Extreme athletes banded together to design Spartan Races' intense courses orchestrated over standardized distances, each strewn with natural and man-made obstacles to test mind-body fitness, resilience, stamina, and strength, designed to leave participants exhausted and exhilarated. In waves of 200, runners collect smudges and stains as they perform box jumps, haul heavy sandbags, and juke feral linebackers. Depending on where in the world they're participating, the course may be as short as 3 miles or, for extremely practiced athletes, as long as a full marathon.
Bree Johnson was just 14 when she kicked off her lustrous dancing career as a performer in the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2002 Olympics. Since then, she's carried the torch of success even further, eventually winning titles such as Miss Congeniality and landing dream jobs on So You Think You Can Dance, the MTV Music Awards, and numerous TV commercials. Fueled by her successful foray in the world of professional dance, she decided to share her passion in an accessible way that inspires others to lead healthy and active lives. To pull off such an endeavor, she enlisted a team of talented instructors to help her cultivate a supportive and educational community where dancers of all fitness levels can get in shape during unique aerobic Ballet Blast fitness classes.
Bree and her team combine intense cardio with dancer-specific moves while blaring high-energy tunes, aiming to equip students with increased flexibility, slimmer waistlines, and lean muscles similar to those of ballerinas and drawn-and-quartered bodybuilders.
Studio owner Julie Branham and her team of registered yoga instructors at Lifted Life Yoga support students? fitness goals by urging them toward a lifestyle driven by health and fitness, fostering an inclusive studio atmosphere where students of all abilities can develop their body awareness and hone yoga skills. Beginners can master the basics in patiently paced 60-minute classes where they follow instructors through muscle- and ligament-awakening stretches and breathing exercises to clear the mind. Once the knowledgeable teachers have successfully persuaded students over to the stretchy side, a plethora of specialty sessions geared to more experienced students addresses specific physical needs such as hot yoga, whereas ongoing power Vinyasa classes pay constant homage to the solar system's temperamental fire ball with a series of sun salutations.
As a dancer and instructor, Tiffany Enger has pirouetted through world-renowned institutions such as Steps, The Broadway Dance Center, and Joffrey Ballet School. Today, at Just Dance Academy, she and her staff of dance professionals help ignite passion for the art form in children as young as 3 years old. Though their classes build strong foundations in ballet, hip-hop, and other styles, benefits extend beyond just technical dance skills. The instructors strive to help each pupil become comfortable with self-expression and creativity during recitals and state-mandated flash mobs as well as auditions for the studio's competition teams.
Coaches lead members through new hour-long workouts each day at Elevated CrossFit American Fork. Even in a class setting, the coaches are able to personalize their guidance by tailoring exercises to equally challenge people at different fitness levels. They can add more weights to barbells during Olympic-style weightlifting exercises or have people climb ropes or a single strand of yarn dangling from the ceiling. Other CrossFit exercises include swinging kettlbells and flipping giant tires, both of which are performed using functional movements.
Gold’s Gym lures fitness seekers from all walks of life with cardio decks, strength-training equipment, and aerobics rooms filled with energizing classes. Instead of reciting Shakespearean monologues as they jog and pedal, guests can watch movies in a cardio theater lined with treadmills, bikes, and an oversize projection screen. Free weights encourage biceps to bulge, and resistance machines tone arms, abs, and legs. Sports lovers dribble basketballs and volley racquetballs on shiny courts (available at most locations), raising their heart rates as they hone hand-eye coordination. Like the nightly news, Zumba classes take an hour and set Latin-inspired dance moves that vaporize calories to vibrant world music, along with a slew of available selections, including cardio and spin classes. Consult each location’s webpage for a class schedule and a list of additional amenities, which range from childcare to personal training (not included in today’s Groupon).