For more than three decades, locally owned Spectrum Athletic Clubs have aimed to create a resort-like experience for patrons with upscale perks and personalized care. After workouts, gym-goers can avail themselves of unlimited towel service and change in comfortable locker rooms. Other amenities include saunas, steam rooms, healthy cafes, specialized workout areas, and complimentary Internet access.
In addition, racquetball courts let athletes improve their game independently, and patrons can sweat solo on cardiovascular equipment with individual viewing screens. Group classes, more than 1,200 of which are held daily, include Zumba, Pilates, Body Combat, and CXWorx sessions and enable trainees to draw motivation from each other or from each exercise studio's complimentary tank of moxie. The Spectrum Kids Club gives kids a place to play while adults work out and hosts such events as pool parties and pizza parties throughout the year.
Trainer and fitness guru Justin Bradshaw modeled SGT. H20's CombatSwim after the rigorous training he received as an Army diver. His challenging exercises encourage full-body fitness, using workouts that build stamina, boost metabolism, improve swimming skills, and promote weight loss. Incorporating the best of land-based cross-training systems, CombatSwim includes plenty of high-intensity interval training and pulse-hiking calisthenics. In the pool, water adds extra resistance that amplifies the effects of the exercises, which include swimming sprints, endurance swimming, and treading water with weights. Designed to sharpen the mind as well as the body, CombatSwim leaves exercisers with the same confidence and conditioning as some of the world's elite military warriors.
In pools heated to a comfortable 90 degrees, Aqua-Tots Swim Schools' experienced instructors pass their aquatic knowledge onto younger generations. Before taking to the waters, the team sorts prospective swimmers between the ages of 6 months to 12 years into one of eight swim levels along with similarly skilled and aged peers. Instructors work alongside the parents of infants and toddlers to practice water safety skills and other swimming fundamentals such as blowing bubbles and singing whale songs. More advanced swimmers, meanwhile, master different strokes and techniques, and instructors incorporate more advanced concepts as their students progress through the levels. Parents can rest assured that their children are in good hands—each of Aqua-Tot's instructors have completed 32 hours in the company's Lessons for Life training program, and a rigorous Water Safety Instructor exam. In addition to swimming lessons, Aqua-Tots offers and hosts a number of other programs including Adaptive Aquatics programs, water therapy sessions designed specifically for children with special needs. They also donate a portion of their proceeds to World Vision, a non-profit organization that helps children and families worldwide gain access to such necessities as clean water, food, medical supplies, and education.
On a mission to help children grow socially and emotionally while physically developing through fun exercise, Kidsport starts young ones on an early path toward healthy, active lifestyles. Choose from any one of the center's summer programs, including swimming ($80 for single session; $75 each for two or three sessions; $70 each for four or more sessions), girls’ gymnastics (once a week, $61; twice a week, $112), or Isshinryu karate (up to twice a week, $50), teaching real-world self-defense against bizarro-world evil twins. Kidsport also offers adult classes in Zumba fitness ($5/class), dance ($115/camp), yoga, and karate; check the online calendar for an idea of every program's class times.
At River Place Country Club, a championship golf course designed by Jay Morrish and Tom Kite, winner of the 1992 U.S. Open, invites golfers to launch balls over sand bunkers and twisting creeks that wend their way through the landscape’s hilly contours. The course’s superintendent draws on experience at Baton Rouge Country Club and Colonial Country Club, as well as a degree in Plant and Soil Systems, as he ensures that the greens and rolling Bermuda grass fairways are more carefully manicured than a prize-winning pet wooly mammoth. The course’s PGA professional instructors are on hand to improve individual games, and a driving range lets players practice at 15 hitting stations.
Adjacent to the course, eight lighted tennis courts abut a 40,000-square-foot clubhouse with an outdoor pool, fully equipped fitness center, and locker rooms whose dry saunas and whirlpools melt tension quicker than butter melts on the calves of a sprinter. The Grille invites clubgoers to sup on steak or seafood, and a pair of outdoor decks let guests drink in scenic views.
Course at a Glance: