leading cardio and strength-training exercises, Melinda works on comprehensive meal plans and nutritional tips. She has even published her own book on fitness, From Fat to P.H.A.T., in which she refutes common fitness myths.
The trainers at TNT Bootcamp make failure a near impossibility by demanding discipline and commitment from each of their charges. Though their words are kind and demeanors are friendlier than that of a teddy bear with a hospitality degree, the instructors of the intense four-week boot-camp program ensure campers adhere to a regimen of weekly weigh-ins, participate in a minimum of three weekly workouts, and maintain a food journal. Any lapse in duties or weight gain incurs a penalty, which TNT Bootcamp has found keeps participants on track even after they reach their goal weight. By completely remolding eating and exercising habits through boot camp and nutritional counseling, trainers help their pupils shed as much as 5 pounds a week. For attendees more interested in recreational exercise, the Just 4 the Health of It program waives penalties. Exercisers can also tone up in classes such as Zumba and the weekly Saturday Sweatshop, which keeps already fit frames in shape and ready to run away from bears at all times.
Xtreme Fitness flings open the doors to guests of all skill levels during classes that range from Zumba to Brazilian jujitsu, accommodating diverse tastes. While guests work out in the gym, the certified trainers patrol the free-weight area, cardio equipment, and the 700-square-foot matted space meant for martial arts and one-person trust falls, dispensing workout tips. They also help guests grasp onto the still-beating heart of their fitness goals during private, custom training sessions. When not absorbing self-defense strikes and yoga poses during classes, members can pop into the facility 24 hours a day to rehearse their conditioning routines or hide from hoards of lazy vampires.
Big-box gyms filled with elaborate weight-training machines leave trainers at CrossFit Energy shaking their heads. That's because they know that fancy equipment isn't what gets people fit. Instead, their small-group workouts focus on functional movements such as squats and deadlifts, supplemented with bursts of high-intensity aerobic activity. This straightforward approach to exercise yields more effective workouts for participants of all ages and levels, as well as some much needed rest for the hamsters that power all treadmills.
When Roald Dahl wrote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, he imagined a much-coveted golden ticket that granted access to myriad wonders and unveiled the inner workings of an entire industry. Adele Fridman, founder of MetaBody, created a real-life version of that ticket with her MetaBody Yoga & Fitness Pass, though it applies to fitness instead of candy. The pass grants access not to a single gym but to classes at a variety of local studios, specializing in everything from yoga to boot camp. With the freedom to move from location to location, students can sample different regimens, instructors, and styles of exercise to cobble together a program that fits their needs and goals. MetaBody's nutritionists supplement class packages by coaching clients in healthy eating, recipe cooking, and speed-reading nutrition-fact labels.
Chris Cesnak doesn't wait for Apollo to dead lift the sun over the horizon to start his day. At Summit County Adventure Boot Camp, Cesnak—an NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist—starts every workout at 5:30 a.m., using equal parts surprise and support to forge women's bodies into shape. Suited to women of all fitness levels, each morning consists of a hodgepodge of exercises that often include sprints, push-ups, core work, and obstacle courses, as participants feed off the motivation from Cesnak, each other, and birds shouting "Go to sleep!" from their nests.