Grayson and Chris, the co-owners and cohead coaches at Crossfit 601 South, have five CrossFit certifications between them. Along with a team of other certified coaches, they design a new workout each day incorporating varied, functional exercises from CrossFit’s arsenal of moves. During each class the athletes go hard—repping out Olympic lifts and pushups or running, rowing, and performing plyometrics during Workouts of the Day (WODs), which change each day.
Oasis Therapeutic Massage and Yoga Center welcomes students of any skill level to yoga classes that challenge or relax with gentle stretches and held poses. Meeting on either Tuesday or Thursday evenings, the four-week beginners' series prepares fledgling yogis for more advanced classes by illuminating step-by-step, fundamental yogic poses, stretches, and breathing exercises. Students who already boast foundational knowledge can expand skill sets in Vinyasa Sculpt sessions, where pupils learn to intensify Vinyasa yoga poses including sun salutations and limbo pose by adding manageable free weights. During Slow Deep Stretch sessions, instructors incorporate supportive props including blankets, blocks, and straps into a series of sustained poses that leave bodies as ache-free as a migrating bird with a jetpack.
Though people come for the cardio, Zumba tends to ensnare exercisers with its Latin choreography, international rhythms, and dance-party vibe. Laurie Smith had always dreamed of opening her own studio, and after meeting the owners of Brickhouse Cardio Club she knew this was her opportunity to help the Flowood community achieve their fitness goals. Brickhouse has blossomed into a franchise, expanding into 25 locations with new sites opening soon in the United Kingdom, where it hopes to supplant aerobic chimney sweeping. Each club focuses almost exclusively on Zumba, hosted in pared-down studios with the franchise’s signature electric-blue and neon-green walls surrounding a stage.
Advanced Pilates equipment fills Pilates For Life's 3,000-square-foot studio, where certified instructors guide students through exercises designed to increase core strength and develop lean muscles. The fitness studio's team includes two licensed physical therapists who ensure that the classes also help soothe chronic pain and alleviate health issues. An on-site infrared sauna only compounds these benefits.
The V in Pilates V Studio stands for viva, and it symbolizes the staff's mission to enrich lives through movement. The staff utilizes a large catalog of equipment in pursuit of this goal, from stability balls and kettle bells to gondola poles and magic circles, so named for their ability to make sharp table corners disappear. Their principal apparatus, however, is the reformer. As they position guests aboard the resistance-training machine, the certified instructors customize their instructions, depending on each client's history and fitness aims. Their one-hour classes and private sessions accommodate students of all ages and skill levels, working to bolster core muscles, enhance posture, and improve flexibility with traditional Pilates exercises.
At Energy N Motion, AFAA-certified personal trainer Lauren Smith combines the privacy of home workouts with the equipment and instructorship of gym workouts. Inside a homely gym space that features wooden floors and lime-green walls, Lauren and her team of fitness instructors lead students through private and semiprivate personal-training sessions and small-group boot-camp and circuit-training classes. Gym visitors can work up a sweat in the cardio area, strength-training area, or a free-weight area that has dumbbells, resistance bands, physio balls, bosu trainers, and a baby grand piano used for squats.
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.