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.
As they enter the training circuit at Curves, female guests come face-to-face with the smiles of other women. And just as points on a circle share a common distance from the circle's center, workout participants share the experiences of those nearby by trading stations throughout the 30-minute training session. Thirty seconds is spent on a piece of strength-training equipment built for feminine frames and designed to work two opposing muscle groups with a single movement. Exercisers then move on to a recovery station, where they run, jog, or dance to maintain heart rates and keep platforms in place during momentary losses of gravity.
Last spring, Crusher Race tested runners on more than just their ability to run. The event?s three separate races?a 5K course, a 10K course, and a 10K+ course?contained a fair amount of running paths, but also a slew of natural and man-made obstacles that test runners? strength, endurance, and ability to bake mud pies that hold their shape. Crusher Race Winter combines the best obstacles of the spring courses while adding winter-themed touches to each test. Participants run, jump, crawl, and climb through at least 15 obstacles scattered across the 5K course. The end of the course features a toasty fire and warm beverage station. Athletes exit the event full of mud, sweat, and sweet swag.
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.
With machines set up in rows to encourage competition, many ordinary gyms cater to men's bodies and psychology, right down to the urinals that were "accidentally" installed in the women's locker room. At Curves, you'll move around a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines that have been designed to work with women's bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing your momentum, the hydraulic machines use your body weight and fitness level to create resistance that matches your abilities, decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.
Snap Fitness's around-the-clock gyms enable fitness-focused members to improve their physical well-being with a cornucopia of equipment. With 24-hour access, prospective perspirers don't have to let The Man or a random street man tell them when to help themselves to Snap's strength equipment or top-of-the-line cardio equipment, which features TVs with cable and other media diversions. Today's Groupon includes an initial consultation and equipment orientation with a personal trainer and full access to all club facilities, including cardio and strength-training equipment. Even if you exercise during conventional hours, Snap's friendly, unintimidating atmosphere will provide a refreshing change of pace from any meat-market gym or tough elementary schoolyard you've experienced. New members also enjoy nationwide access to all Snap Fitness locations and a waived enrollment and orientation fee (a $49 value).