James La Mar Jr. has studied the human body's capabilities inside and out, spending 11 years as a personal trainer and exercise physiologist while assisting in more than 40 orthopedic surgeries during his premed training. His desire to help others rediscover the energy of their younger years fueled his studies, ultimately leading him to the creation of Long Island Obesity Boot Camp. There, James shepherds recruits through a fat-busting blend of cardio and strength-training drills to help them to shed unwanted weight and achieve fitness goals. James also offers nutritional counseling, tracks student progress with weekly weigh-ins, and leads private personal-training sessions. He also gives scheduled lectures on the dangers of unhealthy lifestyles, such as heart disease, diabetes, and lingering dirty looks from doctors, to educate and motivate patrons.
At CrossFit Total Empowerment, instructors adopt an inclusive approach to fitness. It deviates from traditional workout regimens by using ever-changing sequences of high-intensity, functional exercises. Each class is structured around the sorts of actions that people perform in everyday life—such as running, lifting, and climbing stairs—albeit with a much greater emphasis on intensity.The workouts are scalable to any level, so they prove challenging for competitive athletes as well as casual exercisers. Attendees push themselves at their own pace while swinging kettlebells, performing deadlifts, jumping rope, and using hula-hoops made of concrete. Bolstered by encouragement from coaches and their fellow students, customers increase their strength and stamina, and over time, can improve their speed, agility, and flexibility.
When working out at Retro Fitness, clients may feel a pang of nostalgia along with the usual burn that accompanies cardio and strength workouts. Movies from the 1980s play to an audience of exercisers in cardio theaters within the expansive gyms, which make room elsewhere for yoga, cycling, and kickboxing group classes. In other areas of the gym, professional trainers help clients work out efficiently and old-timey strongmen lift medicine balls to general applause.