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 14 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.
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.
The SugarBabies—a nonprofit girls' baton-twirling team—teaches youngsters the finer points of showmanship during classes that span three levels of expertise. Techniques such as the helicopter and the double-leg roll push the boundaries of physics and require intense coordination, precise execution, and an abiding hatred of Isaac Newton. The artistic nature of this sport gives girls a chance to express themselves creatively, and sharing the experience with other athletes fosters friendships. Once newly minted spinners are up to speed, they can leap into the limelight at any of the SugarBabies events, including appearances at parades, fairs, and theme parks.
The modern athlete is a walking sculpture—made of chiseled brawn that can leap through the air, dart across a field, and pull off wearing a tank top that says, “The Muscles Not Necessarily from Brussels.” Given this grandeur, it's understandable that some athletes might overlook the means to the end. At Fitzmaurice Performance, co-founders Brian and Shawn Fitzmaurice and their highly experienced staff strive to offer athletes a well rounded path to overall wellness.
While the gym's 6,000-square-foot space lends it a "big box" feel, the family-owned Fitzmaurice Performance prides itself on the tight-knit feelings it fosters among its clientele. Brian and Shawn can now boast 20 years in the personal-training business and 13 years of ownership of Fitzmaurice Performance, offering one-on-one services as well as group classes. They take a four-pronged approach, focusing on performance training, nutrition counseling, motivation and recovery. These facets comprise their 360 Fitness program.
Those looking to get fit outside of the sports realm benefit from their expertise as well with personal-training and small group personal training classes. The instructors lead sessions including hallmark 360 fitness classes, which incorporate exercise equipment such as suspension bands and Power Plate machines. For good measure, Fitzmaurice Performance also has its clients channel their inner Rocky Balboa as they run up and down the gym's stairs.
The Studio's team of dedicated Pilates and yoga instructors promote health and wellness by guiding students through 25 dynamic exercise classes per week. The studio’s robust schedule boasts lessons in four varieties, accommodating a range of skill levels from experienced to novice. In introductory mat classes, budding fitness buffs learn the 10 basic Pilates principles designed to build a strong foundation for future workouts. All of the beginner-friendly classes emphasize proper alignment and mindful breathing techniques during a series of standing postures and hip and shoulder openers, leaving challenging inversions, arm balances, and sun salutations to the sticky mat ninjas populating intermediate sweat sessions. Students can try equipment-based Pilates classes and utilize a system of ropes and pulleys to add more resistance to core-strengthening moves and help increase limbs' range of motion. They can also head to morning Pilates mat classes for an early-light fitness buzz, where they work toward building long, lean muscles capable of reciprocating bear hugs from an actual bear.