Though housed in a historic building downtown, Bikram Yoga Athens is a state-of the-art yoga studio, complete with a purified-air heating system and antimicrobial carpet. Classes, led by experienced Bikram instructors, take place in a room heated to 105 degrees, designed to detoxify systems and make muscles more pliable than Gumby losing a fight with a taffy puller. The studio rents or sells yoga mats and towels before class and houses changing rooms equipped with showers and bathrooms so that guests can cool down.
The athletic instructors at Athens Vertical Pole Dance Academy draw from backgrounds in aerial dance as they dispel common notions about pole dance through classes, workshops, and performances. They teach open-ended sensual and circus techniques to males and females inside a studio, where two 9-foot and two 14-foot spinning poles let students hone their strength, balance, and flexibility. Instructors reserve an impressive 24-foot static pole for special performances. Above the cushioned floor, stereo and theatrical lighting systems and a ballet bar let visitors warm up for dance performances or avant-garde staged readings of Charles Dickens' stories.
All day, every day, the walls of Fitness @ Five reverberate with the sound of vigorous exercise. The hubbub originates from more than 50 pieces of Life Fitness and Hammer Strength equipment, from treadmills and elliptical machines that display workout stats as they boost cardiovascular endurance to plate-loaded weightlifting machines that resist force as they strengthen muscles. Available to members and visitors, SunVision Elite tanning beds and a collection of lotions enhance or lock in golden hues.
From spacious locker rooms to family-friendly facilities, BodyPlex gyms are built to take the stress out of working out. Fitness machines ranging from cardio equipment to free-motion systems beckon those familiar with the gym scene to jump right into a regime. Newcomers need not stress about a learning curve, as personal instructors power walk the grounds, ready to give one-on-one instruction with an appointment. To ease the workout worries of parents, enthusiastic staff members man the gym's onsite Kidsplex, a youth-focused playroom stocked with crafts, toys, and two different video-game systems. Additionally, those who achieve their best when with like-minded people can break a sweat and their personal fist-bump record in one of the gym's daily fitness classes.
Trained by his father, professional boxing coach Doc Keppner, Keith Keppner built his skills in the ring until a 2010 injury retired him from the sport. Rather than hang up his gloves permanently, however, Keith followed in his father’s footsteps and turned to full-time coaching. Today, the licensed USA Boxing coach teaches men and women of all skill sets at Keppner Boxing, which houses a 22-foot professional ring, seven heavy bags, and full sets of dumbbells and kettlebells.
He uses this equipment to help improve his pupils' punching and footwork during one-on-one training, while also toning bodies and instilling fundamentals during cardio-boxing and adult boxing classes. For these group workouts, Keith incorporates exercises such as pad work and shadowboxing against the actor who played Peter Pan’s shadow in the original Broadway musical.
Exercisers run, trot, lift, and exert all around The Omni Club of Athens, which holds over 150 pieces of cardiovascular equipment, most equipped with personal televisions. In a large and spacious group-exercise room, over 100 classes occur, such as yoga, spinning, or Zumba. A large rock-climbing structure in the shape of a bulldog welcomes ascent, while locker rooms wait complete with a sauna, lounge, pool tables, and massage chairs.