As a child, Shane Butler would pour through bodybuilding magazines, marveling at the bulging muscles and toned physiques of the men and women within their pages. His interest in fitness and muscle building would eventually bring him to competitions, where he earned the Oklahoma title in natural bodybuilding. Today, Shane Butler and his wife Jamie—a fellow aficionado of figure competitions—oversee their own private studio, drawing from their lifetime of training and competition experience to guide clients towards their fitness goals.
The Muscle-Licious gym abounds with 2,4000 square feet of traditional cardio and strength-training machines as well as functional equipment, such as sandbags, tires, and kettlebells. Here, instructors guide students of all fitness levels through boot-camp workouts, personal-training sessions, and posing classes. They also offer custom nutrition counseling, helping students craft proper meal plans in lieu of following a crash diet or burying their refrigerator in the backyard. The couple packs their onsite nutrition store with shelves of natural and effective nutritional supplements.
Beginners and athletes of all levels benefit from TRU YOU Fitness’s training programs, which aim to boost fitness by incorporating exercise along with tips on nutrition and lifestyle choices. With a clientele that includes high-school athletes and NBA stars, the staff runs private, semiprivate, and group circuit-training programs along with boxing and Zumba to keep bodies guessing and save them from the monotony of treadmills.
One could say that 1996 was one of the worst years of Sara Alavi’s life. Within the span of months, she lost sight in her left eye, was diagnosed with MS, and developed a heart condition. Any one of those conditions could have debilitated her spirit, but Sara always lived by the mantra of “gratitude toward the gift of life and being grateful for our loved ones' lives.” That devotion to celebrating life led her toward the mind-calming and body-strengthening practice of yoga. After continued dedication to the ancient art, her eyesight returned and her health began to skyrocket.
Now a certified yoga instructor herself, Sara uses her earth-toned studio to host the bodies and minds of her students. Her yoga classes aim to improve bodily health by increasing blood flow and releasing muscle tension while stimulating the mind for sharper concentration and funnier Mad Libs. In the studio’s flower-curtain-lined healing room, Sara performs the raindrop massage: a combination of essential oils and reflexive therapy. She balances disrupted energy flows with reiki healing and assists at-home meditation with a guided relaxation CD.
In 1981, the founders of Mademoiselle Figure and Fitness opened the doors to their gym with a vision for it to become a place where women can get away from everyday life and focus on their fitness. Today, the staffers continue to support their female members’ fitness goals at two locations. Every member is assigned to a trainer who can meet with them for personal training sessions at no extra charge. As an added measure, trainers will give clients a call, e-mail, or smoke signal encouraging them to stay on track if they haven’t shown up at the gym in a while.
Both locations have heated pools where members can take Aqua Zumba and other water-based classes or do laps before relaxing in the whirlpool, steam room, or sauna. The trainers also lead Zumba, step, and other workouts on land. In addition to an indoor track, the gyms stock strength and cardio equipment from Precor, Life Fitness, Nautilus, and Cybex. After working out or stopping in for a session on the vibration platforms or tanning beds, members can pick up their kids from the babysitting area.
Santa Fe Family Life Center recently expanded from a specialized tennis facility to a 55,000-square-foot comprehensive fitness center replete with saunas, three maple-wood basketball courts, and an outdoor swimming pool. In the belly of the facility, fitness experts develop safety-oriented routines that boost overall health, improve technique, and shed body fat during personal-training sessions. Group fitness classes foster camaraderie between participants as they stretch through yoga asanas, enhance functional movements through U-fit classes, and dance away calories in Zumba classes. After exercising, visitors cool off with towel service and pick up wee ones from the onsite childcare facility where tykes socialize and campaign for the title of Coolest Kid under staff supervision.
True Cross Training aims to provide a personalized experience for its members, unlike big chain gyms that might treat them like just another number. During boot camps as well as cardio-kickboxing and circuit-training classes, its nationally certified instructors strive to help clients achieve a healthy life balance through exercise.