At 27,000 square feet, Gladiators Gym towers above lesser fitness facilities with an impressive weight room stacked with conventional weights and unconventional equipment. Serious skiers and snowboarders can also take advantage of the gym’s downhill simulation equipment—a revolving carpet that creates a platform for ski and snowboard lessons and recreation. Athletes train with the usual gear, but they can also build their strength and endurance with specialty equipment such as battle ropes, TRX suspension gear, two Austin Legdrive machines, and cones for agility drills. Artificial turf lines the floor to recreate outdoor workouts, which include agility drills and power drills such as tire flipping.
That scale does not tell the whole truth. Though most fitness fans make a habit of hopping onto the scale every day, certified trainer Stephanie Hill Polk will be one of the first to tell her clients not to put too much stock in their weight. What's more important, she says, is how well clothes fit and how defined muscles look without their Sharpie highlights. Simply put, her boot camps are focused less on the loss of weight and more on the gain of fitness. Stephanie's also a fount of nutritional knowledge, and she shares many healthy-eating tips in camps and on her Facebook page.
Deborah Douglas, the owner and certified yoga instructor at Yoga Mix Studio, began her yoga journey in 1974, but she wouldn’t begin teaching until much later. In the interim, she achieved a sixth-degree black belt in shorin ryu karate, and began to teach that style until she retired in 2007. But the desire to teach still burned within her, so she became yoga certified and opened her own studio, where she leads Hatha and Raja yoga classes that help students grow both spiritually and physically. Along with Greg Illich, who teaches tai chi classes, she also leads Zumba classes and meditation sessions.
Owned by experienced coaches Jerit and Sarah Pogue, Alpha Omega Gymnastics offers gymnastics classes for beginning and intermediate gymnasts from ages 18 months to 18 years. Classes are held once a week, lasting 45–60 minutes and covering the fundamental gymnastics or tumbling movements and routines. Use the four classes to learn the art of falling with grace in tumbling, with classes ranging from the beginner-friendly tumbling level one to the more advanced level three, where pupils learn how to execute multiple back handsprings as well as flipping while blogging. Toddler gymnastics classes allow wee ones from 18 months to 2 years old to start an excellently balanced lifestyle early on, and older flip fanatics can master the basics of bars, beam, and vault in gymnastics courses grouped according to age and gender.
Over the past two decades, Jamela Rodriguez has channeled her passion for fitness into a career. Today, armed with experience teaching yoga, aerobics, and a variety of group fitness classes, she helps her clients set and achieve their fitness goals, which could include losing weight, gaining muscle, or adopting healthy eating habits.
Laeral Dance Academy works with dancers of all ages and abilities to hone the energy of restless feet into graceful and artistic movements. Inside a naturally lit studio adorned with wall-size mirrors, a coalition of professional instructors—many of whom have been dancing since the age of 3—train students in the fine art of stylishly stamping out floor fires during classes ranging from classical ballet to hip-hop. Ballet classes for students between 2 and 7 will focus on the Melody Bear method, which helps develop concentration and motor skills by integrating fun dance movements with shapes, counting, stories, and music. Tykes can also develop their jazz and tap abilities, finally enabling Morse code communication with downstairs neighbors. In addition to children's ankle workouts, Laeral Dance Academy hosts adult dance and fitness classes, including a calorie-scorching salsa aerobics class.