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.
Kalamazoo Speedway’s five-in-one shows exhilarate onlookers with five back-to-back races under a star-flecked dome of night sky. Rocket-powered roadsters whip around the 3/8–mile track in successive divisions, each with distinct vehicle specifications. Outlaw Super Late Models spin spectator heads with speeds of up to 115 mph, and Cyber Stocks provide less-experienced dragsters the chance to defend their place in the pavement pecking order without resorting to dangerous midrace rounds of paper-rock-scissors. The May 7 show is the first autograph night of the 2011 season, allowing fans to score John Hancocks from their favorite bumper-rubbers at 6 p.m. before the races start, as well as in the open pit area following the final checkered flag.
Happy Our Art marries artistic endeavor with fine wine and spirits in a friendly, vibrant atmosphere that provides expertly instructed classes for artists of any skill level. Grab a seat in front of one of Happy Our Art's provided canvases fully stocked with paint, brushes, aprons, and all the necessary accouterments. Unlike water-skiing or taking a driving exam, participants are encouraged to bring a favorite case of beer or find a use for the juice boxes left fermenting for months in the car. Over the course of the two- to three-hour session, participants will navigate the process of reproducing a preselected painting under the expert guidance of one of Happy Our Art's savvy pigment pilots. At the end of the session, paintings can be brought home to share with loved ones or use to conceal a painting of a wall safe.
Voted Best Athletic Club by Kalamazoo Gazette readers in 2010, West Hills Athletic Club helps guests achieve their health goals with engaging instructors and a varied approach to fitness. The complex offers 11 body-bettering group classes for sweat junkies of all skill levels. The Body Blast class employs a variety of resistance equipment to amp up strength with total-body conditioning, and the Cardio Boxing class marries intense kickboxing moves and dance choreography set to a high-octane soundtrack to kick start cardiovascular systems.
As a division of Bronson Healthcare Group, Bronson Athletic Club (BAC) strives to engage people in a healthier lifestyle. Top-of-the-line fitness and sports facilities—including 80 cardio stations with personal theater systems, an indoor track, and a full-size basketball and volleyball court—made BAC a first runner-up in the Best Health Club category of the Kalamazoo Gazette's 2011 Reader's Choice awards. Members participate in multilevel group fitness programs such as full-body boot-camp workouts, yoga, and Zumba classes. Studios feature maple floors that diminish shocks and a warm-water exercise pool for low-impact fitness or walleye diasporas.
Among other amenities, the deli nourishes visitors with a menu of healthy sandwiches and smoothies, and the spa relaxes muscles in whirlpools and steam rooms. The nutrition-savvy staff, which includes personal trainers and a registered dietitian, helps people drop pounds with individualized weight-loss programs.
Moonlight pools in the gym’s entryway as the nighttime visitor stops to fumble for her keycard. It’s 3 a.m. She worked the night shift again and wants to work off some tension. Her fingers grasp the small plastic card and with a quick swipe, she’s inside. Immediately enveloped by the warm glow of Snap Fitness, she joins the other late-night exercisers in pounding on the treadmill and lifting weights before the sun rises.
Accessible 24/7 via keycard, guests enter Snap Fitness to tone their physiques on myriad cardio and strength equipment day or night. During staff hours, they can seek out fitness assessments and one-on-one sessions with personal trainers, which ensure all moves are performed effectively, topped with a dose of motivation. The trainers devise personal fitness plans for each guest, taking into account their strength, cardio, and flexibility conditions to help them tackle weight loss, boost overall body strength, or attempt to finally unveil the mysteries of arcane cable-weight machines.