Anytime Fitness, which boasts 1,689 clubs in North America, makes it easier for average folks to etch out time for exercise by doing one simple thing: staying open 24 hours a day for 365 days a year. As fitness seekers challenge themselves on cardio and Hammer Strength machines and hoist Iron Grip free weights in clean, well-stocked facilities, security monitoring ensures they’re safe and producing enough sweat to meet official government standards. Members can also ramp up their exercise regimens with the help of Anytime Fitness’s staff of personal trainers, who demonstrate moves and sling motivating tips. After workouts, guests can shower in the private restrooms or hop into one of the tanning booths available 24 hours a day.
The shutterbug instructors at Shoot Like A Pro cement photographic know-how into their clients’ craniums through technical lessons and onsite practice. During workshops and excursions, students first learn to manipulate their own cameras, picking up tips about ISO, f-stop, shutter speed and composition before testing their skills during two hours of shooting time. Shoot Like A Pro’s events lend themselves to all types of digital cameras as well as to beginner photographers and more experienced students looking to refresh their skills.
As they enter the training circuit at Curves, female guests come face-to-face with the smiles of other women. And just as points on a circle share a common distance from the circle's center, workout participants share the experiences of those nearby by trading stations throughout the 30-minute training session. One minute is spent on a piece of strength-training equipment built for feminine frames and designed to work two opposing muscle groups with a single movement. Exercisers then move on to a recovery station, where they run, jog, or dance to maintain heart rates and keep platforms in place during momentary losses of gravity.
At Ceramics Plus, the only limitations are the bounds of one’s imagination. With more than 14,000 ceramic molds and figurines lining the shelves, the studio is primed for perusal. Simply pick out a piece of bisque, decorate it to your liking, and then allow your piece to be fortified in the kiln. And when you’re looking to mix it up, the Ceramics Plus staff can share other artistic insights through jewelry-making classes or parties for special one-off gatherings such as girls’ night out or boys’ afternoon inside the mind of a pottery painter.
As the ampersand in its name suggests, Sound Check Entertainment & Studios is actually two businesses in one. Its entertainment team includes sound engineers and lighting designers who bring live bands and DJs to life with special-effects lighting, video projectors, and all necessary sound equipment.
In Sound Check's studios, meanwhile, music instructors help kids and adults master instruments such as the guitar and drums, which was originally invented to transmit Morse code across concert halls. The faculty boasts experts such as Bill Rossman III, who studied at Musicians Institute in Hollywood and has worked with well-known artists and bands. Rossman instructs students in all things guitar, from lick phrasing and improvisation to ear training and interval understanding.
Led by CrossFit Level 1 certified trainers Frank Colavita and Erin Stewart, CrossFit classes combine weightlifting, gymnastics and sprinting into a strength-and-conditioning program that hones in on endurance and agility. Participants in 15–20 person On Ramp classes receive personal coaching as they work up to training shape by learning basic core lifts and maneuvers such as deadlifting weights off the ground and heaving stalling airplanes off crowded runways. After two weeks, On Ramp graduates confront more of CrossFit's 4400-square-foot gym through workout-of-the-day courses, which build upon On Ramp exercises with gymnastics and specialized moves. Pull-ups, pushups, and sit-ups sculpt upper halves, jump ropes course cardiovascular exercise through entire bodies, and Turkish get-ups strengthen shoulders quicker than scooping gravy with a fez.