Patricia Junqueira's passion for helping people get fit may only be eclipsed by her passion for fitness itself. Patricia began running when she was 18 years old and since then, she's competed in seven Ironman triathlons–including two World Championship appearances in Hawaii. Using her bachelor's degree in physical education and physical therapy, Patricia fuses her two passions inside Tri-Life Training, an airy, but private fitness studio.
Working alongside a group of certified trainers, massage therapists, and other experts in the field, Patricia engineers personal training programs that establish realistic goals for clients, while measuring their progress along the way. Her team can also help prepare athletes for more intense competition, such as triathlons or races across the ocean floor.
At Science of Strength, owners Eddie Juica and Travis Kuykendall build dynamic workouts using kettlebells, Olympic lifts, and functional training. Suspension training with Jungle Gym XT suspension straps makes clients work with their own body weight, building core power as well as ligament and tendon strength.
At Calta's 24/7 Fitness Clubs, members can work out at any time of day, seven days a week. Instructors at the 24/7 gym also lead group cardio-fitness classes, and personal trainers help clients observe correct form while lifting weights or using machines.
Fitness studios often work hard to cultivate a relaxing setting. They might install floor-to-ceiling windows, play soothing music, or enforce a strict policy against flash mobs. But Urban Kai ramps up the relaxation to the next level. Their fitness classes take place on the Hillsborough River, where yoga groups stretch and bend atop stand-up paddleboards. The aquatic setting surrounds exercisers in waterfront architecture and open skies, which take on brilliant hues at sunrise and sunset. Dolphins, turtles, cats, and other marine life make occasional appearances as well.
Urban Kai was founded by Michael Conlee and his wife, Aimee. Mr. Conlee originally started paddle boarding as a hobby, but he quickly realized that his new pastime had toned his physique. Mr. Conlee started Urban Kai, and—along with his fellow instructors—he now teaches several on-water fitness classes. Urban Kai's yoga-on-water class, for example, helps participants build strength and flexibility, while warrior-zen workouts combine paddleboard exercises with on-land workouts. Mr. Conlee and his team also take groups on long-distance paddleboard tours.
Unlike traditional gyms that take a laissez-faire approach to fitness, letting clients fumble through their own workouts, Orangetheory leads exercisers in innovative personal group-training sessions that run through four distinct steps. Inside the warm, citrus glow of each facility, dozens of treadmills, rowing machines, free-weight sets, and Trx suspension systems await the next interval changeover. Music sends electric currents of energy through the atmosphere as patrons sweat out calories, and personal trainers patrol the aisles, giving pointers for touching up form and blinking out motivational words in Morse code. Clients keep an eye on their heart-rate readouts to ensure they're in the peak range for burning fat and building muscle. After an hour—during which guests complete a 10- to 30-minute interval at each of the four stations—the "orange effect" sets in and jump-starts metabolisms, possibly for days after the workout has ended.
Orangetheory Fitness has been highlighted in the New York Times for its seminal workout plan, which was designed by Florida fitness expert Ellen Latham to help people to turn their workout plateaus into springboards. With more than 50 classes per week at each location, members can capitalize on the gym's personal-training vibe and stimulating group setting at their leisure.
H.Y.P.E.D. stands for Healthier You Persisting Every Day, a nod to the founder's own struggles with her weight before she earned her personal-training certification from the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Driven by her battles with maintaining a healthful diet and exercise regimen, she strives to help others achieve their fitness goals, from building muscle tone and lowering cholesterol levels to fitting into their high-school fedora. In her boot-camp classes, she inspires patrons of all fitness levels to get whipped into shape in a positive, supportive atmosphere, free of drill-sergeant-like shouting. She offers further motivation with nutrition counseling and personal-training sessions and urges clients to call her for additional support outside of class.
Since Joe Gold opened the first location in 1965 in Venice Beach, California, Gold's Gym has dotted the globe with more than 700 locations where professional athletes and exercise newbies gather under the umbrella of personal strength.Nearly 3.5 million Gold's members—which include professional athletes and celebrities such as Tiger Woods, Faith Hill, and Jessica Alba—chart and aim for their fitness peaks, perspiring beneath the gaze of certified personal trainers or pedaling beside peers in cycling sessions.
At the Tampa location, owners Ed and Patty team up with an expert crew of trainers to help clients achieve their fitness goals. The gym floor corrals modern equipment such as low-impact ellipticals and treadmills outfitted with individual TVs, and the spin room showcases Livestrong stationary bikes. Instructors also lead dynamic group fitness classes that include disciplines such as yoga, MMA, and boot camps.