In Robby Blanchard's biography photo on his website, he prepares to lift a heavily stacked barbell. The determination is clear on his face—the same determination that carried him through a bachelors of science in exercise, an MBA in Business Management, three CrossFit-training certifications in varying styles, not including the fact he's a USA Weightlifting-Certified Sports Performance Coach. Today he shares his determination and all his fitness knowledge with at his training camp, CrossFit Reach.
During workouts, Robby and two other resident coaches push students through an array of exercises that change every session to boost the body's ability to perform in the 10 domains of fitness, which include power, speed, flexibility, and agility. To do so, students might perform exercises requiring them to run, jump, weightlift, and eventually perform all of those elements at once, immediately qualifying them for a life in the circus.
Babe’s Bootcamp's founder, Kristine Barry, use her skills as a certified yoga instructor, personal trainer, and group-exercise instructor to whip her students into tip-top shape during one-hour total-body workouts. Medford High School's indoor gym, weight room, and outdoor field serve as participants' stomping grounds on weeknights. As Kristine makes use of a variety of exercise techniques, students should bring a water bottle, towel or yoga mat, and pocket-sized personal cheerleader to each class.
At Reading Athletic Club, firm yet friendly trainers and modern equipment from brands such as Nautilus whip exercisers into shape. Personal trainers stage workouts in the cardio deck and weight area, packed with weight machines, treadmills, elliptical machines, and other mechanisms that foster fitness. Ladies break a sweat in the women's only section while youngsters play with babysitters. During fitness classes, instructors help boost their students’ endurance via high-energy boot camps that tighten all areas of the body or the flowing poses of yoga. After workouts, students can unwind under the soothing strokes of the center's massage therapist.
During afternoons at Together in Motion, children, accompanied by their parents, safely crawl through tunnels, practice somersaults, or explore a Parthenon made completely out of padded building blocks atop a cushioned floor. Evenings, however, turn the tables, allowing grownups to take over the space to fling dodgeballs at opponents or rehearse martial arts strikes in time for their kids' Bring Your Ninja to School Day. Weekend nights find thumping dance soundtracks traveling through the rooms, as black-light parties for teens and tweens celebrate birthdays and raise funds for nonprofits.
Though they admit disparate age groups, these classes and events provide a venue for guests to connect through movement. Together in Motion's facility rents its rooms to independent organizations—Social Boston Sports and Arlington Martial Arts among them—that encourage exercise and camaraderie. From the Latin-inspired beats of adult-centric Zumba classes to the musical motor-skill activities of Movin' Groovin' Tots, all of the programs foster both communal support and a healthy sense of self-confidence.
Fit Revolution’s owner Michelle O’Connor wants people to reach their fitness goals by working smarter, not harder. She founded the training facility—which is located within the Rams Athletic Complex—to give her clients access to state-of-the-art equipment and highly trained instructors. Within the private cycling studio and on an indoor-turf boot-camp area, O’Connor and her team utilize techniques such as muscle confusion, interval training, and intense bursts of cardio to get noticeable results in less time.
The classes are taught by seasoned coaches who hold certifications in areas including metabolic and personal training, spinning, and kickboxing. They accelerate the calorie-burning process on equipment ranging from Spinner NXT bikes to kettlebells and medicine balls, which get their heft from the crumpled-up prescriptions within.
Caryn Connarton, owner of Beyond Fitness Pilates Studio, has earned certifications in nearly every fitness fad of the last decade. Though spinning strengthened her quads and aerobics bolstered her endurance, only Pilates delivered full-body results. In her opinion, it's the best form of exercise for people who want to increase their flexibility, improve their posture, and build longer, leaner muscles. At her studio, Connarton and fellow instructors lead group classes that often incorporate several props—BOSU balls build core strength, foam rollers stretch muscles, and rubber chickens tone participants' sense of humor. Instructors also offer private and semiprivate equipment sessions and specialized workouts for specific populations.