At downtown Toronto's Fit Factory Fitness, voted Top Fitness Club of 2013 in Toronto by Top Choice Awards, former US Marine Corps drill instructor and Fit Factory co-founder Tony Austin mimics the intense training regimen he completed during his military days. Along with his fellow instructors, Tony uses his 22 years of fitness experience while donning a military-style olive cap to lead exercisers of all fitness levels through more than 120 diverse classes, including personal training, boot camp, and boxing. One week, exercisers might jog with buckets full of water on the shores of a lake or swing sledgehammers into the sand, and the next, they might head indoors to drag heavy bags across the astroturf. With Tony's military background, the exercisers receive training and regiments like those practiced by the U.S. Armed Forces. Instructors also teach boxing boot-camp classes, in which patrons pummel heavy punching bags until they agree to personally train them.
Melanie has been active in the health community—as a fitness consultant, personal training, and yoga and Pilates teacher—for more than 14 years. But it wasn’t until she discovered pole fitness while mining that she was able to combine all her passions into one activity. As she started experimenting with pole fitness, she felt her experience with yoga, Pilates, and fitness classes coming together into one comprehensive workout. She knew that with her background in health and fitness, and passion for pole fitness, she would be able to help students achieve their fitness goals. And so PoleFIT Revolution was born. Today, she and a team of instructors teach a variety of classes, such as pole fitness, aerial yoga, boot camp, and stretching classes to ensure all students are receiving the workout that best suits their body.
Getting in shape can be really tough. So at Fit For Life, the staff's goal is to make each trip to the treadmill a little brighter with a range of amenities and staff who know your name. The 6,000-square-foot gym not only features a range of cardio and weight equipment, but classrooms that play host to more than 45 Zumba, yoga, body pump, and cycling classes per week. The accommodating schedule—which features sessions ranging from 5:15 a.m. until 8:15 p.m.—offers class times that works with every client's busy life, allowing them to mix up their workout without changing which animal is chasing them this week. While parents are sweating it out on the gym floor, kids can color, do homework, or play video games in the child care facility. After showering, members can cool down with the complimentary cups of coffee and newspapers that fill the gym's lobby.
Despite the its military-inspired mantra of "No man or woman left behind," Mercer County Bootcamp's motivating instructors build camaraderie and accountability without screaming directions or forcing students to wear camouflage dunce caps. They help guests of all ages and abilities reach their fitness goals with an indoor boot-camp program that blends cardio, resistance training, obstacle courses, and ab workouts to slim down waistlines. The team also harnesses such equipment as kettlebells and battle ropes while leading ever-changing fitness routines on the gym's spring-loaded floor, which protects joints from damage. These instructors team up with nutrition experts to provide support during periodic progress assessments and nutrition counseling, helping guests achieve better results by following a comprehensive road map to improved health.
When Billy Corbett was still in high school in the late 1970s, he wrote letters to personal trainers in Hollywood, asking their advice on how he could become one too. Some of the trainers wrote back, giving him advice that he still remembers and utilizes today as head of Billy Corbett's RetroFit. There, he and his team of instructors lead groups through high-energy boot camps and personal-training sessions catered to individual goals. They also guide young people toward a healthy lifestyle with youth sports-conditioning classes.
At Bath Junkie, shopping is an interactive experience. Upon entering the store, clients peruse bath products, including scrubs and lotions, and pick a base. Then they can browse through more than 200 scents, identifying one, two, or three fragrances and a color for their product. With the client's personalized recipe in hand, a beauty expert whips up the formula and readies it for sale. Each product is crafted to minimize harm to the environment, and Bath Junkie offers paraben-free hair products, recyclable containers, and kisses on both cheeks from Mother Nature herself.