Equipment: Cybex, Woodway
Students should bring: Water, Towels, Yoga Mat
Average class length: 30–60 minutes
Number of Staff: 5–10 people
Class location: Indoors only
Registration required: Yes
Good for beginners: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Snap Fitness's around-the-clock gyms enable members to work on their physical well-being with a cornucopia of fitness equipment. With 24-hour access, members don't have to let The Man tell them when to help themselves to Snap's strength and cardio equipment, which features built-in TVs and other media diversions. For those who exercise during conventional hours, Snap's friendly, unintimidating atmosphere welcomes patrons of all ability levels, unlike schoolyard dodge-ball squads. Members also enjoy nationwide access to all Snap Fitness locations, ideal for working out while traveling. For a dose of custom advice, patrons can seek out a personal-training session with a certified coach, who helps them assess and address their fitness goals. Clients reap the benefit of individual attention as a personal trainer helps them tackle weight loss, prepare for an arm-wrestling competition, or unveil the mysteries of arcane cable-weight machines.
The muscle tutors at Fitness Together will work with you to determine your goals—whether they be to drop pounds, run a marathon,or get strong enough to finally confront Douglas—and develop a customized workout plan designed to help you reach your true fitness potential. They’ll supervise your squats, offer nutritional advice, and push you until you see results. Individualized attention means it’s all about you—your trainer can point out when you’re doing a stretch incorrectly, help you tone the trouble zones, and push you to keep going when you’d otherwise quit or become distracted by the fragile beauty of a passing hummingbird.
Surrounded by the works of classes past, pupils at Easely Amused create their own pieces of art under the tutelage of experienced instructors. Provided brushes whisper against canvas while students follow their teacher to create a painting that matches the evening’s template. Like driving directions from a poet, the works often include seasonal scenes, abstract swirls of color, and bright flowers. Painters bring their own beverages to enjoy during classes, the clicking glasses of wine and beer helping provide inspiration for art.
High-quality Paul Mitchell products restore and hydrate damaged strands during haircare sessions at Vanguard College of Cosmetology (Paul Mitchell School). Supervised by experienced instructors, stylists-in-training cultivate client relaxation with a five-minute scalp massage before every haircut, which may also include a scrub with chemical-free salves such as wild-ginger-infused Awapuhi shampoo. The school also strives to give back to the community by hosting regular charity events, and a Green Team aims to reduce the carbon footprint of the 14,000-square-foot campus until it can fit a sleek pair of kitten heels.
Though severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina just five months after its debut, Slidell Rocks Climbing Gym rebuilt and reopened just months later and continues to provide the community with opportunities to build up muscular and cardio strength. The climbing center showcases top-rope challenges on walls nearly 40 feet high, as well as lower courses for younger climbers. Two bouldering rooms mimic the lifestyle of ancient arachnid cavemen with rooftop grips and seven hangboards. Between summit attempts, climbers can relax in the concessions area, watching their favorite sports on the televisions and munching on rock candy harvested from an active sugar volcano.
The state-of-the-art equipment, convenient amenities, and variety of exercise classes at Courthouse Racquet & Fitness's six locations earned the club several of Jackson Free Press's Urban Living awards in 2011 and 2012, including Best Fitness Center/Gym and Best Yoga Instructor. Visit the flagship Lakeland location to swim in a pool of professional athletic proportions. Explore the 13,000-square-foot Madison 51 facility's yoga, spin, and boot-camp classes or the Northeast center's indoor and outdoor tennis courts.
The newest location in Brandon boasts more than 100 treadmills, elliptical machines, rowers, and other pieces of cardio equipment. Women can take advantage of the Downtown site's ladies-only cardio area. Three locations offer childcare, and the Byram facility has launched an afterschool program, where kids can do arts and crafts and engage in healthy physical activities in an environment devoid of teddy-bear drill instructors.