Randy Brown was overweight and felt uncomfortable with his body. When a friend encouraged him to try boot camp, he reluctantly joined. Through hard work and with support from his instructor, he transformed his body and felt better than ever before. Today, Randy is a certified personal trainer and wants to help others do what his instructor helped him to do years ago: get in shape, gain confidence, and whistle Beethoven's Symphony no. 9. Through the years, he has grown Brown's Boot Camp from one class of 25 students to 14 different camps, and some of his students have gone on to become personal trainers themselves, which speaks to the success of his workout regimen and the camp's communal atmosphere. Randy's program focuses on improving total fitness, which not only includes strength, cardio, and flexibility but also nutritional counseling.
Tim Howell and Stefanie Keefe of Joyful Hearts Yoga
take an egalitarian approach to filling up their six-day-a-week schedule of yoga classes, in that they provide a class for everybody. To wit, they teach various series of asana geared toward kids, seniors, and expectant mothers. They also provides more standard classes, dividing them into beginner, intermediate, and advanced sessions so that burgeoning yogis can build their practice over time. These sessions take place inside spacious, naturally lit rooms, as well as in the great outdoors during organized retreats.
Before getting married, Tony and Marcy Brown both held impressive fitness records. Tony moved from a personal-training career to teaching yoga, and Marcy—a seasoned law-enforcement officer and former owner of a personal-training studio—kept her finger firmly on the pulse of gym trends. The pair decided to captain CrossFit Purgatory after becoming convinced of CrossFit's superiority over other popular health regimens. Now, they welcome guests of all ages and abilities to participate in their WODs (Workouts of the Day), emphasizing the values of community and commitment for those trying to rewrite their physical limits.
CrossFit Purgatory rejects superfluous furnishings in favor of a tough, minimalist vibe, decked out in functional training equipment such as kettlebells, Olympic rings, medicine balls, and mammoth bones. The gym's industrial feel is offset by the warmth of its occupants, who welcome new members to tackle the day's routine with open, sweaty arms. Because CrossFit maneuvers are universally scalable, anyone can adjust them to suit their strength level—the coaches have guided patrons from sports competitors to complete newbies to 2010 Biggest Loser contestant Jessica Delfs.
The inspiring trainers at each MetaBody location lead troops of workouteers in results-oriented workouts several times weekly. Sweat sessions utilize a variety of exercises and disciplines to produce full-body results in a supportive environment, ideal for beginners and hard-core core-hardeners alike. During any class, motivational instructors will use the instinctual distrust of routine to their advantage. Begin a day of litigating with a refreshing early-morning boot-camp session, or wind down by burning evidence and pounds with a late-evening yoga class. Muscles are kept guessing with new and challenging moves during each session, so participants never fall into a boring, ineffective routine, such as regular teeth brushing. In addition to the fitness classes, students receive a success guide to help prepare for imminent pound loss, a nutrition guide, and a $100 gift certificate for individual coaching. Because the pass sets a 10-class cap at any given location, roving fitness mavens can further shake up their workout regimens by vetting a series of classes or instructors that work best for them.
Since 1990, The Cookie Zoo has warmed hearts and stuffed bellies with made-from-scratch sweets and homemade gift baskets. Teach a chum how to chew with the doughy contents of a cookie basket ($50–$100), or carry around a combo tray ($40–$55) of chocolate-chip and sugar cookies and blimp-like brownies to make new friends on the street while toning your carrying muscles.
The Yoga Tree's team of attentive yoga instructors steers posers toward unlocking their loftier potential with physical and spiritual guidance during 60- to 75-minute Hatha-inspired yoga classes. Students in 75-minute all-level Hatha yoga classes flow through a deliberate series of movements that combine synchronized posture flow, conscious breathing, and meditation to cultivate strength, flexibility, and a growing awareness of the body's desire to star in a reality show. Yogis in need of milder movement can modify poses in the all-level class or opt for more serene stances in gentle Hatha sessions. The 60-minute Yin yoga curriculum strengthens deep tissues in the hips and lower back with a series of challenging poses that extend the body's range of motion, turning ordinary hip flexors into mechanical-bull-foiling machines.