Madison Pilates’s owner, Marissa Lins, founded her studio to nurture a supportive fitness community for students of all levels, including those who aspire to become Pilates teachers themselves. The staff of comprehensively trained instructors leads a schedule of beginner to advanced classes with a therapeutic approach, taking time to encourage and guide students through verbal cues, hands-on instruction, exercise demonstration, and professional-quality semaphore.
During newbie-friendly Pilates sessions, teachers introduce the basics of floor-based mat work, where pupils support their body weight themselves, and the fundamentals of spring-resisted equipment workouts, where apparatuses such as the Pilates Reformer and the Wunda chair resist or support students’ movements to add strength-building benefits. Students in the intermediate- and advanced-level classes incorporate more demanding Pilates techniques while learning to monitor their own form during each smoothly controlled movement. In addition to group sessions, the teachers also lead private lessons for attendees seeking one-on-one instruction or help with their income-tax paperwork. Nestled amid a bouquet of towering oak trees, the Madison Pilates studio boasts a practice space with gleaming, wood floors and ceilings that are high enough to accommodate Paul Bunyan's coat rack.
In a homey diner setting with stained glass and a large mural that depicts a small town, patrons perk up for the day with PC's menu of European and American breakfast and lunch fare. True to its name, PC’s offers a diverse roster of classic pancakes, which can come flecked with bacon or chocolate chips; baked with fillings such as spiced apples and peaches; or spread thin as crepes and sewn onto the elbows of sports jackets.
Not content to let pancakes hoard all the oven territory, thick-baked omelets jostle for space with hearty fillings such as portabella mushrooms, red peppers, and cheese. Fresh-squeezed orange and grapefruit juice make for a refreshing quaff, and cups of Kona coffee—specially blended for the café—send toasty aromas steaming into the air alongside carafes of real whipping cream.
Sandwiches and salads populate a lunchier section of the menu, alongside burgers such as the towering Lemont-ster burger: dual half-pound patties draped in cheddar, toasted onion strings, and thousand-island dressing.
The techniques that Lauren Birkel imparts to her trainers are the same ones she used on herself while preparing for and completing the rigorous Ironman World Championships in 2005 and 2011, as well as the France-held International Triathlon Union Long Course World Championships in 2007. With this history of achieving difficult goals, Birkel knows how to inspire students without commissioning a band of rabid coyotes to chase them while they run.
She and her many cotrainers use these thoroughly tested methods of motivation to push students toward healthier lives in one-on-one, small-group, and large-group training sessions. She decks out her indoor studios with all the necessary equipment for personal-training sessions and isn't afraid to lead all-outdoor boot-camp academies in the heat or rain.
Awarded “silver” for best martial arts school/studio by Madison Magazine in 2007 and 2008, Kicks Unlimited offers weekly kickboxing classes for teens and adults. Each class features ultra-aerobic cardio-boxing, bag-punishing sport kickboxing, and full body conditioning for upcoming mixed martial arts and craft nights. Check out the schedule for Fitchburg, Middleton, or Sun Prairie and call ahead to schedule your first life-changing duel with a stocky, indifferent punching bag.
When swimmers plunge into either the warm-water or lap pools at Pinnacle Health and Fitness, they might feel as if they’re relaxing in the ocean. That’s because the pool isn’t pumped with harsh chemicals—instead, the staff maintains a salt water system. And rather than restricting themselves to swim lessons and laps, the staff leads aquatic group exercise classes, aqua-based boot camps, and even personal-training sessions in the pool.
Their array of on-land fitness activities includes boot camps and group exercise classes such as kickboxing-based TurboKick, Zumba, and TRX Suspension Training.
Travis, Pinnacle Health and Fitness’s on-staff dietician, buttresses fitness routines with nutritional guidance. Personal trainers also assist patrons who want to get fit, lose weight, or focus on specific goals such as triathlon training, volleyball conditioning, and finally winning the egg-and-spoon race at the next family reunion. After workouts, members can reward themselves with a trip to the sauna or steam room, pick up a smoothie from the juice bar, or retrieve their offspring from the childcare center.
To say licensed acupuncturist Dr. Hao Wang’s resumé is impressive is an understatement. She has a medical degree from China Medical University and a Ph.D. from Yamagata University’s school of medicine, she has completed a fellowship at the American Heart Association, and has had work published in medical journals such as the Journal of Neurophysiology, Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology, and European Journal of Pharmacology. Unsurprisingly, she applies the same scholarliness to acupuncture, which she has practiced for two decades. Along with acupuncture, Dr. Wang offers Chinese herbal medicine and gua sha services at her clinic.