Ben Chen has experienced his share of success in his nearly 30-year photography career?his work has been published in such publications as Cosmopolitan, The Los Angeles Times, and ESPN Magazine, and he has lent his expertise to some of the nation's largest corporations, including Procter & Gamble and The American Red Cross. In 2006, the photographer began to notice that more and more novices were purchasing complex DSLR cameras, and that gave him an idea. Chen decided to share his wealth of knowledge with aspiring photographers by creating the 4-Hour Newbie Photography Boot Camp, which teaches students how to shoot manually with their DSLRs and create artistic, professional-quality photos. Since then, more than 5,000 students in 20 cities throughout the country have benefited from these classes. In 2013, he acquiesced to student demand and created Part II of the class, which goes beyond photography basics by diving into post-production techniques. Nowadays, students can take both Part I and Part II in the same day, helping them go from student to master in less time than most action-movie montages.
Ninety-minute yoga classes conducted in a 105-degree room, twice a day, for nine weeks. This is what each of Bikram Yoga Bellevue's instructors conquered to obtain their 500-hour Bikram yoga teaching certifications. They now share their passion for Bikram Choudhury's 26-posture practice with their community, leading students of all ages and abilities down a path of mental and physical wellness. Throughout 90-minute classes, they inspire students with Bikram's carefully curated script and pepper the sessions with personal touches and individual attention. The studio's perspiration-inducing 105-degree heat and 45% humidity is intended to enhance the practice, helping even the stiffest muscles melt deeply into stretches as they move through the series of standing and seated poses. The balmy air also coaxes out sweat to expel harmful toxins from the body and increase one's appreciation for hugging snowmen.
At first sight, David Barton Gym might appear to be an art gallery or swank pad complete with pounded steel plating, leather-wrapped door handles, and weekly DJ sets, but a second glance reveals a 30,000-square-foot fitness haven overlooking the Chicago River. The designer gym is loaded with free weights, cardio machines, a group cycling studio, steam rooms, a Russian bath, and a studio for yoga class. Meet up with an experienced hardbody personal trainer and melt fat like a George Foreman grill with a barrage of pushups, sit-ups, or 20 minutes on the TV-topped elliptical machine. Renew your will from the on-site therapist from Delos Wellness and let them unkink the knots that prevent you from having the strength needed to throw a dictionary through a thicker dictionary.
The Little Gym fosters the healthy growth of children by allowing them to progress at their own pace in a nonthreatening, nurturing environment. As wee ones from 4 months to 12 years-old tackle challenges, overcome fears, and learn to confidently express their opinions about Platonic theory, The Little Gym's original music graces their ears and supports their lessons. The month includes four classes that let tots develop through weekly, age-specific curriculum, with programs including pre-school/kindergarten gymnastics, dance, sports-skills development, and karate.
Extreme Fitness's instructors leverage their backgrounds in boxing, bodybuilding, and competitive sports to lead students during personal training and group workout classes. Personal-training sessions commence with a preworkout assessment of current health conditions, such as body composition, and stress tests form a launching pad from which clients rocket toward goals and any star-shaped balloons floating in the rafters. Trainers then customize a system of weight-machine-based strength exercises that conspire with cardio routines to sneak up on calories and expel them from their post. To stabilize cores, students take on punching targets and play medicine-ball catch while perched on bosu balls. Feel free to share the fitness journey with like-minded peers by stepping in for 30- and 45-minute group classes. Teachers pack cardio-stimulating spurts of Zumba dance fitness and kickboxing into lunch break-long time slots. Classical yoga postures work away stress as limbs stretch and perform slumbering lion impressions, whereas bouts of interval-based annihilation training ignites fat stores with free-weight-enhanced plyometric hopping and relay running.