Chris Ransier, Gary Blackburn, and Aaron Egbert are unified by their belief that the latest fitness trends fall flat. To offer an alternative to the ubiquitous ineffective fad workouts, they combined their extensive experience and knowledge to found Forward Fitness, welcoming clients to meet their health and weight-loss goals through functional fitness. The trio's high-intensity Trx power-circuit classes draw on cardio and resistance training to condition bodies with functional-training equipment including Trx suspension bands, free weights, and exercise balls.
Each of the trainers' brains brims with health and fitness knowledge. Chris, who served in the Marines for eight years, boasts multiple certifications from the National Academy of Sports Medicine—which is where Aaron received his personal-training certification to build on his kinesiology degree. Gary Blackburn is a certified chiropractic sports physician and a founding member of the ICA Council on Fitness and Sports Health Science. If their academic training hasn't equipped them to motivate patrons of all fitness levels, their experience has. Among the three of them, they've led a combined total of more than 13,000 personal- training sessions and have said "Great job!" 65,869 times.
When guests enter Empower Health and Diesel Fitness, they're likely to notice the large mural at the back of the fitness studio. Orange and yellow sunbeams provide the backdrop for a silhouetted figure, whose arms reach out in a pose of victory. The person in that mural could be anyone, which is fitting, since the studio welcomes all sorts of clients: professional athletes, amateur body builders, and first-time exercisers. Full body assessments help place newcomers into the correct group class or personal-training program. From there, they learn the ins and outs of dynamic hybrid training—a combination of power lifting, plyometrics, and other exercises.
At the business' heart and perfectly toned pectorals are co-owners and certified trainers Bobby Andrade and DeSean Harrell. Besides serving as a massage therapist, Andrade has trained thoroughly in mixed martial arts and worked with both amateur and professional MMA athletes. Harrell, who played football at Washington State University, draws on his vast knowledge of kinesiology when working with participants in football, track, and other sports.
Founded 20 years ago by Dr. David Perlow, Any Lab Test Now boasts more than 100 centers nationwide where technicians administer thousands of standard lab tests priced to increase access and affordability for uninsured or low-income patients. Each location doubles as a draw center where technicians acquire the specimens necessary for popular services—including glucose readings, HIV screenings, and urinalysis—before sending them to an offsite laboratory for testing.
Any Lab Test Now respects the need for discretion, so each HIPAA-compliant test can be taken anonymously in certain instances. Results are often available within 24–48 hours, and can be mailed, faxed, picked up, or transmitted telepathically for ultimate confidentiality. Though the team doesn’t divulge any medical advice, results can also be passed on to primary-care physicians for further analysis.
Clear your mind. Focus. For the next 60 minutes, nothing else matters. That's the state of mind yoga instructor Jessie Blayden achieves before each of her classes, and she helps her students instill a similar sense of clarity. Jessie practices ashtanga yoga, starting her students off with basic poses and then guiding them through more advanced routines. The instructor employs her therapeutic expertise as well. She can make recommendations for addressing back pain, minor injuries, or other issues related to the body.
Peering at freshly written lines on the page. Working to catch a glimpse of a bird on the wing. Myriad sets of eyes see their tasks more clearly because of Dr. Joseph King, who has performed more than 75,000 refractive surgeries in his 15-year career. He and the other LASIK specialists and doctors at King LASIK sharpen patients' vision with conventional and custom procedures, as well as PRK surgeries. Dr. King himself underwent LASIK eye surgery in 2000 to accommodate his active lifestyle. "Just 15 minutes after the procedure, I could read the computer screen at the office,” he recalls. “I experienced several hours of watery, sensitive eyes, but after sleeping for a few hours, I awakened and I could read the digital clock on the radio across the room."
The continually educated mouth specialists of Sunshine Dental keep smiles healthy with a tag team of preventative dentistry and modern technology. During the appointment, a licensed dentist scours the mouth for signs of decay, cavities, and lost gummy bears (a $97 value) with an attention to detail normally only exhibited by pickleball referees. X-rays, including four bitewings, an extraoral, and a panoramic (a $234 total value), allow the certified tooth whisperer to inspect cuisine crushers in greater depth in a set of black-and-white snapshots. Take-home whitening treatments evict the yellow from teeth with stain-fighting bleach and a sheriff-delivered court order. Mouths that return dutifully to the dental office every six months for a checkup receive additional treatments for free.