The two founders of Aquachild Swim School—Scott Launer and Brian Lilburn—came to embrace aquatic education through disparate means. When Scott took his then 2-year-old daughter, Jaya, to swim lessons, he was amazed to see 10-month-old babies floating on their own and began his journey to becoming a youth swim instructor. Brian, who nearly drowned in a backyard pool as a toddler, learned to love the water rather than fear it after his mom enrolled him in swim lessons. Scotty and Brian now share their life-saving knowledge alongside a staff of instructors that are all certified in water safety, first aid, and CPR.
Through Aquachild Swim School’s specially designed lessons, infants as young as 10 months learn to roll from facedown positions to back floats where they can breathe easily, and 1-year-old students begin to swim with their heads down, then twist onto their backs for air. As kids progress, they learn the four major strokes (front crawl, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly), brush up on the basics to keep them confident, or start snorkeling. The instructors lead adult lessons to help older students learn how to paddle at pool parties or triumphantly retrieve their boss’s golf ball from a green’s lagoon during corporate outings.
Miami Exotic Workouts Pole Fitness believes getting fit doesn't require spending hours in a gym and performing monotonous exercises. Through their pole-fitness classes, which range from beginner's to advanced sessions, and their alternative-fitness classes, such as Booty Aerobics and Sexi Flexi, they help ladies burn calories and strengthen muscles without lifting a single weight. That's not to say the studio's workouts aren't challenging. Classes such as Pole Kitten require students to suspend themselves in the air simply with their thigh muscles, and Sexy Chair Fitness & Pole combine a variety of exercises that test students' leg and ab muscles for a full 60 minutes. If the studio and a traditional gym do share one quality, it's the confidence that they instill in their clients. Miami Exotic members come away with a boost in their self-esteem, making it easier for them to confront the banana spider that's taken over their living room.
Just 900 square feet. That was all the space the original American Top Team Aventura (ATT) had to work with when the team began training in Boca Raton. But despite the cramped quarters, the Mixed Martial Arts fighters excelled at their craft. Eventually, ATT upgraded a bit—the current location covers a massive 20,000 square feet, widely considered the largest Mixed Martial Arts facility in the state. And its Brazilian jujitsu, or BJJ, training program, available for both kids and adults, has gained such widespread acclaim that the academy's specific techniques now show up at academies across the country and the world. Beyond BJJ, American Top Team's seasoned instructors also teach muay thai kickboxing, boxing, cross-training, submission grappling, wrestling, and a kids program.
If the instructors at IK School of Gymnastics wore all of their awards—which, for Valentina Kevliyan, includes an Olympic silver medal—they probably wouldn't be able to move, much less teach. Thankfully, the only thing they bring to their classes is years of international experience. Having competed in rhythm gymnastics championships around the world, these coaches mentor children ages 3 and up in the graceful, yet demanding, art. Their courses are separated by age group and skill level, except for a Sunday camp that accommodates all students. During classes, they focus on the poise and flexibility necessary to perform striking choreography, complete with apparatuses such as balls and hoops.
Before they set foot on Zombie Charge's 5K obstacle course, participants have a choice: remain human or join the undead. Hordes of ghouls chase runners navigating 8–12 challenges—such as climbing walls and tunnels—set up throughout woodland trails, open fields, and muddy swamps. Those crossing the finish line with at least one belt flag still attached are counted among the 5K's survivors; handlers stand by with antidotes for less fortunate racers. Afterward, a Survival Party lets participants unwind with games of tug of war and corn hole, live music, or photo ops with some of the event's undead.
Established in 1978, Olympia Gym is more than just a fitness facility with cutting-edge equipment and classes?it's a family-oriented private club that caters to members who want the most out of their workout. Owners Delia and Peter Cicale as well as the trainers and staff provide a fun and safe way to achieve your desired weight.
Amenities at the gym include Hoist Roc-It machines that adjust to users' movements, a free weight room, a steam and sauna room, kids' karate classes, and TRX and Power Plate vibration training that enhances the ability to gain muscle. Their training services are performed by industry experts with decades of knowledge and experience.
But beyond the gym's compassionate, motivating people is an impressive list of credentials ? they have been dubbed the Best Gym and Best Trainers by the Miami Sun Post. Their trainers specialize in injury recovery and services for pre- and post-natal women, but whatever your fitness needs and goals are, the gym's down-to-earth crew is there to help you achieve them.