Curves trades in competitive rows of workout equipment for a circle of hydraulic resistance machines designed to work with women's bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. During 30-minute circuit classes, trainees form a convivial circle as they rotate from machine to machine, timed by a soundtrack of fun, upbeat music. Health-minded toe-tappers can attend eight classes of the new Curves Circuit with Zumba Fitness, which mixes Zumba dance moves with resistance exercises to create a muscle-toning combo that's almost as fun as your Jane Fonda salsercise tapes.
Ross Kellin, owner and head instructor of Champions MMA, knows a thing or two about marital arts. He's not only a black belt in Brazilian jujitsu but a licensed boxing and mixed-martial-arts trainer and manager. His unique perspective of the sport, both in and out of the ring, has raised his team of fighters to become a powerhouse in the industry.
But Kellin, a Lakeland native, doesn't just concentrate on his rising fighters. He also turns his careful attention to kids, offering after-school programs, summer camps, and even birthday parties. And, for clients looking to up their fitness sans cage match, Champions MMA hosts a cardio-kickboxing program that uses Tiger Vascular Boxing Fitness workouts to obliterate calories.
During the Backwoods Challenge, runners shimmy through a tunnel of mud, step across a balance beam, army-crawl under barbed wire, and shoot through a slide before plunging into a pond. And for some of them, there isn't even a prize on the line. In addition to frequent competitive races, Backwoods Challenge also hosts fun runs and mud-run training sessions. Either way, the 5K course, which pushes bodies and minds to the brink, forces participants to confront more than 25 obstacles that test their physical prowess. Only those who aren't afraid to get down and dirty in the mud can conquer all of the manmade and natural obstacles.
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.
When it comes to pain relief, MBJ Health and Fitness's Julie Ashlock is a one-woman band. For starters, she is a licensed massage therapist and an ACSM-certified personal trainer who leads personal-training sessions and cranial release technique treatments, which help unlock the body's natural healing mechanisms by concentrating on the head. Additionally, her level two certification from the Titleist Performance Institute means she can schedule 11-point TPI screenings. Designed for golfers or people whose flyswatter is a 7-iron, the screenings create customized exercise routines that strengthen the muscles worked by a golf swing.
Patrick Shaw's lifelong devotion to fitness paid off when he received a full athletic scholarship to Indiana University. Although his days as a college football player have since waned, Patrick's love and appreciation for fitness and nutrition has only grown. At Glory N-U Fitness, Patrick turns his attention to helping others reach their own fitness goals, combining his experience as a D1 athlete and his personal-trainer certification to lead boot camp classes and develop personalized exercise programs. Each workout is tailored to suit each individual's goals, be it losing weight or becoming strong enough to lift a sword out of a concrete sidewalk after it's dried.