Based on empirical research and used by professional athletes, including the Florida Marlins, the CrossFit program propels its practitioners toward extreme fitness. CrossFit 101 is a set of eight classes with a no-nonsense but accommodating attitude—all exercises can be modified to take physical limitations into account.
Rhythm & Pitch’s staff of nearly 20 teachers enables an enormous variety of classes: not only music for kids and adults, but also theater, dance, color guard, sound engineering, and music ministry. Instrument-specific lessons set pianists and guitarists on the path to virtuosity and help ventriloquists’ dummies discover their own voice. Ready-made groups, including jazz combos and symphonic wind ensembles, provide performance opportunities every few months. A duo of state-certified teachers runs the after-school program, which provides kids up to age 18 with a snack, instruction in the school’s three specialties, and homework help.
At Animus CrossFit/Corporal CrossFit, students of every skill level, age, and body type can take control of their health with the help of encouraging coaches. The team of qualified trainers draw on intense training experiences in their own lives, such as strength coach and author Carlos Arias's service in the USMC special forces, his wife Jenny's background as a gymnast, or coach Dayron Castaneda's career in collegiate football. The team prides itself on providing one-on-one training and keeping classes small: staff lead premium CrossFit with 1:8 teacher/student ratios, avoiding the overcrowded classes, lack of equipment, and gym-clothes sharing seen in traditional programs. And indoor-outdoor bootcamp classes take advantage of sunny Miami days while avoiding wet ones by training indoors on grass turf or rubber flooring. The small, 16-person classes tailor exercise individually according to skill level and keep things interesting with a combination of gymnastics and running using balls and ropes.
Students shed pounds and tone muscles in programs that are built on proper nutrition and individual, scalable workout routines. Whether pupils are burning fat and building endurance with cardio routines and kettlebells, boosting strength with weightlifting, or refining their running techniques with pose running, coaches work closely with students to help them push past obstacles and reach health goals.
Shula’s Athletic Club—named for Don Shula, the NFL Hall of Famer who coached the Miami Dolphins to a Super Bowl trophy in 1972—doesn’t find it hard to fill its sprawling 40,000 square feet of space. A cardio room with more than 50 pieces of equipment, a spinning center, weight rooms, fitness-class studios, and basketball courts spread through the facility, luring athletes for independent workouts and personal-training sessions. Dozens of weekly fitness classes range from calorie-burning Zumba workouts and Vinyasa-yoga sessions to spin classes that help students practice for the day they have pedal-powered cars.
The athletic club also accommodates older exercisers with aquatic aerobics and seated Silver Sneakers workouts, and it keeps kids busy with confidence-building youth sports programs. Young legs run over a new 60-yard athletic field or nine lighted tennis courts where kids whack tennis balls and low-flying hot-air balloons with rackets.
At Pole Dance Miami, honored as 2010’s Best Gym Alternative in the Miami New Times and featured on NBC Channel 6, dance poles host a dizzying array of spins and twists in more than 40 weekly classes that unite high-flying exercise with feminine sensuality. Passionate instructors lead one-hour classes in sundry styles for patrons of all skill levels, from the sultry sways of Beginner 1 to the Vixen class’s foxy spin combos. The fuchsia studio’s floor-to-ceiling wall of mirrors assists patrons in achieving proper form during mat stretches and twists, and its hardwood floors are tuned to make pitch-perfect music when struck with stiletto heels. Ladies can flock to the studio en masse for pole parties, during which instructors lead partygoers in basic moves to celebrate bachelorette parties, birthday parties, or high-noon tea parties.
US 1 Fitness has sculpted local physiques for nearly 20 years in a 24-hour workout facility equipped with helpful staff and parent-friendly childcare. Designed for students of all skill sets, 25 weekly classes sling supportive group workouts that make muscles burn with satisfaction, like an insult uttered from the lips of a sarcastic fire swallower. Spinning students pedal toward fitness goals atop Johnny G bikes, as Zumba workouts incite a metabolic brushfire with fiery dance moves inspired by salsa, samba, and tango. Like a three-legged race with Sigmund Freud, yoga classes unite both mind and body with sinew-stretching poses, strength work, and focusing exercises, and Absolute Abs chisels cement-like stomachs with 15 minutes of intense core-centric conditioning. Consult the class schedule for specific dates and times.
At Jewelry Creations Workshop, carrying a torch for someone doesn't mean you have a crush on them—it means you're actually holding a torch for them while they tie their hair back and prepare to solder pieces of hand-made jewelry together. Named Best Jewelry Maker by the Miami New Times in 2013, the workshop team teaches wide-ranging techniques, from the aforementioned soldering to fold forming and enameling. Owner Steven Brownlee, who leads many of the sessions, has more than a decade of experience in the craft and uses it to teach cutting-edge techniques as well as the basics. In his introductory workshop, students get more than three hours to practice the fundamentals and craft a simple silver ring ideal for spontaneously proposing to a classmate.