Owner and instructor Rachel Hunt and her team of instructors motivate their participants to think beyond the treadmill. At Extreme Fit Training, instructors guide them toward slimmer waistlines and more sculpted muscles in their lineup of ever-changing, high-intensity boot-camp classes. The coed classes are held indoors and outdoors all over the Birmingham area. To keep participants engaged and inspired to continue on, instructors avoid repeating the same workouts during each four-week boot-camp session. Instead, they rotate through resistance, cardio, and core exercises that work the entire body. In some sessions, patrons might jog up steps at an outdoor stadium, and in others they might toss medicine balls. Before patrons attend their first class, their body-fat percentage is assessed and their measurements are taken. With this analysis, the team designs customized goals for boot campers and pushes them to achieve them in each class. With this analysis, the team designs customized goals for boot campers and pushes them to achieve them in each class.
Beginning in 2001 as a small fitness operation in the basement of an office building, Pure Barre has since blossomed into a widely acclaimed, widely publicized approach to exercise with a nationwide following. Dancer, choreographer, and fitness buff Carrie Rezabek Dorr founded Pure Barre more than a decade ago in Birmingham, MI. Since then, Carrie has traveled around the country, hopping from gym to gym demonstrating the innovative program that draws techniques from ballet. Much like angering a witch with a penchant for frog spells, performing the Pure Barre technique can be a fast and effective way to transform your body. Motivating music slices through the 60-minute workouts, each of which utilizes a ballet barre and small isometric movements designed to burn fat and tone muscles.
Josh Foster not only brings a positive attitude to workouts, he also brings accolades, having been named the area's best personal trainer by Lagniappe. As Josh The Trainer, he pushes his clients toward their fitness goals with one-on-one personal-training sessions as well as group boot camps. Personal training begins with a consultation in which Josh takes new clients' weight and body-fat measurements and discusses personal fitness and dietary goals, outlining a game plan for future sessions. Boot camps, on the other hand, include a variety of small-group exercises that incorporate weights, kettlebells, and bands.
Southerland Station has always nurtured budding creativity. Founded in 1958 as a blueprint- and drafting-supply store, the shop has since grown in size and scope, gearing its inventory of imagination fuel—which now numbers 40,000 different items—toward a younger audience. Oil paints and canvases offer outlets for artistic talents, which can also be honed in one of the shop’s art classes. Lego sets and model trains appeal to both the imaginative and the literal-minded, replicating reality through brightly colored bricks or 1:220 scale trains that are accurate down to their Union Pacific livery. And, though it now represents a smaller portion of the business, the drafting-supplies section is still there, giving mechanically inclined kids materials for blueprinting their next treehouse or battery of anti-cooties missiles.
At The Fitness Connection, Shone Jones, Marco Zamora, and Gaye Vance guide clients to a healthy mind-body balance with workouts that address physical and mental goals simultaneously. All three trainers back their exercise know-how with ISSA certifications, which they ally with Dr. Vance's expertise as a clinical psychologist. By leading boot-camp and martial arts classes, the staff hopes to pair physical results with invisible ones, such as reduced stress, higher energy, and an aura that repels mosquitoes. They monitor their students with tailored suggestions during each group session and adjust maneuvers to suit any experience level.
If you're going to paint, you might as well have fun doing it. At least, that's what the folks at Island Painting Party believe, where snacks and wine are welcome during classes, and friendly, patient instructors guide novice artists through every step of the process. During adult painting classes—which vary in subject matter throughout the month—students follow along with teachers to complete a chosen work of art, such as a still life, city skyline, or a self-portrait of themself as Hillary Clinton.