C.J. Easter understands the value of physical fitness. As a former defensive back who faced some of college football's most fearsome offenses during a four-year stint with the Stanford Cardinal, he could only be as effective as he was lean. With visions of sleek physiques in mind, Easter earned his personal-training certification from the American Council on Exercise, founded Performance Science Training Institute, and set to work devising a fitness system of his own.
The gym's exclusive Metabolic Movement Training (MMT) System is the result of all that hard work. The system is designed to jump-start the metabolism, so it continues working long after the session is complete by helping the body burn fat all day long. After a dynamic warmup to boost flexibility and coordination, trainers lead students through progressive resistance training to strengthen bones and muscles. Next, exciting, short-burst cardio intervals work to condition the heart and lungs and boost endurance, and a final core-training session chisels the midsection. Every exercise includes modifications and progressions to ensure students at every fitness level will glean benefits, and every session ends with a cool-down and stretch to leave bodies feeling better than when they came in.
The institute's team of instructors also augment MMT exercises with counseling on how to make responsible nutritional decisions and set goals that are both challenging and achievable. This all-over approach doesn't simply help people get fitter; it helps them remake their entire lives in a healthier, happier image.
Licensed aesthetician and Bay Area?native Barbara Zaller didn?t always know massage therapy was her calling. After beginning her career as a dental assistant, then taking time off to raise her son, Barbara entered the professional fray once more. From her outpost at Butterfly Yoga, Barbara pampers clients with facials, customized peels, professional teeth whitening, massage therapy, and skin therapy. She swathes faces in luxe products from brands such as Dermalogica and DermaQuest, which she uses to treat acne, rosacea, and damaged skin. Her dexterous fingers ease stress from muscles during Swedish, shiatsu, deep-tissue, and sports massage. She performs specific body work on areas more annoying than a little sister?s obsession with megaphones and complimenting people's work ethics.
Fit For Life Bootcamp?s seasoned instructors replace drill-sergeant screams with encouraging mantras in their one-hour indoor classes that welcome clients of all fitness levels. During sessions, trainers round out weightlifting sessions, resistance drills, and core workouts with cardio routines such as light running and obstacle courses. They switch up class routines regularly to ensure courses are never the same from day to day, leading wild-card days that incorporate hiking, crawling, and high-stakes Uno games played with 50-pound cards. In addition to bolstering workouts with nutrition guidance, trainers work to cultivate an atmosphere of positive camaraderie designed to push campers further toward their weight-loss goals.
Traditional Thai artwork brightens the dark-mahogany walls of Thiparpa Thai Massage in the light of chandeliers and flickering candles. From the floor of this flower-studded haven, therapists perform traditional Thai massages atop soft mattresses separated by opaque, glittering curtains. In their signature style, therapists use their bodies to move clients through positions that compress muscles, exercise joints, and mimic the poses of the therapist's childhood rag doll. Therapists can also incorporate Swedish massage and whiffs of aromatherapy. Thiparpa stays open until 9 p.m. daily, which provides patients ample time for a massage after work.
Though it’s been around for 36 years, Piccadilly Catering and Restaurant crafts its mouthwatering cuisine using recipes more than twice its age. Their Cajun dishes include Gulf Coast–original jambalaya and old-fashioned cornbread, and international entrees appear on the menu in the form of chicken fettuccine and prawn stir-fry. In addition to serving guests inside their comfy eatery, Piccadilly’s culinary staff whisk morsels off to a variety of off-site events, such as corporate meetings and noncorporate weddings.
Ten years. That's how long it took the experts at Oceanic Foot Spa to perfect their signature foot massage, which incorporates elements of reflexology to help promote relaxation throughout the body. But the spa's pampering services don't stop at the ankles. Full-body massages treat recipients to soothing Swedish sessions or tension-relieving hot-stone treatments, and facials provide custom cleansing. Once their service ends, clients can sip on goji berry-rose tea and wiggle their freshly de-stressed toes.