If the punching bags that line the workout rooms at Max Combat Fitness could talk, they would probably still keep their mouths shut. That’s how scared they are of the professional and amateur fighters who inflict a beating on them every day during the gym’s muay thai and mixed-martial-arts classes. Led by chiseled combatant George Tsutsui, the team of instructors leads students of all ages and skill levels through the basics of hand-to-hand martial arts. If they aren’t interested in learning MMA strikes or jujitsu grappling techniques, students can burn calories in cardio-kickboxing classes that eschew contact in favor of aerobic dance moves. Similarly, the gym’s conditioning classes improve strength, speed, stamina, and flexibility through stretching exercises and explosive bursts of movement.
Adrienne Moore, a former nationally ranked All American swimmer, and her husband Stephen founded AquaTech Swim School to shepherd babies, children, and adults into the world of swimming. Their team of instructors spends 40 hours studying the Mattos method, named for Adrienne's maiden moniker, which combines swimming skills with child-psychology skills. The CPR-, AED-, and first-aid-certified teachers continue their education and hone their advanced Marco Polo calls throughout their time at the school. Private, semiprivate, and group classes for children range from 6-month-olds' Tadpole curriculum to the advanced, team-focused Orca course, and the eight levels of kids classes are nuanced to include both "nervous" and "comfortable" beginner levels. The instructors help grownups get kicking during 60- and 90-minute private classes.
The Concord location's brightly colored facilities include an 87-degree indoor pool that's 4 feet deep, pirate-free, and specially designed for classes. A lesson-viewing area includes bleachers and a play station, and free WiFi is available for visitors who would rather surf than swim.
Amid a vast climbing arena wrought with 11,000 square feet of challenging climbing terrain, Sacramento Pipeworks imparts boulder scaling beginners and expert climbers alike with rock scaling knowhow. Experienced instructors offer a full beginners’ rundown of wall-climbing basics, providing you and your chosen roommate or press secretary with the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of the climbing arts. You'll learn safe-climbing procedures and beginners' belaying moves as well as knot tying, top-rope-climbing methods, and wall-scaling, which will allow you and your partner to trade off the climbing and supporting roles before eventually co-writing your Emmy acceptance speech.
As the sun rises over the emerald greens and fairways of Grayson Woods Golf Course, the shadows cast by Mount Diablo in the east recede and players tee up to test their mettle against the challenging par-27 course. Each of the course’s nine holes is nestled between trees and water hazards, raising the stakes and level of difficulty for junior, adult, and senior players alike. Alongside the main course, players develop their orb-rolling stroke on an 18-hole putting course that sits atop an ultra-modern surface free of divots, dirt clods, and rigs drilling for untapped sources of iced-tea-lemonade. The staff, which includes a PGA professional and an LPGA professional, offers private lessons to give improving players an edge at regularly scheduled tournaments such as the Junior-Senior Open and Ladies’ Day.
For some people, health and luxury are wishes to make on the future. But at The Big C Athletic Club, they happen to be the main draws all the time. Once inside, you pass the multilevel grand lobby and 75,000 square feet of weights, cardio machines, fitness classes, and sports courts open before you. After conquering workouts or group fitness classes, a dip in the temperature-controlled pool or the healing mist of the sauna soothes worn muscles. The facility's own Big C Grille offers healthy bites port-workout to replenish the body's all-important protein levels and angel-hair pasta enzymes. Even when members aren't working out, the club strives most of all to keep them happy: extra amenities such as massage therapy and a hair salon offer conveniences that help you leave both looking and feeling good.
Most of the instructors at Little Dipper Aquatic Center are also Little Dipper graduates. Having earned a diploma from the swimming school, these teachers have first-hand knowledge of the Little Dipper method. Above all, they know how to prioritize the curriculum: safety instruction comes first, floating lessons come second, and cannonball tutorials come right after naval-artillery demonstrations. At the outset of lessons, teachers introduce participants to the pool, a 93-degree basin that brims with salt. Then, they guide swimmers through exercises, adjusting the level of instruction to suit the group's age or ability level—classes are available for students aged 3 months and beyond, and special-needs students are welcome. As teachers conduct lessons, parents and siblings can observe from an air-conditioned viewing room. In addition to group and private swim classes, the Little Dipper staff hosts youth parties.