The instructors at Patenaude Martial Arts embody fang shen do, or "way of survival" with several types of classes: kung fu, mixed martial arts, kickboxing, and self-defense. These experts combine Eastern philosophies to teach the finer points of martial arts in classes for men and women. For self-defense, the also bring in kids or the full family. In all of these classes, the training doesn't focus entirely on fighting. The classes also teach things applicable to all areas of life, both inside and outside class, such as confidence, self control, and how to wear a belt with impeccable style.
Ropes and giant tires litter the ground, and large resistance bands hang from rafters—this isn't a tractor warehouse, it’s PhysXtreme's well-stocked training grounds. Here, a fleet of certified instructors, led by trainer Shane Miller, leads high-intensity boot camps and athletic strength training programs. Whether outdoors or inside, they helm the sessions using a variety of heart-pumping and muscle-building workouts, such as sandbag training, flipping tires, lifting kettlebells, and giving piggyback rides to friendly bears.
Gym-Max presents fitness fanatics with a fully equipped facility open seven days a week. Scheduled throughout the week at all three locations, trainer-led group fitness classes provide students with a chance to appease the sweat gods by filling bright studios with calorie-crushing exercises. Hasten heart rates in athletic conditioning classes, or channel the Tour de France in spinning classes without having to learn the French word for “velocipede.” Minds and bodies get centred in a yoga class, and Zumba shows students how to shimmy into shape. A month of full access to Gym-Max's well-maintained, spacious gym facilities gives customers free rein to bulk up with free weights, practice fashion runway strutting on a treadmill, or train for their next elevator boycott on a stairmaster.
Sentinelle Health Group helps clients slim down and get healthy through its My Life in Balance program, which provides a thorough health assessment and weight-loss meals from Ideal Protein. During an hour-long consultation ($100), a Sentinelle nurse administers blood pressure and cholesterol tests and measures variables such as height, weight, hip circumference, and uvula length. Armed with this information, Sentinelle can recommend a personalized nutrition regimen based on individual medical needs and personal goals. The health-care professionals can also dole out a week's worth of Ideal Protein products—healthy, balanced meals designed to promote weight loss without sapping muscle mass or coal reserves by tapping into the body's stores of energy in fat cells ($125). Clients on the program may shed an average of three to seven pounds per week while gaining confidence and energy.
A fifth-generation Pontiac resident, Pure Life Adventures’ owner, Ray Breztloff, stays loyal to his homestead, leading outdoor excursions among the untouched natural surroundings of the Pontiac region and Ottawa Valley. Breztloff and his team of guides train in topics such as canoe instruction, swift-water rescue, and Leave No Trace camping, in which humans depart each campsite as if only a bear had built a fire there. Whether teaching courses or leading expeditions, they help their charges safely enjoy the wilderness with activities such as map-and-compass navigation courses, canoeing trips, and summertime dogsled rides. To make the most of long winters, explorers can strap on snowshoes and trek through the frozen woods or hone their outdoor-survival skills by knitting pine needles into tents on camping trips.
The instructors at Corps-Esprit may serve only yoga and Pilates on their menu of exercises, but they keep exercise routines new and challenging with lots of variety: within the centre’s studios, they teach 21 distinct types of yoga, including Ayurveda and Vinyasa. Their Pilates programs are no less impressive, helping tone cores in nine types of classes. Some sessions include exercise innovations such as BOSU balance trainers or incorporate challenges such as teaching students how to maintain focus while they’re being poked in the forehead. Sunlight bathes the hardwood floors of the sprawling classrooms, which are capable of accommodating up to 40 students at a time. Potted plants bring a touch of natural green to the space, as they also do for the plush lobby and private massage rooms.