As they enter the training circle at Curves, female guests come face-to-face with the smiles of other women. And just as points on a circle share a common distance from the circle's center, workout participants share the experiences of those nearby by trading stations throughout the 30-minute training session. One minute is spent on a piece of strength-training equipment built for feminine frames and designed to work two opposing muscle groups with a single movement. 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.
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One of the country's largest ballet companies, Texas Ballet Theater produces performances that engage and inspire audiences. Attend Ben Stevenson's celebrated version of The Nutcracker, a well-known ballet that explores a dream world of princes, toy soldiers, warring mice, and 40-foot-tall Christmas trees. An orchestra seat inside the high-tech Winspear Opera House, a modern horseshoe theater designed by Pritzker Prize winner Norman Foster, grants great views of the stage as the skilled performers spin through scenes spurred on by Tchaikovsky's score and shiny snowflakes that flutter earthward like a sinking clouds.
Just listing Sensei Steven Jackson's accolades might render a rival martial artist powerless. He's a third-degree Tae Kwon Do black belt, a third-stripe Brazilian jujitsu blue belt, a kickboxer, a tournament competitor, and a student of karate master Bill Simpson. At Lone Star Black Belt Academy, he and his seasoned instructors lead martial-arts classes for toddlers, kids, and adults, stressing self-confidence and self-defense. Martial arts practiced at the academy include Tae Kwon Do, Brazilian jujitsu, kickboxing, and mixed-martial-arts fighting.
Larry North has spent his 25-year career inspiring people to change their bodies and their lives through his infomercials, talk-radio show, television appearances, three books, and, most notably, his six Larry North fitness centers. "Success," North believes, "is not about how many gyms or how many members we have. It is about successful clients who lose weight and keep it off..." Adhering to this mantra, he wants to make sure that every member has access to the best resources and tools to achieve their goals. He sees to it that all of his spacious and sleek gyms boast a high trainer-to-member ratio and are jam-packed with weights, strength machines, and cardio equipment from industry-leading manufacturers.
All North's spacious and chic facilities offer a bevy of group classes that include kickboxing, yoga, Pilates, dance-based fitness sessions, and their signature 30-minute abs workouts.
Getting in shape can be really tough. So at Fit For Life, the staff's goal is to make each trip to the treadmill a little brighter with a range of amenities and staff who know your name. The 6,000-square-foot gym not only features a range of cardio and weight equipment, but classrooms that play host to more than 45 Zumba, yoga, body pump, and cycling classes per week. The accommodating schedule—which features sessions ranging from 5:15 a.m. until 8:15 p.m.—offers class times that works with every client's busy life, allowing them to mix up their workout without changing which animal is chasing them this week. While parents are sweating it out on the gym floor, kids can color, do homework, or play video games in the child care facility. After showering, members can cool down with the complimentary cups of coffee and newspapers that fill the gym's lobby.