In 1990, Christina Rondeau fell in love. With martial arts, that is. After earning her black belt and competing in amateur karate and martial arts tournaments all over the United States and Europe, Rondeau decided to go pro. She travelled the globe as a member and coach on the USA WAKO kickboxing team, and went on to win the women's lightweight title. Rondeau continued to feed her athletic hunger with a switch to pro boxing and appeared in numerous print media and television shows, including The Maury Povich Show.
Having achieved fame and glory, Rondeau took on a new fight: she wanted to help women and children defend themselves while gaining indomitable confidence. She has authored books, created instructional DVDs, and opened Rondeau’s Kickboxing. The 24/7 gym garnered Rhode Island Monthly’s readers’ pick for Best Fitness Center in 2010, due in no small part to its empowering blend of fitness and martial-arts-based classes. Rondeau also promotes safety in her community by participating in events geared towards ending violence toward women and girls and teaching local schoolchildren how to defend themselves or pass a math quiz without using weapons. She also coordinated a box-a-thon to help line the shelves of a Rhode Island food bank.
Although the top priority at Evolutionary Sports is to help others get into shape, the facility aims far beyond that by creating an environment that makes every guest, member, and first-time exerciser feel part of something bigger. To accomplish its mission, the business offers group workouts, personal training, and a full slate of classes at two different facilities. Those classes range from boot camp and yoga to karate and cross training, which fuses kickboxing techniques, cardio drills, and weight training into one intense session.
At Absolute Boxing & Personal Training for Women, personal trainers with vast martial-arts experience, including UFC manager Francois Nguyen, help men, women, and children of all skill levels get into fine fighting form. The team combines the fundamentals of boxing and kickboxing into heart-thumping sessions capable of incinerating calories, toning muscles, and arming students with the self-defense techniques necessary to ward off bullies. Personal trainers expand upon fight-based conditioning with yoga instruction, massage therapy, and a promise to hold clients accountable for the goals they set, such as running 10 miles or high-fiving 10 strangers each day.
It's tough to make Zumba—a dance-inspired cardio workout set to upbeat music—feel any more festive. Still, the certified instructors at Vital Spark Fitness & Wellness Studio have found a way. They host Night Style Zumba classes, turning on the studio's black lights and donning neon bracelets that outline arms as they wave in time with twirls and steps. Along with Zumba's resonating beats, the experience lends the studio a pumping, nightclub vibe.
Even without black lights and glow sticks, though, the staff strives to make every type of workout an engaging one. The schedule includes more than one take on popular yoga and Pilates techniques, including PiYo and Yogalates. They also lead cardio-kickboxing drills, boot-camp routines, and the interval-training exercises of Tabata.
A positive attitude pervades curriculum at True Reflections Dance & Fitness. Inspirational quotes and bright colors dominate the walls of the lobby, and as they pirouette across the sprung floor, kids develop motor skills, cognition, and self-confidence. Classes for grownups are available, too, and these programs feature the same supportive atmosphere and positivity that makes kids' classes here so special.
Fitness Adventure’s gym, which is packed with heavy ropes, weight machines, and boxing bags, enables guests to work every muscle possible during workouts. Coaches use the gym’s open floor space to run classes that range from power yoga to cardio kickboxing. They also travel outside for classes, where an obstacle course and boot-camp classes help participants train for tough races such as a mud run, a 5K, and a 10-meter dash.