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To distinguish themselves from lesser mud-race organizers, the founders of Sqwish Sqwash Challenges aspired to design the most elite of mud courses. Thus, they turned to the most elite of men, the Navy SEALs. Drawing inspiration from their special-ops training, SEAL members help design Sqwish Sqwash's four course levels, adjusting the difficulty of each to accommodate beginner, intermediate, and hardened athletes alike. Obstacles range from flooded ditches to piles of mud-caked tractor tires, testing the physical and emotional endurance of both individuals and teams. Each day ends with a post-race party thrown by sponsor and partner Yuengling, plus an awards ceremony that recognizes top runners, the best costume, and anyone who can reach the finish line in an unstained white linen suit.
For those wanting to get into race shape, Sqwish Sqwash's website provides online training plans, as well as recommendations on where to get fit. Proceeds from each race go toward select charities such as the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.
A pop-art mural on the back wall features musclebound bodies, exploding logos, and a bit of the starry cosmos. It's all the frivolity that the coaches at Battleground Training allow themselves. The rest of the facility remains unadorned cinder block and cement, a Spartan setting broken up only by the workout equipment that dots the gargantuan space. Heavy punching bags dangle in the middle of the room, and resistance bands sprout from the walls. Tractor tires and free weights occupy some of the floor, but the venue leaves plenty of space for the most important aspect of the training: room to move. The trainers take on past, present, and future athletes, helping them hone their bodies through boxing drills, lifts, and attempts to dodge echoes.
With machines set up in rows to encourage competition, many ordinary gyms cater to men's bodies and psychology, right down to the urinals that were "accidentally" installed in the women's locker room. At Curves, you'll move around a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines that have been designed to work with women's bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage your machine maneuvering and your muscle making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing your momentum, the hydraulic machines use your body weight and fitness level to create resistance that matches your abilities, decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.
Anytime Fitness, which boasts more than 1,800 clubs in North America, makes it easier for average folks to etch out time for exercise by doing one simple thing: staying open 24 hours a day for 365 days a year. As fitness seekers challenge themselves on cardio and Hammer Strength machines and hoist Iron Grip free weights in clean, well-stocked facilities, security monitoring ensures they?re safe and producing enough sweat to meet official government standards. Members can also ramp up their exercise regimens with the help of Anytime Fitness?s staff of personal trainers, who demonstrate moves and sling motivating tips. After workouts, guests can shower in private restrooms.
Surrounded by Yoga Shakti’s cheerful orange walls, yogis lift their hands toward the ceiling, root the balls of their bare feet into the wood floor, and stretch toward the sunlight that streams in through the window. During classes, instructors lead practitioners through their customized series of postures, which draw from several yoga styles to vary the routine and address specific goals. Classes range from gentle yoga, which focuses on meditation and breathing; to more rigorous Vinyasa flow, which links challenging postures to one another through the breath; to hot yoga, whose elevated temperature challenges students, allows for deeper stretches, and detoxes the body. The instructors also offer yoga-for-back-pain classes, which aim to increase mobility in stiff backs caused by injury, stress, or walking under the limbo stick in your doorway.