A wildly successful alternative to traditional day spas—its more than 300 locations blanket 36 states and half a dozen countries—Planet Beach Contempo Spa is a futuristic relaxation station where state-of-the-art machines administer all of the spa and tanning services. These friendly automatons sometimes replace familiar treatments, as in the Luminous facial, a light-based service that delivers blemish-busting results similar to those of a conventional facial. But other equipment maps out new spa territory entirely: the Hydro-Derma Fusion chamber moisturizes the whole body with nutrient-rich steam to offset the effects of a dry climate or a rear-end collision with a salt truck. Other machines whiten teeth, spray-tan skin, and massage muscles.
Planet Beach operates on a gym-style membership system, meaning that members purchase packages or pay flat monthly rates. As members spend more time at the spa, they get to know the helpful assistants who are always on hand to demonstrate how to use the equipment without activating its ability to cry.
Trainer and fitness guru Justin Bradshaw modeled SGT. H20's CombatSwim after the rigorous training he received as an Army diver. His challenging exercises encourage full-body fitness, using workouts that build stamina, boost metabolism, improve swimming skills, and promote weight loss. Incorporating the best of land-based cross-training systems, CombatSwim includes plenty of high-intensity interval training and pulse-hiking calisthenics. In the pool, water adds extra resistance that amplifies the effects of the exercises, which include swimming sprints, endurance swimming, and treading water with weights. Designed to sharpen the mind as well as the body, CombatSwim leaves exercisers with the same confidence and conditioning as some of the world's elite military warriors.
Navy Special Operators are recognized as some of the world's most feared warriors. Run using the same aquatic training program that tests the mettle of real-life divers and explosives techs, Hellbender's Amphibious Bootcamp sends exercisers plunging in and out of the water as they blast through a blend of calisthenics and aquatic exercises. A diverse collection of former sailors, soldiers, and firefighters lead the classes, shouting encouragement as as students switch from pushups and pull-ups to freestyle, breaststroke, and sprint swims. Movable obstacles including sandbags, weights, and decommissioned bathyspheres also wait beneath the depths, challenging endurance as they bulk up screaming muscles. Classes welcome all fitness levels, but exercisers should be able to tread water, swim at least 25 yards without stopping, and arrive with their own goggles and swimsuit.
James Hiromasa is an authority on krav maga, the self-defense technique that's used by the Israeli Defense Forces. He's on the krav maga advisory board, he regularly trains krav maga instructors, and he has received two krav maga certifications from the Wingate Institute in Israel. His wife, Shannon Lukeman-Hiromasa, also punched her way to two krav maga certifications from Wingate, and earned a CrossFit certification to boot. Together, they've pooled their krav maga, martial arts, and fitness expertise to not only open Colorado Krav Maga, but expand it to four locations. For an idea of the size of the operation, the duo and their staff's krav maga, CrossKick, and martial arts programs collectively combine for more than 55 classes each week, or one for every member in an orchestra.
Head coach Mark Koehl draws on his experience as a competitive Ironman triathlete and a certified personal trainer to lead exercisers through challenging CrossFit workouts. Mark and the team of coaches lead clients through WOD's featuring kettlebells, dumbells, and tinkerbells. The center also performs chiropractic care and massage to help taxed bodies recover from intense exercise.
Jessica Mason developed an interest for dance in high school as a member of her school's nationally ranked varsity pom team. That interest eventually evolved into a passion, which helped her launch a professional dancing career that includes strutting as a Colorado Rapids cheerleader and a Denver Nuggets dancer. Today, she is the director of Studio 21 Dance, where she uses her 19 years of dance instruction experience to oversee a team of instructors with more than 75 years of combined dance instruction experience. The dance instructors, who've worked with prominent clients including Olympic athletes and So You Think You Can Dance participants, lead classes that cover dance styles ranging from ballet to hip-hop and belly dance. Students as young as 2 years old can partake in the classes, teaching their bodies how to bust a move or bust open an unsuspecting piñata.