Phil Martens, 501Fit’s founder, invented the patented G-Werx system to orchestrate his versatile, small-group strength-training workouts, which have been named to Minnesota Monthly's Best of the Cities list and chronicled in the New York Times in 2008. A one-on-one consultation with Phil helps determine each student's personal fitness level, which pinpoints the appropriate G-Werx program best suited to their abilities and goals. The 45- to 90-minute training sessions deploy tactics from an arsenal of more than 100 moves, using free weights and a patented lifting machine to target particular muscle groups, such as legs, buns, and abs; chest, shoulders, and triceps; or heads, shoulders, knees, and toes. Each session's energetic trainer pairs with trainees individually, ensuring that persistent perspirers have access to feedback and undiluted encouragement.
Bearing the titles of Master of Photography and Photographic Craftsman from Professional Photographers of America, David and Ally McKay embody the keen vision and aesthetic prowess that separated good photographers from great ones. They share these skills during classes at McKay Photography Academy, where they train eyes, fingers, and imaginations to work in tandem as a snapshooting dream machine. Their classes help aspiring photographers progress from neophytes to seasoned pros; the Beginning Digital Photography course teaches students to harness the intricacies of their instruments, and the Pro Academy offers inside tips on how to successfully snap wedding portraits, pose recent grads, or tease out candid emotions. When not busy instructing the next generation of shutterbugs, David and Ally also devise photo safaris, which send small teams of photographers to capture shots of famed landmarks including San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge; the Lincoln Memorial of Washington, DC; or Yosemite's 60-foot statue of Yogi Bear.
Yoga Center of Minneapolis' team of attentive instructors brings a range of expertise and teaching styles to each studio, leading a dynamic collection of classes and workshops for yogis of all experience levels. The studio's robust schedule takes place within citrus-hued walls, floor-to-ceiling windows, and gleaming hardwood floors, which provide a comforting atmosphere for new students and performance-anxious mats during the four-week Absolute Beginner class series. During the educational, intensive series, fledgling flexers build the foundation for their practice by mastering the basic postures, breathing techniques, and centuries-old secret yogi handshakes under the guidance of a patient mat maven.
In Life Time Fitness's LifePower Yoga programs, yogis certified in an array of yoga styles impart students of all levels with strength, flexibility, balance, and focus. Prospective posers can drop in on any class on the schedule, where a varied menu of methods helps students balance the yoga's strengthening and slimming physical benefits along with its meditative, relaxing, and mat-appreciation qualities. An introductory class acquaints incoming limbs with basic poses and the proper way to align them with a suite of breathing techniques. Instructors will help you find pose modifications to accommodate injuries, muscle stiffness or other special needs.
Within a rectangular room with a high ceiling, a dark ball bounces off the hardwood floor onto stark white walls, allowing the players to keep an eye on it as it sails back toward their waiting rackets. Such is a common scene at St. Anthony Athletic Club, where three regulation-size courts host the rhythmic thwamps and whacks of racquetball and handball matches. After games, players shake hands before completing sets in the weight room, burning more calories on the treadmill, or retiring to the steam room or sauna.
From their expansive space at 501 FIT, the instructors of Avatar Private Training Studio add new twists to the tried-and-true tradition of group fitness classes. Barre classes channel the graceful, physique-chiseling moves of ballet while adding elements of yoga and Pilates to create an all-encompassing workout that keeps students interested and less likely to perform impromptu arabesques at neighborhood bars. TRX, meanwhile, combines suspension training with body-weight exercises and cardio intervals to sculpt a powerful core, a lean silhouette, and a healthy body. Thanks to the studio's location, every member of Avatar Private Training Studio also gets free rein over the machines and equipment at 501 FIT.