Even before he founded PowerFit Bootcamp, JR Spear always felt a calling to transform people into fitness machines. A fourth-degree black belt and studied martial artist, Spear spent years training future Marine Corps officers and Iraqi soldiers in self-defense and combat skills. Later, Spear taught his own MMA fitness and cardio-kickboxing classes, along with personal and group training sessions.
At PowerFit Bootcamp, he and his staff of fitness instructors encourage each student to persevere by leading motivational and high-energy classes. At 12 indoor and outdoor locations, students undergo full-body workouts designed to jettison fat and tone muscle. Trainers welcome students of all stripes, giving them a period of time to complete each move, rather than a number of repetitions, encouraging each student to do as much as he or she can without feeling uncomfortable, overexerting, or resorting to time travel. Along the way, coaches track progress and motivate students by noting benchmarks during physical fitness tests on the first Monday and Tuesday of each month.
Valley Vinyasa’s experienced and certified instructors guide aspiring contortionists through a relaxing gauntlet of flexibility-boosting poses that encourage synchronizing breath with movement. Each five-class card is valid for three months, and the 60–75 minute classes are available during the day throughout the entire week, making it all the easier to get one’s "om" on. The beginner-level class is appropriate for beginning body benders and moves at a comfortable pace while focusing on breath and alignment. More advanced classes offer a higher-paced flow and include basic arm balances, inversions, and binding postures that aspire to stretch participants like a game of Twister without the awkward eye poking. Modifications are always offered for students to individualize their sessions and cater poses to suit their needs while still providing a challenge.
Aspiring bar- and beam-dwellers find supportive instruction at Team Central Gymnastic Academy and Olympiad Gymnastic Training Centers, which mold everyday children into lithe lads and lasses. A wide selection of classes are available for sprouts of all ages. The Tumble Bee program allows wee ones from 18 months to 3 years old to bounce into fitness, and older flip fanatics may start in a beginning boys or girls class, or catapult straight into age-appropriate trampoline and tumbling.