In a story by Patch reporter Elizabeth Janney, owner David Sturman described Elkridge Athletic Club as "a friendly gym," stating that “no matter what your fitness level is or what your shape is, you feel comfortable here." The welcoming environment—together with high-energy classes and cutting-edge equipment—may be why voters named the health club as the best local gym in an Elkridge Patch poll.
Each initiation-fee-free, month-to-month membership includes access to the sauna and hot tub along with unlimited group classes. Guests dance to straightforward moves set to Latin beats in Zumba workouts, and combine cardio and mind-body techniques in Hour of Power classes. Members also receive a complimentary personal-training session to design a customized fitness plan or learn to make a black leather purse that looks just like a kettlebell.
Kicking, punching and jabbing are typically discouraged, but not at Transformations Fitness for Women. The women?s-only gym?s kickboxing-style workouts give athletes the moves they need to tone physiques and brush up on their fighting maneuvers, no matter their level of experience. The gym?s two locations boast eclectic class schedules, with classes ranging from Zumba dance fitness workouts, which burn calories with sultry Latin moves, to sessions that enhance strength and flexibility through a fusion of yoga and Pilates. While guests work out, they can drop kids off at the gym?s complimentary daycare.
Okello Dunkley designs his workshops for students who have just bought or are thinking of buying a DLSR camera but are mystified by its myriad gadgets and gizmos. The accessible nature of these classes has helped Dunkley spread them into nearly a dozen locations across the Midwest and east coast, where students as young as 12 learn how to take a digital camera off automatic mode and manually manipulate ISO light sensors and aperture openings. More advanced classes delve into working with difficult light?such as cloudy weather or days when the sun is set on strobe light?and others explore how to navigate computer software for photo manipulation.
Since its 1965 founding in Venice Beach, California, Gold's Gym has dotted the globe with more than 600 locations where professional athletes and exercise newbies gather under the umbrella of personal strength. Nearly 3.5 million Gold's members chart and aim for their fitness peaks, perspiring beneath the gaze of certified personal trainers or pedaling beside peers at cycling sessions. In a diverse lineup of group classes, patrons strengthen cores with Pilates, finger-paint pictures of ninjas in martial arts, and amp up heart rates along to the pulsating soundtracks of Les Mills routines. Many Gold's Gym locations stockpile futuristic amenities, such as cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated.
Influenced by her upbringing in Sierra Leone—where the food culture emphasizes local, artisanal ingredients shared by neighbors—Jeanette Warne guides small groups of adults, teens, and kids in themed cooking classes geared toward age group. In how to-style classes, budding chefs learn such fundamentals as how to cook with wine, how to prepare classic French dishes, or how to tell the difference between a baguette and a baseball bat. The class lineup also covers specializations, such as pastry-chef techniques and cooking for specific dietary needs. Courses typically yield 3–4 dishes.
Warne also lends her expertise to party planners by catering international-themed feasts that feature passed hors d'oeuvres, Mediterranean dinners, and eclectic four-course buffets. The company maintains environmentalist practices, not only through sourcing ingredients locally, but also by buying biodegradable flatware and minimizing the use of single-use paper airplanes that carry food to diners' plates.
Vision Quest Sport and Fitness promotes a five-pronged approach to fitness, covering cardiovascular, progressive resistance, proper diet, supplementation, and personal training. Like any decent clock factory, the clubs are open 24 hours a day, and each keeps its own schedule primed with group classes such as boxing, yoga, spinning, and hip-hop fitness. Body Sculpt sessions fashion forms with weights and bands, and Total Body Conditioning uses lighter weights and higher repetitions to create lean, mean muscle mass.
Members take part in complimentary wellness seminars from fitness experts to fine-tune their bodies, and teams of affiliated massage therapists, chiropractors, and nutrition gurus save skeletons and muscles from harmful injury.