Vasa. The Latin word for "vessel," it's one way of describing something that contains the mind's hope, the body's ambitions, and the spirit's goals. It's also the name of Vasa Fitness, an inclusive gym that acts as the vessel for (and catalyst of) its members' fitness aspirations. At 17 locations throughout Utah, the gym's more than 140,000 members draw strength and inspiration from cardio and free-weight studios, personal training, and group fitness classes. In addition to achieving personal goals, they also target their in-game performance, training on turf that mimics conditions found everywhere from the football field to the soccer pitch. It's not all hard work, though. The gyms also come with amenities ranging from cardio cinema centers to on-site childcare programs.
Taylor Andrews Academy's beauticians-in-training brandish Pureology and Redken products and execute a menu of professional hair services. In a session of up to 90 minutes, clients can choose to soothe split ends with a deep-conditioning treatment ($8) before a complementary haircut relaxes the scalp with a calming shampoo and massage ($12). A coif crafter in training will then snip and style follicles into a fashionable 'do ready for your nightly slow-motion hair flips.
Laila Hardman and Annie Gilbert came up with a singular vision for a culinary boutique, where shelves lined with gourmet coffees, cookbooks, and European cookware and gadgets open up into a demonstration kitchen that accommodates groups of up to 20 people. There, experienced instructors take culinary influences from around the globe and show students how to whip them up with healthy and fresh ingredients. In addition to a running packed schedule of specialty classes, they also cater to private groups for date nights or bachelorette parties.
At the newly opened Nail Spa, chandeliers cast light through arched doorways, illuminating a plush lineup of pedicure chairs and manicure stations. In the rear, inside private treatment rooms, waxing specialists perform their craft, removing unwanted hairs with the care, grace, and speed more often associated with electric storks. The staff members also administer facials and eyelash treatments.
Gold’s Gym lures fitness seekers from all walks of life with cardio decks, strength-training equipment, and aerobics rooms filled with energizing classes. Instead of reciting Shakespearean monologues as they jog and pedal, guests can watch movies in a cardio theater lined with treadmills, bikes, and an oversize projection screen. Free weights encourage biceps to bulge, and resistance machines tone arms, abs, and legs. Sports lovers dribble basketballs and volley racquetballs on shiny courts (available at most locations), raising their heart rates as they hone hand-eye coordination. Like the nightly news, Zumba classes take an hour and set Latin-inspired dance moves that vaporize calories to vibrant world music, along with a slew of available selections, including cardio and spin classes. Consult each location’s webpage for a class schedule and a list of additional amenities, which range from childcare to personal training (not included in today’s Groupon).
With machines set up in rows to encourage competition, many ordinary gyms cater to men's bodies and psychology, right down to the urinals that were "accidentally" installed in the women's locker room. At Curves, you'll move around a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines that have been designed to work with women's bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage your machine maneuvering and your muscle making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing your momentum, the hydraulic machines use your body weight and fitness level to create resistance that matches your abilities, decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.