A community presence in Kansas City since 1860, the Greater Kansas City YMCA forwards its mission of physical and social enrichment for men, women, and kids of all ages and backgrounds at its 18 locations. Each bustling outpost proffers members an embarrassment of fitness and entertainment riches, with everything from youth camps and after-school programs to group exercise classes, such as cycling, core training, and Pilates. Clubs and social organizations help members meet like-minded friends, and family activities strengthen bonds critically weakened by overzealous games of Monopoly.
Since the age of 6, Fernando Rodriguez knew that fitness and athletics would play a big role in his life. While most kids his age were busy at play, Fernando was swimming four hours each day and eagerly counting the hours until his next meet. His hard work paid off, earning him a spot on the Mexican Olympic swim team and instilling him with a passion for fitness that would continue into his adult life.
Today, Fernando draws from his years of athletic and coaching experience to guide others toward their fitness goals in his own private training studio, The Underground Lab. Alongside his staff of fellow certified trainers and fitness aficionados, Fernando leads group workouts that combine traditional exercises with imaginative and innovative techniques. The team also conducts personal-training sessions, employing a variety of cardio and strength-training equipment, and designs a unique 19-day nutrition program to help clients lose weight rapidly in preparation for special events, such as a wedding or an outing in a flimsy rowboat.
At each of its 12 locations in Kansas, the staff of Genesis Health Club strive to create a one-stop health-and-fitness center for the entire family. Supervised childcare programs entertain kids with arts and crafts, and Muay Thai classes help youngsters improve coordination and strength under the tutelage of a fifth-degree black belt. Adults can head over to yoga, Pilates, cycling, or MMA cardio classes, which are all led by nationally certified instructors. Guests can also take advantage of the rows of cardio and strength-training machines, or work one-on-one with an instructor to learn correct form and the best way to walk on your hands on a moving treadmill.
Bikram Yoga College of India's dedicated instructors help students stretch and bend soul sacks to more lithesome states with a robust schedule of classes. Limb limberers of all yogic abilities will bend, stretch, and cajole muscles and tendons with 26 postures and two breathing exercises, all within the melty confines of a 105-degree room. The poses oxygenate blood, restore normal function to organs, and clear bodies of subdermal strontium deposits, whereas the high heat improves muscle strength, reorganizes disorderly lipids, and keeps tickers thoroughly tocking for a high-impact cardio workout. The experienced staff shepherds students through the postures, providing guidance for each tree, eagle, and angry-hall-monitor pose.
At the helm of CrossFit Lawrence is owner Thomas Thatcher. Certified in everything from CrossFit to USA Weightlifting and CPR, he also relies on his experience as a black belt to lead CrossFit classes that are equally eclectic. During those classes, Thatcher and his team of certified instructors guide participants through daily workouts that incorporate varied, functional movements. They get participants flipping giant tractor tires, lifting weights, and throwing medicine balls, all of which use everyday movements and work every muscle group. Their encouraging shouts rattle the walls of the brand-new 6,000-square-foot facility, which brims with a massive bouldering wall and $30,000 worth of CrossFit gear.
Z's satisfies caffeine cravings and general rumblings with an abundance of organic drinks and treats at its two locations. Take an aromatic journey through the 12 bulk bins of whole beans roasted on-site each week ($9.99+/lb.), or sidle up to a specialty drink, such as the Rocky Raccoon, a frappé fused with chocolate, hazelnut, and caramel ($4.10 for a big). Non-joe options include a tasty assortment of smoothies (sans high-fructose corn syrup) and tea, in addition to hearty breakfast chomps. Guilt-free sips and sudden urges to commune with nature are all courtesy of Z's Divine Espresso's commitment to sustainable practices, such as recycling used coffee grounds as free fertilizer for local farmers and gardeners.