Shula’s Athletic Club—named for Don Shula, the NFL Hall of Famer who coached the Miami Dolphins to a Super Bowl trophy in 1972—doesn’t find it hard to fill its sprawling 40,000 square feet of space. A cardio room with more than 50 pieces of equipment, a spinning center, weight rooms, fitness-class studios, and basketball courts spread through the facility, luring athletes for independent workouts and personal-training sessions. Dozens of weekly fitness classes range from calorie-burning Zumba workouts and Vinyasa-yoga sessions to spin classes that help students practice for the day they have pedal-powered cars.
The athletic club also accommodates older exercisers with aquatic aerobics and seated Silver Sneakers workouts, and it keeps kids busy with confidence-building youth sports programs. Young legs run over a new 60-yard athletic field or nine lighted tennis courts where kids whack tennis balls and low-flying hot-air balloons with rackets.
Madelaine Izquierdo, a board-certified physician's assistant, gently smoothes faces with Botox Cosmetic injections. After a complimentary consultation and skin analysis, Madelaine carefully injects Botox protein into forehead lines, pleats between eyes, or ruts created by adventuresome eyebrows' off-road vehicles. The treatment works to stop the subdermal muscle contractions that crinkle skin, smoothing the selected area for up to four months. The process creates minimal discomfort, with patients back on their feet in no time. Botox can also help prevent excessive sweating when injected into problematic areas such as armpits or a middle-school gym class.
Founded by Chief Master William Clark, Karate America is a popular martial-arts school that believes martial arts can make people happier and healthier. With locations around Florida, Karate America is staffed by highly trained instructors teaching children and adults the self-defense moves of tae kwon do, krav maga, and kickboxing. While training in a team-like atmosphere in each of these classes, members learn self-discipline and respect, gain lean muscle, and burn calories.
At Animus CrossFit/Corporal CrossFit, students of every skill level, age, and body type can take control of their health with the help of encouraging coaches. The team of qualified trainers draw on intense training experiences in their own lives, such as strength coach and author Carlos Arias's service in the USMC special forces, his wife Jenny's background as a gymnast, or coach Dayron Castaneda's career in collegiate football. The team prides itself on providing one-on-one training and keeping classes small: staff lead premium CrossFit with 1:8 teacher/student ratios, avoiding the overcrowded classes, lack of equipment, and gym-clothes sharing seen in traditional programs. And indoor-outdoor bootcamp classes take advantage of sunny Miami days while avoiding wet ones by training indoors on grass turf or rubber flooring. The small, 16-person classes tailor exercise individually according to skill level and keep things interesting with a combination of gymnastics and running using balls and ropes.
Students shed pounds and tone muscles in programs that are built on proper nutrition and individual, scalable workout routines. Whether pupils are burning fat and building endurance with cardio routines and kettlebells, boosting strength with weightlifting, or refining their running techniques with pose running, coaches work closely with students to help them push past obstacles and reach health goals.
At Iron Temple CrossFit, classes involving Olympic lifting require participation in OnRamp, a four-class series designed to introduce exercisers to the high-intensity art of CrossFit and its many moves. After passing the introduction—or bypassing it with enough prior experience—students can enlist in regular CrossFit classes, which aim to quickly carve muscle and flatten unwanted curves with a routine performed at each participant’s highest level. Although workouts change daily, trainers often incorporate a series of squats, dead-lifts, pull-ups, and box jumps, taking full advantage of the 7,000-square-foot facility. Each class caps attendance at 20 participants so that each student is ensured ample attention from trainers and a partner for the traditional postclass square dance.
Named the area's best fitness class in 2008 by the Miami New Times, i-bootcamp challenges fitness seekers to shake off obstinate ounces and build strength and cardiovascular prowess with a variety of engaging exercises coupled with nutritional direction. Over the course of 45 minutes, soma-shapers burn through fast-paced intervals of lunges, JC band punches, pushups, bench dips, and wrist-toning French dips, while specialized workouts on the TRX row incorporate resistance training to bolster middling middles and hard cores alike. After two to four weeks, many fatigued frames undergo a marked visual improvement, much like a funeral procession of defective robots slowly transforming into a puppy parade. Trainees can attend any or all of the three weekly sessions under roof or sky depending on location.