Amid the kettlebells and pull-up bars of a 4,200-square-foot facility, you can find a diverse range of athletes, parents, and professionals. In CrossFit Enigma's CrossFit classes, trainers lead students through high-intensity combinations of weight training, gymnastics, and plyometrics while scaling each movement to accommodate every student's fitness level. Rather than focusing on weight loss or muscle gain alone, each workout strives to enhance all domains of physical fitness, including strength, endurance, flexibility, and stamina. The CrossFit program stresses nutrition as the foundation of fitness, guiding students toward diets of vegetables and lean meats in lieu of high-glycemic carbohydrates and plastic scones from children's tea sets.
Deborah Douglas, the owner and certified yoga instructor at Yoga Mix Studio, began her yoga journey in 1974, but she wouldn’t begin teaching until much later. In the interim, she achieved a sixth-degree black belt in shorin ryu karate, and began to teach that style until she retired in 2007. But the desire to teach still burned within her, so she became yoga certified and opened her own studio, where she leads Hatha and Raja yoga classes that help students grow both spiritually and physically. Along with Greg Illich, who teaches tai chi classes, she also leads Zumba classes and meditation sessions.
Students should bring: Water and Great Attitude
Registration required: No
Good for beginners: Yes
Average class length: 30-60 minutes
Number of Staff: 1–5 people
Class location: Mix of indoor and outdoor classes
Guests allowed: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Pro Tip: Come to all sessions with a great attitude, willing to work hard, and expecting results.
That scale does not tell the whole truth. Though most fitness fans make a habit of hopping onto the scale every day, certified trainer Stephanie Hill Polk will be one of the first to tell her clients not to put too much stock in their weight. What's more important, she says, is how well clothes fit and how defined muscles look without their Sharpie highlights. Simply put, her boot camps are focused less on the loss of weight and more on the gain of fitness. Stephanie's also a fount of nutritional knowledge, and she shares many healthy-eating tips in camps and on her Facebook page.
When Henry Harvey went to the University of Houston in 1975, he realized the dance moves he'd picked up at high school in Fort Worth were more valuable than he thought. In fact, he gave lessons to new people in the area who wanted to fit in on the dance floor. Years later, his wife decided they should start dancing together. "I went to dance class and found out they were doing the same things I was 10 years before," he said. Taking stock of his management abilities and previous dance experience, he realized he had the opportunity to be successful, so he brushed up his skills and founded High Steppers Dance Troupe LLC in 2007.
At locations throughout the area, Harvey and his team of instructors teach the hot urban Houston two-step, as well as swing-out dancing. The dances are set to cool urban R&B tunes and neo-soul grooves and help participants release the seductive strut or smooth swagger they've kept bottled up. Instead of duct taping themselves to a good dancer in the club and letting them do all the work, students can be confident in their ability to finally know what they're doing on the dance floor.
Harvey claims that his students, many of who are aged 40 and older, come not only for the improved skills that come from dancing for two hours, but also for the atmosphere, which he calls "very upbeat and very festive." His dance classes can also act as a stress reliever after a long day at work. "They get into dance class and they're rejuvenated," Harvey says.
In addition to dance lessons, the group takes charter buses on regional trips and hosts two to three showcases per year, where students regale audiences with a synchronized dance routine. At their social dances, a DJ spins tunes as students get the chance to put their lessons into practice and leave behind their days of doing the worm shyly on the dance-floor sidelines.
When Coach Eddie sees someone struggling to complete one of his 60-minute circuit-training sessions, he knows how to help them reach the finish line, because he has been there. A little more than seven years ago, he weighed nearly 300 pounds. He made the decision to change his life, and through pure dedication, he slimmed down to 160 pounds and has since maintained his newly svelte physique. Throughout his journey to fitness, he learned myriad ways to strengthen core muscles, shed weight, and enhance agility and stamina, and he is now determined to share his techniques to help others make similar transformations at Mind Body Total Fitness.
Eddie and his team of certified trainers mix and match those methods to target all the body’s muscle groups during outdoor boot camps for exercisers of all fitness levels. In their coed and women's-only boot camps, they constantly vary the routines to prevent workout burnout. One day, participants might run short sprints, jump rope, and do sit-ups balancing atop exercise balls, and the next, they might pull against resistance bands, do leg lifts, and toss medicine balls to participants suffering from colds. They advocate pairing these high-intensity workouts with well-balanced diets and nutritional supplements.