With machines set up in rows to encourage competition, many ordinary gyms cater to men's bodies and psychology, right down to the urinals that were "accidentally" installed in the women's locker room. At Curves, you'll move around a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines that have been designed to work with women's bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing your momentum, the hydraulic machines use your body weight and fitness level to create resistance that matches your abilities, decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.
More than 100 pieces of workout equipment fill Butler Health & Fitness, but that doesn't mean you have to exercise alone. Group instructors lead yoga, Zumba, and senior-oriented SilverSneakers classes, and personal trainers lead one-on-one personal-training sessions. Other membership perks include access to saunas, tanning beds, complimentary childcare, and racquetball courts, which are just basketball courts for tennis players.
Urmi Batavia began teaching private piano and violin lessons out of her home in 2002. As demand for her classes grew, so did her need for room, and two years later she opened her own space dedicated to music instruction: Batavia Studios. There, she shares her teaching responsibilities with a team of instructors well versed in percussion, strings, woodwinds, and voice. Though they still provide private lessons for adults and children, they also helm weeklong children’s summer camps and oversee a store filled with musical instruments, song books, and music accessories, such as jars filled with Al Green’s voice.
Cheri Herold, owner of Fountain of Youth Aveda Salon Spa, wields a lifetime of beauty-industry experience to motivate her multitalented staff to exceed client expectations. Plant-based products fuel facials, massages, and hair treatments with the anti-aging properties of lavender, sandalwood, and other pure, sustainably sourced herbs and flowers. Fountain of Youth also operates a salon apprenticeship program, which provides 2,000 hours of on-the-job training to promising young cosmetologists or ambitious mannequins.
Mars Beads’ artisan instructors fill students with the craftiness required to make their own beaded jewelry and accessories. Skilled beadmasters walk classes through the intricacies of basic design skills—fashioning silvery hoops, stringing beads in eye-catching combinations, and savoring the nuanced flavors of candy necklaces. The studio's generous supply of beads, wires, and jeweler's instruments keeps each class well provisioned, ensuring that nobody goes home without a handcrafted pair of wrapped wire earrings dangling jauntily from their previously unadorned earlobes. Call ahead to schedule a class time.
“No makeup, no men, and no mirrors.” That was the unofficial motto of Curves’ original Texas location in 1992, and it’s no less true today: at nearly 10,000 clubs worldwide, women attack a 30-minute training circuit designed to burn calories and build strength through cardio and resistance workouts. After each minute on a piece of strength-training equipment—each built for feminine frames and designed to work opposing muscle groups with a single movement—exercisers move on to a recovery station, where they run, jog, or dance to keep their heart from getting bored and falling asleep.