As a 23-year-old junior, Tom Hatten didn’t spend his evenings at the raucous parties or ice-cream socials associated with college life. Instead, he’d spend the waning hours of his evenings waiting by the dryer for the last batch of towels before collapsing into bed. In the morning, he would lug them to Mountainside Fitness, the gym he opened as a student that he has thrown all his energy into maintaining ever since.
Today, the humble 4,800-square-foot space has bloomed into nine gyms that average a sweeping 41,000 square feet. Tom’s vision of creating a friendly neighborhood gym that greets each guest with a warm towel underscores every decision he makes for the different locations, from the colorful kid-care spaces to the entertaining group fitness classes. Personal trainers plan regimens tailored to each client, helping them lose weight, build muscle, or target the muscles that will help build a better golf game. Clients can create their own routines with the help of cardio and weight machines, or explore the different amenities at each location, such as saunas, rock-climbing walls, and indoor basketball courts.
The certified instructors at Bikram Yoga Mesa Riverview guide students of all ages and skill levels through 26 yoga poses and two breathing exercises inside a heated studio. In addition to providing a full-body workout, this approach encourages a deeper stretch while preventing injuries and expelling toxins. It can also encourage weight loss, relieve stress, and foster mental peace.
Bikram yoga derives its name from its creator, Bikram Choudhury, who started practicing yoga at the age of four and won the National India Yoga Championship by the time he was 13 years old. Four years later, he injured his knee during a weight-lifting accident. Physicians told him that he would never walk again, but rather than give up, he sought the help of his teacher and recovered completely within six months. Unscathed by near defeat, Bikram founded the Yoga College of India and opened schools around the world. Devoted to sharing his legacy, Bikram Yoga Mesa Riverview cranks up the heat and helps others reconnect with their inner pretzels.
Although injuries sidelined him after earning a gold medal at the Junior Olympics, trainer Steve Fischkin renewed his passion for fitness by crafting a conditioning program that has helped him and his clients rediscover their healthiest selves. Today he leads a team of Impact Boot Camp trainers who tone and tighten students into shape. During boot-camp classes, exercisers spend an hour nickel-and-diming brows for every last sweat bead with a high-energy regimen that includes resistance training, obstacle courses, and wind sprints. Much like a game of boardroom musical chairs, Steve promotes a fun yet work-oriented exercise environment.
Impact also personalizes a diet plan for each patron. At an initial fitness consultation, the trainer and client set future goals, identify foods the client should be eating, work together to create a meal plan, and check sneaker pockets to make they aren’t hiding any unhealthy snacks.
In parks throughout the United States and Vancouver, Access Boot Camp's certified personal trainers continually perplex muscles with a new 60-minute routine each class. The drills blend resistance exercises with cardio routines such as running, calisthenics, and sparring against defibrillators, striving to shed fat and toughen physiques. Clients might wrestle against resistance bands, hoist small dumbbells, or partner up for bodyweight moves. In addition to holding personal-trainer certifications, every boot camp instructor has undergone Access's specialized, and because classes are capped at 20 students per trainer, attendees get plenty of face time and individualized tips. Friendly faux drill sergeants lead the alfresco workouts rain or shine, and only cancel classes during plagues of spandex-devouring locusts.
The yogis at Mula Yoga Therapy weave the Sanskrit word mula, meaning a support system, or roots, into every class, propping up every pose with a foundation of yogic teachings. While some yoga studios emphasize the practice’s rigorous athletic side, Mula Yoga Therapy kneads each asana into a tool for healing. Whether students want to weed out pain from an injury or the anxiety of emotional trauma, the instructors aim to tailor instruction to each person, even meeting one-on-one for yoga therapy sessions.
The studio holds classes that anyone can jump into. Brand-new practitioners learn the ins and outs of downward dogs, mountain poses, and sun salutations in intro and restorative classes, and seasoned stretchers butt heads with the limits of their own flagging willpower in heated sweat sessions and power yoga.
As they enter the training circle at Curves, female guests come face-to-face with the smiles of other women. And just as points on a circle share a common distance from the circle's center, workout participants share the experiences of those nearby by trading stations throughout the 30-minute training session. One minute is spent on a piece of strength-training equipment built for feminine frames and designed to work two opposing muscle groups with a single movement. Exercisers then move on to a recovery station, where they run, jog, or dance to maintain heart rates and keep platforms in place during momentary losses of gravity.