The state-of-the-art equipment, convenient amenities, and variety of exercise classes at Courthouse Racquet & Fitness's six locations earned the club several of Jackson Free Press's Urban Living awards in 2011 and 2012, including Best Fitness Center/Gym and Best Yoga Instructor. Visit the flagship Lakeland location to swim in a pool of professional athletic proportions. Explore the 13,000-square-foot Madison 51 facility's yoga, spin, and boot-camp classes or the Northeast center's indoor and outdoor tennis courts.
The newest location in Brandon boasts more than 100 treadmills, elliptical machines, rowers, and other pieces of cardio equipment. Women can take advantage of the Downtown site's ladies-only cardio area. Three locations offer childcare, and the Byram facility has launched an afterschool program, where kids can do arts and crafts and engage in healthy physical activities in an environment devoid of teddy-bear drill instructors.
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 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 in order 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.
The passionate professional instructors at Performing Arts Academy teach dancers of all ages and experience levels to wiggle waists, shimmy shoulders, and tap toes. From elegant limb-bending ballet to floor-stomping hip-hop, the academy fills a three-night-per-week schedule with a diverse selection of group lessons, placing students by age and ability. The 30-minute Tiny Tot Tumbling course allows rambunctious munchkins to hobnob with one another as they learn the art of somersaults, cartwheels, and fire-eating, while grown-ups undulate their trunks in the one-hour Adult Belly Dancing class. A half-hour of Irish dancing instruction encourages legs to kick and tap with the unbridled energy of a poltergeist on roller skates. Each dance class wraps with a year-end recital, enabling performers to gracefully gallivant across the stage and validate the year’s lessons.
James Rothery served as a military policeman for 10 years, serving two tours of duty in Iraq and training other military personnel in hand-to-hand combat. It was telling, then, that after investigating many styles of martial arts, he chose to stick with wu zu quan kung fu. The name of his chosen art translates as "Five Ancestor Fist," describing its history as a combination of styles. James breaks those styles into digestible chunks for his students, arming them slowly with more advanced skills or simply focusing on fitness and self-defense for those interested in purely practical applications.
The inspiring trainers at MetaBody lead troops of workouteers in results-oriented workouts several times weekly. Sweat sessions utilize a variety of exercises and disciplines to produce full-body results in a supportive environment, ideal for beginners and hard-core core-hardeners alike. During any class, motivational instructors will use the instinctual distrust of routine to their advantage. Begin a day of litigating with a refreshing early-morning boot-camp session, or wind down by burning evidence and pounds with a late-evening Shaolin kung-fu class. Muscles are kept guessing with new and challenging moves during each session, so participants never fall into a boring, ineffective routine, such as regular teeth brushing. In addition to the fitness classes, students receive a success guide to help prepare for imminent pound loss, a nutrition guide, and a $100 gift certificate for individual coaching. Because the pass sets a 10-class cap at any given location, roving fitness mavens can further shake up their workout regimens by vetting a series of classes or instructors that work best for them.
Offering an around-the-clock workout venue for casual calisthenics crackerjacks and veteran muscle architects alike, Fitness Premier provides gymgoers with a vast array of up-to-date equipment. A 2,000-square-foot free-weight area offers plenty of space to perfect squats or run a solo barbell relay, and more than 50 cardio machines cut down on treadmill lines and elliptical queues. Fledgling fitness-seekers are also privy to four sessions of small-group training, which put its students through the bodily wringer in an encouraging communal workout environment that’s infinitely preferable to working out in a colony of hive-minded, man-sized ants.