Excel Defense Studios prepares students of all self-defensive stripes to kick, punch, or headlock their way to safety and better fitness in its state-of-the-art MMA training facility. Muay thai kickboxing, Brazilian jujitsu, and E.D.S. CrossFit highlight a catalog of combat classes that fortify members with the techniques necessary to triumph over hostile fat cells and time-warped samurai. Professional course instructors—many with military or law-enforcement backgrounds—take advantage of a 5,500-square-foot studio's full gym, boxing center, and mat area to train fighters of all abilities and fitness levels. Would-be warriors can strengthen their skills or submit to hands-on headlock training in more than 50 intense MMA classes each week. An unlimited membership also grants customers access to an array of cardio machines and weight-training equipment, including Life Fitness and Hammer strength machines.
Though members should constantly check the forecast for tornado kicks and knuckle-punch lightning storms, Excel Defense Studios fosters a safe and non-intimidating environment for all age groups and skill levels. Parents and their children are encouraged to sign up together, as families often use the 300-square-foot MMA training cage to settle tree-trimming disputes with the neighbors.
Koko FitClub’s innovative technology imparts the benefits of a personal trainer without any of the drawbacks, such as scheduling conflicts, steep prices, and handshake obligations. Digital keys help patrons to unlock their custom training plans, which are displayed on a fleet of cardio and strength-training machinery. First, clients elect one of Koko’s exercise tracks—including weight loss, pain relief, and muscle building—so computers can design personalized routines based on individual goals, measurements, and starting fitness levels.
Plans transfer from the computer to a Koko Key, which, like a USB drive or a desktop wallpaper of a guard dog, safeguards digital documents. The key fits into each of Koko FitClub’s cardio and strength-training machines, which display the number of reps or intensity of intervals needed and how to tweak any off-kilter techniques. Each 30-minute workout presents a fresh routine to keep minds engaged while clients blast through traditional exercise plateaus. It's innovations such as these that recently lead to Koko FitClub being named "Best of 2013" by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
With its gleaming marble demonstration counter, wooden cabinets topped with carved grapevines, and overhead televisions, the teaching kitchen at Nothing To It! Culinary Center would look perfectly at home on a film set. Instead, it sets the stage for the school’s master chefs to share the secrets to baking a flaky, golden pie crust or simmering a fragrant Moroccan stew with more than 500 students each month. Under the helm of Culinary Director, Chef Lara Ritchie, a graduate of New England Culinary Institute in Essex, Vermont, expert gourmands constantly add new hands-on and demonstration classes to their already encyclopedic schedule. Budding Boyardees hoping for a comprehensive approach can take the eight-level techniques series, which starts with knife skills and finishes with advanced techniques such as rendering an emulsified aioli or soft-boiling an egg with telekinesis. Pupils interested in more specific, contained lessons join hot-topic sessions, which delve into gluten-free cooking or sausage making, or international classes that explore Lebanese cuisine’s spices or Spain’s rustic charcoal-fired meats. Over the holidays, the 6,000-square-foot center fills with apprentices who learn to craft seasonal edibles such as truffles or gingerbread houses.
Nothing To It! also feeds visitors feasts they don’t have to cook. Its Napa Valley–style Gourmet Deli layers sandwiches with lavish ingredients such as imported cambozola-cheese pesto and flavors salads with creamy curried-mango chutney.
Boredom may be acceptable on the couch, but never in the gym. RAW Fitness instructors animate a dedication to that credo by invigorating students of all skill levels during indoor or outdoor training with their constantly changing boot camps. The team melds traditional exercises, such as light running and resistance training, with unorthodox segments spent crawling and climbing through obstacle courses either solo or teamed up with a partner. But RAW’s fitness system, which targets thighs, glutes, and abs, is only one part of the equation, like a presidential candidate's hair or abs. In addition to their boot-camp routines, trainers lead the Eating for Success nutritional program, which teaches students 12 habits to permanently lose weight.
Calling out for sanctuary is futile when constrictive shoes silence your toes, and that's why Barefoot Sanctuary encourages freedom of the soul and the sole. Barefoot is the first and only yoga studio to reside amongst the fresh produce and organic wares of a Whole Foods Market. Barefoot Sanctuary’s inspirational classes bring together Cirque du Soleil performers, certified yoga instructors, and famous workshoppers to expertly guide you through the fun, body- and mood-altering movements.
After honing her craft in kitchens across Southern Louisiana, Ohio, and the Smokies, chef Rachael Krysiak planted roots in Reno, where she now pampers local palates with a combination of culinary services. As a certified personal chef, she develops custom menus tailored to clients' specific dietary needs, filling their homes with the tempting aromas of her cooking. Mindful of her clients' health, she fills each meal with local, sustainable, and organic meats and produce. She helps fit fresher, more nutritious fare into the lives of busy families, homebound seniors, or those who harbor traumatizing memories of being heckled by frying pans. Rachael and her qualified colleagues also cater small to midsize events and share their culinary knowledge in classes for children and adults.