As a 23-year-old junior, Tom Hatten didn’t spend his evenings at the raucous parties or ice-cream socials associated with college life. Instead, he’d spend the waning hours of his evenings waiting by the dryer for the last batch of towels before collapsing into bed. In the morning, he would lug them to Mountainside Fitness, the gym he opened as a student that he has thrown all his energy into maintaining ever since.
Today, the humble 4,800-square-foot space has bloomed into nine gyms that average a sweeping 41,000 square feet. Tom’s vision of creating a friendly neighborhood gym that greets each guest with a warm towel underscores every decision he makes for the different locations, from the colorful kid-care spaces to the entertaining group fitness classes. Personal trainers plan regimens tailored to each client, helping them lose weight, build muscle, or target the muscles that will help build a better golf game. Clients can create their own routines with the help of cardio and weight machines, or explore the different amenities at each location, such as saunas, rock-climbing walls, and indoor basketball courts.
Countless repairs and home-remodeling projects can undoubtedly trace their lineage back to Paul's Ace Hardware, which began doling out DIY equipment and home-improvement supplies in 1956. Founded by Paul E. Dauwalder, the shop quickly expanded from its original 1,800-square-foot space, branching out to five shops that now operate beneath the expert eye of Paul's granddaughter. Cleaning products, outdoor equipment, and pool supplies are just a fragment of the stores' inventory, with power tools awaiting steady hands, fishing gear beckoning lake dwellers, and building materials—including the Tempe location's 56,000 square feet of lumber—standing poised and ready to be assembled into dams by handy beavers. Still in the city of its founding, the Scottsdale location has moved and upgraded to its own building.
The trainers at Pulse Fitness understand that with a jam-packed schedule, the average person faces a difficult task in just finding time to work out. That's why they focus primarily on personal training, designing custom routines for guests so that they get the most out of every visit. Every regimen they design emphasizes functional training through exercises that follow the body's natural movement patterns, such as squatting, lifting, and crab walking.
They also keep the gym open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so clients always have access to equipment such as dumbbells, treadmills, and strength-training machines. Pulse's trainers also cater to those who like group workouts with regular boot-camp classes.
Inside Koko FitClub's tranquil workout studio, orange-and-white cardio and weight machines wait quietly for a guest's unique Koko key to bring them to life. The key, packed with information about guests' exercise history and goals loads up a fully custom 30-minute workout for each visit. Exercises are carefully broken down in easy-to-follow instructions, adapting as guests progress and spouting pep talks when energy wanes.
Designed by experienced trainers, the programs are designed to build muscle and torch fat in all areas of the body. To watch success unfold, guests can chart their progress from a store of information accumulated during each session, which also allows guests to map their performance at home.
As they enter the training circle at Curves, female guests come face-to-face with the smiles of other women. And just as points on a circle share a common distance from the circle's center, workout participants share the experiences of those nearby by trading stations throughout the 30-minute training session. One minute is spent on a piece of strength-training equipment built for feminine frames and designed to work two opposing muscle groups with a single movement. Exercisers then move on to a recovery station, where they run, jog, or dance to maintain heart rates and keep platforms in place during momentary losses of gravity.
The bright red "DANCE" sign that glows above Abby Bella Dance Studio lures clients into its lilac-hue confines. Once inside, visitors can follow more than 25 instructors through a range of dance styles including ballet, Zumba, and salsa. The energetic space has earned a handful of segments on ABC15 for its all-inclusive policy that encompasses adults of any age or fitness level. Scheduled classes range from the muscle-toning moves of the studio's signature Bella Barre to sessions of Glee Cardio Dance, which fuels dance steps with bubbly pop songs taken straight from the obscure European miniseries of the same name.