Ames Racquet & Fitness Center buffs up bodies with a bevy of fitness machines, a cadre of experienced trainers, and a sprawling schedule of group classes. With today's Groupon gripped firmly, clients can sculpt bods at all three locations, taking advantage of the pool at the North location, several tennis and racquetball courts at the South location, and 24-hour accessibility at the West location. Group classes include the heart-pumping Cardio Dance, and the pool-bound Power Aqua class.
Deb Cazavilan loves teaching people how to cook so much that she even found a way to reflect it in her company's domain name, www.CanYouBakeaCherryPie.com. She discovered this passion for sharing her craft while working as a chef in her former restaurant, The Little Blue House, where she started hosting cooking lessons in the kitchen. That grew into Wooden Spoons Workshops and Cooking Classes, and today, Deb welcomes aspiring chefs to her studio kitchen for hands-on classes covering topics from artisan pizzas and holiday pies to paella and gluten-free cookies. She may even share a pointer for making her blue-ribbon-winning Ankeny mudslide pie. Hint: she uses chocolate, not mud and slides from a science department's old projector room.
Twelve shiny poles stretch 12 feet from the floor to the ceiling, though they’re not for structural support—at least not for the building. A skilled, all-female staff uses these poles to help students build internal structural support, particularly focusing strengthening their core muscles. Their classes run the gamut from flirtatious to no-nonsense physical rigor. They teach a dancing divas class that involves abundant cardio exercise and ChickBoxing that unites cardio work with traditional boxing, sans gloves or a trainer yelling incoherently about ducking, or ducks, or duck duck goose. Their website gives an idea of what aspects of fitness each class emphasizes, rating cardio, strength, and flexibility for each course on a 1–5 scale. The staff also makes six different types of memberships available, which run on 12-week schedules and feature various workouts from a list of more than 30 exercise regimens.
Farrell’s eXtreme Body Shaping helps clients of all ages, lifestyles, gender, and athletic ability achieve their fitness goals through results-orientated training. Long-time taekwondo competitor and teacher Lance Farrell developed the program to combat obesity and assist people develop healthy lifestyle habits by incorporating the fat-burning, strengthening and endurance building aspects of competitive martial arts training into a course for those less interested in traditional sparring or contact drills. During 45-minute sessions hosted six days a week, Farrell uses fitness as a catalyst for improving overall health, wellness, and athletic abilities. A 10-week program can result in visible changes sparked by discipline and nutritional commitment.
Backed by a master's degree in art education, 30 years of teaching experience, and an art-therapy certificate, instructor Connie Pruitt makes the painting process easy and fun for students regardless of their skill level. Each class she leads progresses through a project step by step: a dab of yellow here, a swirl of blue there, and before you know it, Starry Night appears. Over the course of two hours, Pruitt reveals numerous tips and techniques, helping students build up their confidence with brushes. The painting of the night changes regularly, including not only reproductions of famous works but also seasonal imagery such as hearts and palm trees.
R Studio’s six-week detox program fights fatigue and unhealthy habits by coupling vigorous workouts with customized nutrition plans and guided sessions of meditation. The program encourages participants to attend four to six fitness classes per week, including circuit-style workouts and multilevel yoga, all led by certified personal trainers. The studio’s signature Kraline classes combine yoga-esque stretching and breathing techniques with strength training to elongate muscles, build core strength, and increase mechanical-bull riding times. Half-hour sessions of meditation teach breathing exercises and strategies to mentally cleanse daily stressors. The program’s nutrition counselor and holistic health expert, Sheree Clark, designs meal plans for each week using recipes that remove preservatives, artificial additives, and holograms in favor of fresh, whole ingredients. Sheree also sends inspirational emails each Friday and hosts special events throughout the program that highlight nutritious recipes and healthy lifestyle tips.
Former college athletes Melissa Grandon and Ryan Arguello founded Max Life Fitness & Nutrition to shape up bodies with vigorous workouts and practical nutritional advice. Each boot camp fuses moves from strength training, yoga, kickboxing, kettlebells, and plyometrics in a union as healthy as a marriage between a ThighMaster and a rice cake. Pairing inner health with outer brawn, Max Life consults clients on sound dietary choices through supermarket tours that lead shoppers to the most succulent fruits and the carrots with the least sour expressions on their faces, as well as nutrition workshops, healthy-dish potlucks, and unlimited one-on-one counseling. Classes take place Monday through Friday at 5:15 a.m., 6:15 a.m., 7:15 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 11:45 a.m., 4:15 p.m., 5:15 p.m., and 6:15 p.m.