The gym looks like equal parts Olympic training facility and old warehouse—here, exercisers hoist themselves up rows of pull-up bars, grunt around a collection of kettlebells, and hop through jump-rope routines. On a power-lifting platform, a lifter explodes from a squat, hoisting a plate-loaded bar up to his shoulders and then dropping under it to catch the weight over his head. Elsewhere, athletes do dips on gymnast rings and build a sweat on rowing machines.
This low-tech setting is typical of all true CrossFit gyms. Though the equipment may be basic, the results are not: CrossFit workouts develop all measures of physical fitness—from power to cardiovascular endurance—through workouts that are broad, general, and inclusive. This approach is often described as specializing in not specializing: it develops physical fitness in ways equally beneficial to everyone, from professional mixed martial artists and police officers to weekend softball players.
CrossFit gyms typically start clients in a foundational program where trainers teach the basic movements, such as the squat, dead lift, and pull-up. Every exercise is scalable to a version that clients can complete—a pull-up, for example, can be scaled back to a negative pull-up, a static hang, or body-weight row with gymnast rings. It can also be scaled to a more challenging version, such as the kipped pull-up. After students learn CrossFit's basic movements, they move on to open group classes, which follow the ever-changing WOD, or Workout of the Day. These workouts are short and intense, and they foster camaraderie through frequent team circuits. In addition to supervising WOD class, trainers coach members on nutrition, advocating a caveman-style diet of low-glycemic carbohydrates, monounsaturated fats, and lean proteins such as raptor meat.
Surrounded by 9,000 acres of conservation land, the Wekiva Falls RV Resort campground immerses visitors in nature and wildlife, and maintains controlled water-recreation areas and modern amenities. Staffers block out sites for RVs and also reserve tent sites nestled in view of the river and picnic tables that are kept primitive to facilitate a rough wilderness experience or decked out with electric and water hookups. The campground also rents canoes and kayaks so visitors can paddle up and down the adjacent Wekiva River taking in the lush shoreline scenery. In a separate swimming area fed by a large sulfur spring, guests can frolic around a 40-foot waterfall or plunge down dual tube slides, and they can also lounge in a heated outdoor pool in the event of cooler temperatures. Alternative forms of entertainment are also available including a bar that serves beer and wine; crafts sessions; themed parties and dinners; and day trips to local golf courses to cartwheel down the fairways.
My Gym, which currently has more than 200 international locations, began more than 20 years ago as a structured place for children to safely play, acquire new skills, and romp off a sugar buzz. All classes are organized according to age level (starting as young as 6 months) and designed to incorporate the latest physiological and psychological research. Tiny Tykes gets babies moving with help from their parents, Mighty Mites teaches toddlers self-reliance and beginning sports skills, and Champions, a class for kids aged 6–9, emphasizes the importance of using teamwork to master more complex sports skills and achieve group goals such as building a human pyramid to reach the cookie jar. My Gym's energetic instructors are experts at using music, dance, and gymnastics to build youngsters' strength and self-esteem while stimulating their giggle-plexes. The noncompetitive environment fosters creativity and hands-on activities boost children's learning retention and fun quotient.
The wine connoisseurs at the independently owned Cork & Olive Lake Mary franchise introduce visitors to international wines, most of which originate from small, family-owned vineyards. In addition to pouring samples at a broad, wooden table, Cork & Olive’s team hosts events that range from in-home tastings to the monthly Sip&Dip, where wines come paired with select appetizers. Besides the many bottles of wines, the shelves also display craft beers, sake, chocolates, and cheeses, as well as gourmet olive oils and spices. Specialty services include custom wine-bottle labels for events, special orders for hard-to-find wines, and gifts such as wine aprons and holders and memoirs from picked-over grapes.
At Guruv Yoga’s two locations, students of all skill levels and ages can pick from a wide variety of yoga classes, which are offered seven days a week. Instructors boast experience in various disciplines, ranging from intense Bikram yoga sessions to calming morning classes designed to wake up pupils with uplifting music and a ceremonial pajama burning. A meditation room at the Lake Mary location adds to the studio’s calming atmosphere and provides a room for pre-class centering or private yoga sessions.
Master Chon’s passion for martial arts began at age 4. He attended an actual tae kwon do school through high school, and even earned a bachelor’s degree in the martial-art form. Master Chon wears a sixth-degree Korean black belt and spent time as the conditioning coach for the Korean Olympic tae kwon do team. He also earned a master’s degree in special education, and has combined his talents to help special-needs children blossom during structured tae kwon do classes. Other classes are geared toward preschoolers, adults, and women wanting to learn self-defense moves.
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