Designed by founder and renaissance woman Lynne Brick and her accomplished husband, Victor, Brick Bodies and Lynne Brick's health clubs share a fitness cornucopia of group classes, personal-training sessions, and women’s health tips. They stock their workout facilities with premium cardio and strength-training equipment, as well as offer amenities that may include pools, childcare services, and volcano-free saunas. Each of the seven locations sports its own personality, including the Owings Mills and Belvedere facilities, which operate as all-female communities.
The Brick's also employ a team of certified instructors, who lead more than 30 types of group fitness classes, allowing students of all skill levels access to sessions that range from low-impact workouts, such as BodyVive, to more intense courses, such as the kickboxing-inspired BodyCombat classes.
Bearing the titles of Master of Photography and Photographic Craftsman from Professional Photographers of America, David and Ally McKay embody the keen vision and aesthetic prowess that separated good photographers from great ones. They share these skills during classes at McKay Photography Academy, where they train eyes, fingers, and imaginations to work in tandem as a snapshooting dream machine. Their classes help aspiring photographers progress from neophytes to seasoned pros; the Beginning Digital Photography course teaches students to harness the intricacies of their instruments, and the Pro Academy offers inside tips on how to successfully snap wedding portraits, pose recent grads, or tease out candid emotions. When not busy instructing the next generation of shutterbugs, David and Ally also devise photo safaris, which send small teams of photographers to capture shots of famed landmarks including San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge; the Lincoln Memorial of Washington, DC; or Yosemite's 60-foot statue of Yogi Bear.
Koffee Therapy features "shade-grown" coffees. Shrouded by a lush tree canopy, these bird-friendly blends boost vegetation, are completely organic, and were never smothered in Gak to accelerate ripening. Try a cup of drip Koffee ($1.50–$1.75) or sample an espresso-based drink from coffee-shop classics such as red eyes (from $2.25), mochas (from $2.75), and cappuccinos (from $2.50). Cold beverages include homemade ice tea ($1.60), ginger beer ($2), and refreshing Perrier ($1.50). Koffee Therapy also serves fruit smoothies ($4.50) and iced coffee drinks.
Chef Apple, who has spent years preparing dishes for various celebrities and diplomats, doles out sage cooking advice in her kitchen classroom, teaching apprentices how to roll seafood during two-hour sushi-making classes on Saturdays and Sundays. After doling out bamboo sushi mats, mounds of rice, compliments on shiny hair, and an assortment of fillings such as avocado, crab, and tuna, Chef Apple guides students through the sushi-making process. Novices slice fish and vegetables, gingerly spread rice across delicate seaweed sheets, and convert the combined ingredients into a convenient tubular form. At the end of the class, students depart with bellies full of food, a full suite of sushi-making equipment, and a bottle of sake to enliven culinary gatherings or tea parties.
It's hard to be bored at the MAC. With three locations and a host of unique fitness programs, the fitness center has something for even the most indecisive of exercisers. Want to swim in the saltwater lap pools? Play squash on one of the courts? Take part in a MAC training camp? Or start a specialty regimen in the Kinesis, TRX, or Pilates Reformer studio? Committed to a comprehensive wellness program, staffers offer complimentary consultations for new members, as well as nutritional programs. The trainers at MAC Wellness help guests reach their fitness goals while having fun. Athletes looking to restore pre-injury prowess can also dip into one of the therapy pools or whirlpools with a personal trainer.
For Bikram Yoga Baltimore's Emily and Eddie Garner, yoga isn't just exercise. It's a dance that purifies the body and silent song that stirs the soul. Drawing upon intensive study with Bikram yoga's founder and Emily's years of ballet training, the couple fills 90-minute classes with 26 graceful poses that stretch and strengthen the entire body. Heated rooms in Cockeysville and Harbor East loosen students' muscles, making them as pliable as a gymnast made entirely of pipe cleaners. Calibrated for both beginners and advanced students, the workout boosts circulation, which can help ease chronic pain and oust pent-up toxins. In addition to hosting classes, each studio rents mats and sells energy boosters such as vitamin-fortified water and Emergen-C supplements.