“Stocky.” Justin Yule remembers when others used this adjective to describe him, an observation he considered to be a nice way of saying that he was overweight. It wasn’t until his dad invited him to work out at the gym that Justin discovered a passion for fitness and a desire to chisel away the stockiness he carried. Since achieving his goals, he has kept up his fit physique more than 22 years.
Justin also channeled his passion into a bachelor’s of science in physical education with a concentration in adult fitness. He used his extensive training to devise the curriculum for Look Great at the Lake Boot Camp, which he also founded. Justin calls his program the “fitness revolution,” mainly because it breaks exercisers out of the tedious routines they often fall into at the gym or when their friend Sisyphus asks them to push his rock and promises he’ll only be gone for five minutes. Every one of Justin’s workout moves come in three levels, each scaled to challenge exercisers of different strengths and experience levels. He also relies heavily on body-weight resistance exercises, and coaches provide guidance and support to clients in reaching their goals.
Justin considers the most valuable part of his program to be the camaraderie that he encourages among his participants in and out of the boot-camp classroom. He organizes charity events and parties so that groups can mingle and become a cohesive unit working toward a single goal. To further ease his clients’ path to fitness, he also offers nutrition programs, online exercises and tips, and education in the form of newsletters and fitness books that he’s penned himself.
After having her first baby, Kelly Altman had not only gained 54 pounds, she no longer had the time to train for marathons, her preferred form of exercise. She needed a post-baby workout that burned fat more efficiently than running, and she found it in a boot-camp regimen.
To share her newfound passion, she started Altman Fitness, a boot camp-centered fitness studio. She co-owns the studio with her husband, Jay, who has spent more than 15 years in the fitness industry. The duo specializes in well-rounded workouts that incorporate cardio, resistance-band work, and agility drills as effective as trying to live undetected among hummingbirds. To complement their ever-changing boot-camp routines and personal-training sessions, the Altmans also create custom nutrition programs for their clients, based on metabolic typing.
The lengthy menu at Tian Jin Chinese Restaurant includes dishes described as "authentic, flavorful, and unique" by Mpls. St.Paul Magazine that are each inspired by the owners' frequent trips to China. After each trip, region-specific foods are hand-picked to comprises dishes at Tian Jin Chinese Restaurant. Entree selections include whole halibut stewed in wild chili sauce, Mandarin beef with golden garlic, sizzling steak in black pepper sauce, giant walnut shrimp, and a chrysanthemum sole fillet in tomato sauce, a 2012 Taste of Chanhassen Grand Prize winner. Tian Jin Chinese Restaurant also has a sister restaurant in Cafe 99, which twincities.com describes as "the real deal" with dishes not seen elsewhere.
Boasting a Gold Standard certification from the American Sailing Association, Northern Breezes Sailing School welcomes tender-footed sailors aboard a fleet of US Coast Guard–inspected boats for safe, exciting lessons. With a host of courses for beginners, intermediates, and advanced dread pirates, Northern Breezes acclimates students of all levels with both the practical and nuanced aspects of the art of wind harnessing.
Helmed by ASA instructor-evaluator Captain Thom Burns, the school has awarded more than 5,000 ASA certifications since its inception. Northern Breezes also offers camps for adventurous whippersnappers as well as boat charters and onshore courses on how to read the wind rippling across the water.
When she’s not hosting radio shows, serving meals at local shelters, or blogging for Minneapolis St. Paul magazine's Foodie File, Le Cordon Bleu–trained chef Marianne Miller helms Saga Hill Cooking & Events. She describes her style as "audacious, yet feminine," adding, "my preparations are often bold, but with a light-handed approach that brings out the natural flavors in each dish." Alongside her staff, she leads culinary classes and parties that shy from incorporating fad kitchen gadgets or diets. Instead, their goal is to teach practical, science-based cooking techniques that can help students prepare simple meals, gourmet treats, or decadent brown-bag lunches.
Brad Pluth Golf has earned the PGA’s golf clap of approval by using high-tech equipment to give players an edge. The golf emporium’s custom club fittings rely on the Ping nflight system, a virtual modeling system that produces club-head specs precisely calibrated for each golfer’s swing. Other training approaches include the biomechanical swing analysis, which evaluates players’ techniques so they know how to correct their slices or compensate for the fact that they’re hitting with a cricket bat. In addition to private and semi-private adult lessons, youth leagues ready clubbers as young as 4 to play nine holes and participate in tournaments.