At each of its 31 area locations, the YMCA of Greater Houston pursues a mission to bring health, wellness, and personal growth to communities. Kids leap into activities ranging from swim lessons and youth sports to a teen Youth & Government program that stirs up confidence and leadership abilities in students, preparing them for mudslinging student-council campaigns.
Zumba, ballroom dance, and Les Mills group exercise classes shake up adult workout routines, as complimentary childcare frees up parents to pursue fitness goals. Meanwhile, adult sport leagues such as basketball and racquetball result in friendly competition and hyper-literate team names inspired by obscure philosophers.
The interior of Crossfit 290 resembles a cross between a warehouse and a gym. There's a towering ceiling, sunny windows, and a slew of plyometrics boxes, chin-up bar stations, and squat racks scattered across the sprawling floor. Essentially, the space is a perfect stage for CrossFit's daily workouts. CrossFit is a no-nonsense fitness discipline that relies on functional exercises such as chin-ups, squats, and dead lifts. Its exercises can be customized to suit all fitness levels, which was proven when CrossFit officials successfully trimmed a couch potato into a couch french fry.
After graduating from high school, Fatima Lupkes found that, without the organized sports she'd grown accustomed to, her activity level dropped off. She started to put on some weight and notice other physical changes she wasn't keen on. But after meeting her future husband, she decided to make a permanent lifestyle change. She hit the gym hard, and dropped over 45 pounds. With that transformation came the realization that if she could do it, she could help others through that same journey. She teamed up with her husband Jeremy Lupkes to open Paramount Strength and Conditioning and begin changing lives. She and Jeremy believe in training hard. "If you don't push, you will not reach your goal and advance to new goals," she says.
Equipment: Pull up rig, kettle bell, med/slam balls, barbells, dumbbells
Students should bring: Towel
Average class length: 30-60 minutes
Number of Staff: 1–5
Class location: Mix of indoor and outdoor classes
Registration required: Yes
Good for beginners: Yes
Guests allowed: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Inside Texas Rock Gym, over 14,000 square feet of climbable surface wait to be gripped and clambered over by novice and expert climbers, who navigate routes that are regularly altered to keep things fresh. The gym’s mandatory orientation ensures that each visitor observes proper safety measures during their climb. Following orientation, climbers can strap themselves to a harness at one of more than 40 rope stations and begin top-rope climbing up lofty heights, while more advanced climbers lead trips up over complex courses or the stone faces of former presidents. Climbers can also skip the harnesses altogether and try their hand at bouldering across height-restricted surfaces, or head to one of the gym’s Tai Chi or Yoga classes.
When Creatures of Yoga's founder, Sarah Feiden, first began to dabble in yoga, it was simply to fulfill an extracurricular college credit, but its physical and mental benefits soon led to personal fulfillment, inspiring Sarah to pursue a career sharing her newfound passion with others. During the Hatha-based sessions, Sarah—now a certified instructor—leads students through a series of postures each held for 30–60 seconds to help muscles sink into deep, relaxing stretches while the brain takes a break for commercial. Limited to around 15 pupils, the classes' small size ensures personalized attention, and the soothing music that fills the studio keeps yogis' minds relaxed as they push their bodies safely to the edge.
At Focus Fitness, personal trainer Ryan leads clients through group training sessions. Whether the goal is to gain muscle, lose weight, or even just gain confidence, his personal-training and nutritional-counseling expertise helps clients meet their unique fitness and health goals. He can lead sessions at homes, offices, or gyms where outside trainers are permitted.