After earning reputations as elite trainers throughout the East Valley, NASM-certified personal trainers Luis Galindo and Jeremy Jones pooled 30 years of combined fitness experience to cofound Funktional Fitness. At their custom-designed studio in downtown Gilbert, they waive the monotony of gym machines and treadmill stacking for workouts based on functional movements—actions relevant to everyday living. Their regimens and nutrition programs encourage guests to embody the studio's 10 core values, which include "unity," "embrace change," and "strive to be 1% better each day."
Rather than roping its clients into memberships, Funktional Fitness allows them to customize their training plans according to the TMDA (think, motivate, decide, and act) model. One-on-one and semiprivate sessions stress individual feedback, whereas GroupFit classes combine the intimate instruction of private lessons with the camaraderie of book clubs that meet to tear dictionaries in half. Patrons might battle their own body weight with TRX suspension cords, swing kettlebells, or flow through yoga poses during their visits, building strength in a welcoming environment infused with competitive drive.
Stan and Brenda Strom have more than just dessert recipes decorating their kitchen—although of those, they have hundreds. They also hold multiple blue ribbons from state fairs, with celebrated sweets including a coconut-custard macadamia-nut pie, a dark-chocolate raspberry glacier pie, and a maple-pecan cheesecake, as well as many others. Their beloved business, Blue Ribbon Desserts, got an extra boost toward stardom when it was featured on FoodNation with Bobby Flay.
Chef Strom shares his confectionary skills in multiple ways. He bakes seasonal fruit pies, cheesecakes, and cookies fresh to order and ships them across the United States. He also reveals 60 of his favorite recipes in the Blue Ribbon Cookbook, which is said to smell like freshly churned butter during full moons. And in order to grant fans intimate access to his baking ways, he conducts monthly classes that empower students to create their own pies for family members and friends.
A professional life coach and Reiki master, Laura Barnes has been sharing her message of personal empowerment across four continents and two decades. Laura uses a compassionate, nonjudgmental approach to build the tools and skills for success in her life-coaching clients. She can also employ the ancient Japanese art of Reiki to help restore and balance the body’s energy, reduce stress, and treat the imbalances that can lead to disease.
Conductor Clyde Baker has spent a career taking high-school and college ensembles all the way to Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. Along with a team of seasoned dancers, actors, and musicians, he prepares students for success on stage and in the orchestra pit.
The school inhabits a handsome flagstone-and-stucco home base designed to produce a single harmonious chord in the event of windstorms. Within its specialized spaces, students stretch on the hardwood floors of giant dance studios and casts of triple-threats put on shows for their ardent fans on colorful sets.
After studying under Bikram Choudhury, the father of Bikram yoga, Sumit Banerjee decided to bring the heat to his own class style—an amalgam of Bikram- and Ashtanga-inspired postures. The Sumits Yoga signature class steers students through deep stretches performed in a toasty studio. Aided by the heat, these movements help students hone both balance and strength.
Though Sumit champions the physical benefits of the practice—muscle toning, detoxification, and the ability to someday fry an egg on one's forehead—the true object of his style is “the simple pleasure and self-reward that comes from quieting our minds." To honor this, he emphasizes introspection and spiritual awareness over perfect technique, allowing guests of any experience level to participate.
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.
Armed with various facilities, group classes, and state-of-the-art equipment, 24 Hour Fitness molds amorphous adobe muscles into rock-solid flesh houses. Each location boasts cardio equipment, free weights, a steam room, and group exercise classes so social gym junkies can motivate each other. Group cycling sessions burn calories and increase energy levels, and Latin dance-influenced Zumba classes present a fun, dynamic way to slim meat suits. Before breaking a sweat, check the online schedules for upcoming times.