Started 14 years ago, Knuckle Up Fitness has grown into one of the largest fitness and mixed martial arts clubs in the Southeast. And there’s a reason for this gym’s popularity—KnuckleUp welcomes everybody, from professional fighters to absolute beginners, and employs top-notch instructors who’ve competed in hundreds of bouts. They also have a mission to inspire members who may be bored by tradition fitness regimes to commit to exercising and achieve their fitness goals by offering alternative fitness options.
Each of KnuckleUp’s three locations have more than 1,000 square feet of grappling mats, a regulation-size boxing ring, and plenty of heavy, speed, and uppercut bags for pummeling. There are also free weight areas, equipped with Life Fitness and Hammer Strength Nautilus machines, where clients can strength-train at their own pace. Skilled instructors lead classes in boxing and kickboxing, Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Kali, and MMA, to help members get into and stay into fighting form, as well as learn to compete for titles and gain self-confidence. They also offer personal training and programs for kids, to start youth on a path toward self-discipline, physical fitness, and a role in The Karate Kid, Part III.
Glowing neon-red-and-blue wall accents complement the staff members' bright attitudes at American Body Works gyms. They strive to make connections with each member, remembering their names and favorite prime numbers, as they guide them through rows of cardio equipment—each with an attached LCD TV screen—and strength-training machines affixed with illustrations on their use. Guests can work out in the daytime hours or swipe their membership key for nighttime access, pushing through free-weight reps while personal trainers sleep inside their resistance-band cocoons. Amenities such as childcare, tanning, and group classes round out the gym services at several American Body Works locations.
Over the course of four years, Joanna Harvey helped 800 elementary school students to unleash their creativity on paper or canvas. At Bubbles and Brushes Art Studio, she and her team of teachers help people of all ages to do the same. Among the events they curate are adult art parties and Mommy and Me classes—at which parents and children work together on projects. Joanna provides all necessary supplies and pays the going rate for high-quality muses. A certified art teacher, Joanna also graduated with a degree in marketing and a minor in art history from Auburn University in 2002.
Though Bubbles and Brushes provides aprons, students are encouraged to wear old clothing they are comfortable gifting to the Guggenheim to display when they become famous.
Paint-n-Party’s staff members are so determined to immerse people in the fun, interactive world of art that they’ll bring the party directly to their patrons. Instructors regularly travel to the homes of fledgling Rembrandts, where they helm private painting parties complete with canvases, paints, and super soakers for Jackson Pollock impersonations. The staff also beckons patrons to Paint-n-Party’s brick-and-mortar establishment, where visitors can unleash their creativity during hands-on classes or artistic birthday parties.
Before she'd ever considered starting her own studio, Design N Unwind's owner found herself in an unfamiliar place: an art class. With a paintbrush in one hand and a glass of wine in the other, she realized that not only was it fun to explore her creative side, but that she wanted to share that experience with others. So, instead of renting a stretch of billboards and letting hitchhikers doodle on them, she established Design N Unwind. There, themed classes put students in charge of painting with simple, step-by-step instructions that can be followed by anyone, regardless of whether they've practiced art before or not. Throughout the week, the studio plays host to public and private events, such as live jazz Sundays and bachelorette parties, as well as classes for kids and teens.