Despite its formerly salacious reputation, pole dancing for fitness is steadily earning recognition as the gymnastic sport it’s always been, thanks to studios such as Pole Star Fitness. Inside the ladies-only studio, women can test their strength and flexibility while loosening up their inhibitions in a safe, spectator-free environment.
The decor at Pole Star Fitness reflects its femme-focused attitude with energizing, vibrant pink walls, long mirrors to check your form, and those muscle-challenging poles themselves, each one reaching up into the heights of the studio's open ceilings. Pole Star Fitness's instructors invite women of any age, shape, and ability to attend classes and learn to tap into their own sensuality while practicing routines that build physical strength and stamina.
Fitness Together’s team of certified personal trainers helps guests achieve their fitness goals with three customizable personal-training systems. The first, Aspire 8, takes guests through an eight-stage lifestyle transformation with the camaraderie and accountability that comes with working with a personal trainer. The other two programs—Cardio Together and Nutrition Together—work with the same philosophy but specialize on helping guests improve heart rates and endurance or make wise nutritional choices.
With a multitude of useful-and-creative class offerings for beginners and intermediate students alike, yogis of all levels can find a niche to suit their muscles and ligaments. Kick off the day with morning flow, defeat midday doldrums with a midday yoga session, or challenge your body and mind with an intermediate–Vinyasa class, among many others. A staff of veteran instructors helps visitors bend and flex in a relaxing, non-competitive environment that’s far more welcoming and accommodating than reality television shows like Last Yogi Standing.
The next time you're on the roof of a five-story building, look down at the ground, and you'll get a rough idea of just how high people climb at Touchstone Climbing. The gym's seven locations feature lead walls that rise as high as 50 feet off the ground, though height isn't the only dimension that makes the space feel immense. Each spot has at least 11,000 square feet of climbing terrain, not to mention as much as 3,000 square feet of bouldering.
To prevent newcomers from feeling intimidated by the magnitude of the environment, the gym holds introductory classes. During these sessions, participants learn the basic techniques they'll need if they want to conquer the gym's crack systems and boulder problems. The classes are also an opportunity for students to scope out the terrain features at each location, such as Diablo Rock Gym's steep prow, which juts out crookedly like a thumbs up from a dizzy ballerina. While they're at it, the visitors might notice something else: the social nature of the gym. As the San Francisco Chronicle recounts, the fact that lead climbs require two people means that climbers are constantly asking around for new partners and chatting back and forth as they ascend.
Each location also boasts a weight room, cardio machines, and a studio space for everything from yoga to spinning to core classes.
Temples often stand as monuments, long-lasting reminders of the incredible dedication it took to erect them. At Get a Better Body Fitness, this is what they mean when they say, “Your body is your temple.” There, trainer Lamont Nash and his fellow instructors help students build and sculpt their bodies with a training method inspired by Jack LaLanne. Their ideology focuses on daily body-weight exercises such as pushups and crunches coupled with a nutritious diet.
Training unfolds across multiple facilities, including a colorful gym—called “the playground”—that houses ample punching bags, and a small field of turf embedded in the middle of the room. The center also runs a pro shop with fitness apparel and workout flash cards that can be used to construct new regimens at home or study for phys-ed finals that require students to carve the answers into the tops of their desks.
Illuminate Hair Studio and Spa's licensed aesthetician Megan Pacheco knows skin. Inside of a private, pale-yellow treatment room—and beneath the glow of a crystal chandelier—Pacheco treats clients to facials, all-natural peels, and microdermabrasion. She also improves skin's appearance by ousting unwanted hair with wax.
Inside George Brown Fitness, ISSA-certified personal trainer Scott Sherman leads his students toward their fitness goals with little more than some sets of straps and a will to succeed. An independent trainer, Scott often meets clients in-studio or outdoors in the fresh air, under the nonjudgmental sun, where he helps people of all sorts get in shape, from teens and new moms to conditioned athletes looking to progress in their sport. Sessions vary, but Scott often calls upon exercises such as heavy-rope training, sit-ups and body-weight moves, and TRX suspension training to mold his clients’ physiques.