UNCC grad Josh Elmore is one of the most in-demand trainers in town, and with good reason. In addition to his many areas of expertise (he's certified in Crossfit, but also puts on seminars about nutrition, Olympic weight lifting, and more) he's got a put-you-at- ease smile and infinite patience. He's equally adept at motivating top-level athletes (his client roster boasts a semipro tennis player, among others), moms looking to take off baby weight and build up core strength, and older folks looking to regain mobility. Right now, you can find him at the Matthews location of Fitness Together, a one-on-one personal-training facility with locations all over the city, but he plans to open his own training studio in the University area this summer. Fitness Together, 428 Sam Newell Rd., Ste. 102, 704-847-3859
There are two types of people who do yoga -- people who do it for the physical benefits and people who do it because they are able to achieve a Zen-like relaxation that they simply cannot live without. Sarah Faircloth embraces both at her Dilworth yoga studio, but she aims to help every yogi to find their inner alignment -- both with their muscles and core and within their own mental space. She is a master of anusara yoga, and her expertise is so coveted that she's often on the road visiting other yoga studios to impart her knowledge.
Sangati Healing Arts, 2205 Park Rd., 704-334-3221
Sure, we love the Y for its packed class schedule and child care, but in this recession economy you just can't beat $10 a month and no contract commitment. Not only is the price just right, but Planet Fitness offers up a ton of machines (read: minimal, if any, waiting), spacious, clean locker rooms, massage chairs, complimentary training sessions, and free pizza and bagels once a month. Its “No Judgment” motto isn't just for show -- the gym welcomes people at all stages of their fitness goals. 2401 Whitehall Park Dr., 704-583-0555; 2200 Coronation Blvd., 704-849-4050
Here's a bit of evidence that Crossfit Charlotte is one of the toughest gyms in town: trainers from other gyms come here to work up a sweat. Owner Andy Hendel is a former NFL player who shows no mercy when it comes to demanding the best out of his athletes. The Crossfit program (high-intensity circuit training that addresses areas of strength and endurance) will work your body like no regular treadmill and weight-machines workout can. 9433 Whitehorn Dr., 703-519-6693
Trainer Kennett Washington at Healing Strength Boot Camp for Women at Velocity Sports Performance runs ongoing sessions of four-week outdoor boot camps designed to push you beyond your limits before the sun comes up. You'll be flipping monster-truck tires, sprinting up hills, and getting down in the dirt for push-ups. All levels of fitness ability are welcomed, and the workouts are adjusted to build your strength at a comfortable level. Best of all, it's less than $10 per session. 10345 Nations Ford Rd., 704-588-1770