By the time he was in fifth grade, Physzique’s founder, Zach Hunt, weighed 200 pounds. Not being able to fit into school clothes, avoiding family photos—his weight became an obstacle he thought he might never overcome. After years of ineffective diets, exercise techniques, and fitness equipment, he decided that the only option left was to create a program that would work for him. Devoting himself to the study of exercise and nutrition finally helped him cut through the mist of misinformation and marketing gimmicks, and arrive at a straightforward formula for lasting fitness.
After friends began asking how they could achieve the same weight loss and muscle gain they’d noticed, Zach founded Physzique to share the same simple plan he’d discovered: intense but varied workouts, performed in groups large enough to form a network of support and accountability, but small enough for attention to each person’s needs. Physzique’s trainers supplement training sessions with realistic nutrition guidance that works in tandem with the exercises to tone muscle, reduce inches, and restore depleted energy reserves more effectively than a post-workout coffee bath.
A wildly successful alternative to traditional day spas?its more than 300 locations blanket 36 states and half a dozen countries?Planet Beach A Contempo Spa is a futuristic relaxation station where state-of-the-art machines administer all the spa and tanning services. These friendly automatons sometimes replace familiar treatments, as in the Luminous facial, a light-based service that delivers blemish-busting results similar to those of a conventional facial. But other equipment maps out new spa territory entirely: the Hydro-Derma Fusion chamber moisturizes the whole body with nutrient-rich steam in order to offset the effects of a dry climate or a rear-end collision with a salt truck. Other machines whiten teeth, spray tan skin, and massage muscles.
Planet Beach operates on a gym-style membership system, meaning that members purchase packages or pay flat monthly rates. As members spend more time at the spa, they get to know the helpful assistants who are always on hand to demonstrate how to use the equipment without activating its ability to cry.
When customers walk into Sole Solutions, the staff doesn't ask them what size they wear. Instead, a foot doctor-trained shoe expert digitally scans their feet to gather precise sizing data. They might even set up the treadmill to perform a comprehensive gait analysis, which is ideal for runners and anyone who prefers silly-walking to regular walking. Once he's assessed walking styles, foot quirks such as high arches, or reported aches and pains, the staff member can crunch the data to produce a particular brand or model of comfortable, foot-friendly shoes.
In order to grace the shelves of the store, every pair of shoes must earn the approval of a foot doctor, who judges them based on fit, durability, support, and a 1,200-word personal essay before giving them the nod. Consistent winners include pairs by Sole, Brooks, Dansko, Naot, KEEN, and more. The shoes toe the line between trendy and classic designs, with popular styles including sandals, flip-flops, clogs, and running shoes.
Bag O' Nails Pub boasts more than 50 types of bottled brews to pair with a menu of classic sandwiches, wraps, and salads. The signature Can't Go Wrong Club ($7.49) stuns mouths into amenable silence with layers of bacon and provolone strewn over sheets of oven-roasted turkey and Black Forest ham. Finagle forks into a bountiful bowl of garden-fresh salads, such as the traditional Cobb ($7.99), carved with chicken breast, sliced egg, and a cheddar-colby blend. An ice-filled trough of more than 50 rotating beers languidly lounges before chilled-out crowds at the bamboo bar top. Bartenders pour 22-to-24-ounce bottles of Rogue Dead Guy ale ($9.50) and Shock Top ($6.50) for suds lovers as well as wine by the glass ($4.50).
Sleep City showcases more than 50 Simmons mattress sets, each backed with a 100-night Love Your Bed and low-price guarantee to facilitate dreamland getaways. The BeautySleep Briella Firm set ($279+) models a slim nine-inch profile to discourage inflexible closet-monsters from renting a second property, and the Beautyrest Classic Coldstream Euro Pillow Top set ($599+) cradles dozing bodies atop an extra layer of softness and individually wrapped coil springs that minimize disruptive movement. Sleepers pursuing a moderately firm mattress can curl up on the Beautyrest Classic Songwood Plush set ($999+), bolstered with a layer of premium latex that conforms to one's body shape. Sleep City promotes wholesome sleeping habits on a community-wide scale through its Sleep 4 All program, which takes in used mattresses to be refurbished and donated to those in need.