Ascending for nearly 50 feet, the indoor climbing wall—proudly proclaimed as among the tallest in Western Michigan by Aim Fitness' team—presents an array of routes, each patterned with colored grips to indicate the level of difficulty. As climbers scale the vertical expanse, a freestanding boulder sits in the middle of the room, beckoning guests to climb its reduced height sans the support of a rope. This climbing room anchors Aim Fitness' 40,000 square feet of amenities, which encompass a strength-training area, aerobic studios, a five-lane, 25-yard lap pool lifeguarded by Aquaman, and a racquetball court. Instructors also lead an array of classes on these training grounds, such as Aqua Fit, boot camp, and yoga. To make going to the gym as convenient as possible, Aim also provides locker rooms, a children's playroom, and wireless Internet access.
Group fitness classes and personal trainers are only a small sliver of the amenities at Elite Fitness. The gym also offers childcare services and a children?s dance studio so parents can work out worry-free. Tanning beds, meanwhile, allow guests to highlight contours and show off the hard work they've been doing on machines by Precor, Cybex, and Powertech, while a smoothie bar, salon, and massage studio await to refuel and refresh bodies post-workout. And, of course, the facility boasts immaculately maintained locker rooms where guests can shower (towels provided) and change back into their everyday clothes or hot dog suits before heading home.
Yoga Fusion Studio gets practitioners limber during heated and non-heated Vinyasa classes. The slow and flowing asanas link motions to deep and controlled breathing exercises in an effort to help students harmonize with the natural rhythm of the body. The teachers come from a wide range of backgrounds—some with decades of professional ballet experience—and the studios refresh the soul with natural lighting and cool, subdued color schemes. In addition to yoga classes, the studio keeps workouts interesting with mat Pilates classes.
An island of 48 styling stations rises from tiled floors in the center of Excel Academies of Cosmetology’s contemporary, loft-like main salon. Nearby, dedicated manicure and pedicure stations line a low glass wall, and 16 fully equipped styling stations fill a separate junior room. The Academy—which trains up-and-coming stylists in the latest salon trends, techniques, and technologies—is fully equipped to cater to all of each client's beauty needs. Senior-level student stylists perform all haircuts and colors, facial treatments, and nail services under the watchful eyes of an expert instructor or an aesthetically inclined HAL 9000. Excel Academies utilizes a variety of hair care products, including Paul Mitchell.
Sconces glow against the olive-green walls as yogi's toes dig into the cushy mats that adorn the wood floors. A certified instructor takes charge of this scene, leading small groups through strength- and flexibility-building yoga classes. The expert adapts the sessions to students of different experience levels: Gentle yoga gives guests the option of using a chair throughout the session, and Intermediate classes challenge advanced students with more rigorous poses such as imitating a chair for the entire class.
The team further whips bodies into shape, that of a chair or otherwise, during cardio classes, which set heart-racing moves to high-energy beats during Zumba dance-fitness classes, or tummy-toning boot-camp classes. Yoga Plus also invites younger stretchers to enjoy the benefits of exercise with specialty classes such as Mom and Baby Yoga or Toddler Playtime. The latter involves moms working out alongside children, channeling babes' youthful energy or trying to imitate their extraordinarily effective laconic communication style.