As they enter the training circle 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. One minute 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.
Shauna's Crash Fitness is a 1,875-square-foot studio that functions as a dance floor during classes. Adding to the feel of the space, disco balls and colorful lights create a fun environment to help get students moving and burning hundreds of calories while dancing to upbeat Latin music. Instructors stand on a raised stage, going through the motions until students get the hang of easy-to-follow cardio dance moves.
A star offensive lineman for Stanford University, 315-pound Brian Cassidy?his team up by five touchdowns against Washington State?set up for a routine extra point. Suddenly, a player leaped across the line of scrimmage and landed on Brian?s knee, tearing both his ACL and MCL in one life-changing second. His hopes for an NFL career nearly dashed, Brian moved on to his rehabilitation, but instead he suffered one more debilitation: a herniated disc. Nearly paralyzed, Brian had a breakthrough: as a muscular-training specialist pointed out, his body wasn?t aligned properly, making his recovery nearly impossible. Brian started training with a new focus, emerging months later faster and stronger than ever before?and dedicated to a new multilevel training philosophy that he continues to develop at ADAPT Training.
There, trainers help clients recover from their injuries or simply enhance their personal fitness level by ensuring that four key structural joints?the shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles?work in balance with one another and maintain their proper alignment, thereby strengthening the durability and gas mileage of the entire body. Clients participate in everything from classes focused on physical therapy to strength-training regimens to boot camps, all personalized to meet the individual needs of each student.
While teaching jazz dance in the 1960s, Judi Sheppard Missett decided to step away from tradition by offering an experimental class that allowed her students to simply dance without the judgment of mirrors or the constraints of rigid technique. In these sessions, she began infusing popular dance moves with specific fitness workouts to forge a distinctive blend of cardio exercise, strength training, and dance instruction. Little did she know that this “just for fun” class was the prototype for what would become the national fitness sensation known as Jazzercise.
Today, Jazzercise takes its aerobic techniques from a variety of sources that include jazz dance, hip-hop, resistance training, Pilates, yoga, and kickboxing. The class formats, which vary according to different toning goals, are just as diverse as the program's move set. Two-time Dancing with the Stars champion Cheryl Burke is a big fan of the improvisational routines, although her advanced skills aren't needed to get the most out of classes. Instructors cultivate a noncompetitive atmosphere where all exercisers—with the exception of those marked as cursed by jazz-hand palm readers—are welcome regardless of age, build, or fitness background.
The Xtreme Edge gleams with row after row of cardio machines and a wall of free weights that would put Popeye's personal collection to shame. These are the tools that students use to help tone muscles and burn fat in high-intensity bootcamp classes. Beyond that, there's little you'd find in a typical gym. Flashing lights and pulsing music give the Zumba classes a palpable energy, as 75-foot screens display videos of Paul Bunyan?sized exercisers doing Zumba. Spin classes take place in a "theatre studio" that makes participants feel like they're biking through the great outdoors. You can also hone coordination in yoga sessions or exotic Bollywood dance classes. A team of experienced personal trainers is on hand at the gym to augment the enjoyability of these endeavors by motivating students and sharing pro tips for fitness and nutritional lifestyle changes.
Coach Mike Ford is no sissy. Since he was 12 years old, the dedicated athlete has been taking on extreme feats of strength and endurance that many people would never even dream of attempting—undertaking off-road triathlons, sweating through 35-hour nonstop workouts, and running 10-K races with a 50-pound log tied to his back. But when he attended his first CrossFit class, he was surprised and humbled to find that he was left exhausted by the short, intense, and challenging workout. Intrigued by this innovative program and determined to improve, Mike immediately started his own CrossFit gym in his garage.
Today, Beaverton CrossFit has expanded into a bustling CrossFit gym, where Mike, his wife Christine, and their staff of certified trainers conduct classes throughout the week. Drawing from an arsenal of dumbbells and pull-up bars, coaches lead CrossFit's signature high-intensity workouts within their well-equipped, no-frills facility. They vary routines each day to prevent muscles from becoming bored and passing notes to the bones, and motivate students throughout the routines with constant encouragement. The Beaverton CrossFit team participated in the 2012 and 2013 North West Regionals CrossFit games, where students and coaches alike placed among the top athletes, with Mike Ford taking 13th in the Masters Division in 2012 and in 2013, and coach Brian Miller taking 1st in the Northwest Regional CrossFit Games in 2013.