The looks on the runners' faces when they reach the Hell Mile?part fatigue, part excitement, all mud?says it all. Though harrowing, the 1-mile gantlet, which is a simulated Navy SEAL training course complete with drill instructors, comprises just a handful of the over 23 obstacles that make up Running Dirty's 4-mile mud runs. In addition to sloshing through muddy water like a Loch Ness Monster who wants to be seen, contestants climb up walls, crawl through tunnels and under barbed wire, and even leap over burning wood. Those who can't complete a particular obstacle can either seek help from a fellow runner or skip the obstacle entirely. At the end of the race, everyone can bond during the after party, which includes live music and fun activities like beer pong and keg-tossing contests.
Dr. Gwendolyn Yates and Christopher Yates co-founded A Change of Art to focus on a single area of expertise: laser tattoo removal. Dr. Yates, who has practiced for more than 15 years, serves as medical director, while Christopher draws upon 20 years of medical sales experience in his role as clinic manager and lead laser technician. There's a third member of their team, too: a Quanta Q-Plus C laser, whose three beams can target tattoos of any color, not just the ones done in invisible ink.
Focusing on such a specific service means that the team also devotes a lot of time to client education. Their web site, for example, has resources such as easy-to-read FAQs and primers that tell guests what to expect.
The martial-arts instructors at Maryland Mixed Martial Arts are dedicated solely to improving fighting skills—but don't tell your waistline that. As students pick up potentially life-saving techniques designed to deter and defeat aggressors, their metabolism is vanquishing scores of calories, and their muscles are developing into angular lines of meat and sinew.
Although the instructors take martial arts seriously, they temper their approach to accommodate any level of skill and fitness. In fact, they encourage first-timers to try out a class, extolling the mental and physical gains that occur in their classes almost immediately.
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.
Led by certified instructor Elaine Seidman, Turning Pointe Dance Academy aims to not only imbue exercises on students, but also to help them tone muscles and improve coordination and general fitness. Classes are designed to be accessible to guests of all fitness levels, and include Vinyasa-style yoga classes that focus on alignment, strength, and flexibility as well as dance fusion classes that get hearts racing while combining ballet, jazz, and modern dance.
With locations in 24 states, it?s safe to say Fitness 19?s approach to fitness has piqued exercisers? interest. Each gym houses Life Fitness cardio machines and Hammer Strength strength-training equipment, as well as a staff of personal trainers who oversee one-on-one workouts and a group of caretakers and professional ranch hands who wrangle the kids' area. Certain locations also offer group classes such as the senior-oriented Silver Sneakers program.