From the outside, the fitness facility may look like a barn, but the blue turf floor and mountains of medicine balls inside tell a different story. In the spacious gym, head trainer Neil Barnhill presides over patrons playing games of catch with those medicine balls, lifting barbells, or pulling against resistance on the rowing machine. He leads small classes, providing constant positive reinforcement and motivation, unlike a pet parrot repeating all the things it heard at your roast. The ever-changing series of functional, everyday movements and exercises keep the classes interesting. Goals are customized to each member after an overall fitness assessment that measures BMI, body-fat composition, and weight before training begins. Classes move outside when the weather's nice so fitness enthusiasts can run laps, perform pull-ups, and drag tractor tires over the grass under the open sky.
When discussing his teaching philosophy with reporters from Central Florida Lifestyle, the owner of Salsa Heat quipped, "if you can walk, you can dance." He himself didn't know much about dancing when he took his first salsa class in the early 90's, but he caught on after just a few sessions, falling in love with the dance's energetic spins and rhythmic movements.
Today, a team of professional dance instructors teach salsa spins and footwork to students of all experience levels. Zumba and bachata classes provide tutoring in other Latin dance styles, and salsa classes for kids teach youngsters dance fundamentals that hone coordination and motor skills. Throughout the year, the staff hosts special events on their spacious dance floors, such as salsa socials, salsa Christmas parties, and salsa-infused celebrations of Robert Heinlein's birthday.
Power Fitness is a full-service fitness center dedicated to helping its clients get into the best shape of their lives. At the spacious studio, multiples of every cardio machine help cut down on wait times and group classes and strength training equipment give clients all the calorie-burning tools they need. The classes range from the dance-based Zumba and cardio kickboxing to boot camps that add an extra degree of difficulty. But the facility doesn't just cater to adults—programs such as Power Kids help young ones get in better shape, as do martial arts programs available for all ages.
After spending nearly 15 years experimenting with fad diets and ineffective workouts, James and Stephanie Cuilty found a program to which they could commit. The nationally certified personal trainers now lead the 45-minute classes at Warrior Fit Club, encouraging guests of all ages and builds to conquer a diverse palette of exercises. Five days a week, they gather campers indoors for an ever-changing, customized medley of cardio, resistance, and abdominal-tightening maneuvers. They motivate groups with supportive mantras and dispense basic nutrition tips, such as “Don’t eat that Necronomicon,” to instill healthy habits for life.
At The Cupcake Factory, bakers banish boxed and prepackaged ingredients from the premises to ensure that every cupcake is made fresh each day from scratch. Chomp into a tongue-tantalizing creation in any of 18 available flavors ($2.50 each). Delicately moist strawberry cakes repine under waves of pink butter-cream frosting, and the dapper chocolate cupcake dons a cap laced with fudgey shavings. Adventurous taste buds can travel abroad with a chai cupcake, which infuses vanilla cake with hints of cinnamon and exotic chai frosting, or steep in British tradition by devouring the vanilla butter-cream frosting on the english toffee cupcake and then pretending to be shocked by its immodest state of dress.
With around 50 classes available each week, Old Town Yoga offers pliancy-promoting programs for all ages and flexibility brackets. A 30-day membership lets fledgling fitness seekers roam and graze openly over the class selection. Rouse debilitated backbones with a Sunrise Yoga course that emphasizes vertebral integrity and spinal alignment, or jump-start bodily batteries with an Evening Energy course that keeps muscle chassis running smoothly. Yoga in Your 50s & Beyond preserves youthful suppleness in more seasoned stretchers. Espoused students are welcome to bring their own yoga mats, and mat-less singles can embark on a blind date with a studio-supplied cushion companion free of charge.