As they enter the training circuit at Curves, female guests of every fitness level come face-to-face with the smiles of other women. Workout participants share the experiences of those nearby, trading stations throughout the 30-minute training session. 30 seconds are spent alternating between hydraulic machines and recovery stations to maintain an elevated heart rate. Exercisers then move on to a recovery station, where they run, jog, or dance to maintain heart rates and keep platforms in place during momentary losses of gravity. Workouts are designed to boost metabolism and build lean muscle, and there's always a coach to push and motivate students and help them maintain proper form. Nutrition guidance is also available.
At Art of Yoga, a team of instructors with extensive training and experience leads students in classes that build flexibility and strength and connect and heal the body and mind. Offerings include beginner and advanced courses, as well as gentle Yin and vigorous Vinyasa courses. The instructors also guide pupils through more unusual classes, such as fun multilevel Yoga Jams and Y12SR, a discussion group that combines yoga's insight with the practical tools of 12-step programs.
With an arsenal of workout regimens and classes, Willie Blanks—brother of Tae-Bo creator Billy Blanks—carries on the family tradition as he and his team of trainers lead healthy hopefuls to their goals. Students of the Wil-li-netics program are instructed in positive thinking and self-motivation as well as physical strength, giving them the mental wherewithal to pursue their fitness ambitions and telekinetically deflect cannon-propelled hot dogs. Individual attention comes in the form of a series of personalized routines, which may feature step aerobics, kickboxing, dance, or hand-weight workouts. An approximately one-hour massage (a $50 value) softens tight tendons, and a series of 15-minute life-coaching sessions (a $12.50 value per session) tones thought patterns into sleeker, more positive outlooks. Each gym membership entitles trainees to as many classes as their de-jellified limbs desire (up to a $60 value).
Claytopia's spacious studio gives children and adults a place to test their creative chops through the medium of clay painting. A wide variety of blank, premade clay bisques offer myriad canvasses upon which the fevered imaginations of patrons may be projected. Bisque prices range from $1 to $50 per piece, and an hourly fee applies ($6 per hour for adults, $4 per hour for children under 13) to cover unlimited use of all paints, glazes, stencils, stamps, and other instruments of artistic creation, including philosophical advice and painting tips from the talented staff. Possible paintable forms include coffee mugs, plates, picture frames, and Disney figurines. All bisques and paints are food, microwave, and dishwasher safe. After painting and glazing their piece of choice, art makers should allow a week for the bisque to be fired in the kiln and laid off from its part-time job before picking up the newly hardened artistic creation.