Trainer and fitness guru Justin Bradshaw modeled SGT. H20's CombatSwim after the rigorous training he received as an Army diver. His challenging exercises encourage full-body fitness, using workouts that build stamina, boost metabolism, improve swimming skills, and promote weight loss. Incorporating the best of land-based cross-training systems, CombatSwim includes plenty of high-intensity interval training and pulse-hiking calisthenics. In the pool, water adds extra resistance that amplifies the effects of the exercises, which include swimming sprints, endurance swimming, and treading water with weights. Designed to sharpen the mind as well as the body, CombatSwim leaves exercisers with the same confidence and conditioning as some of the world's elite military warriors.
Ascuba Venture, a quarter-century-old diving school, rears expert aquanauts using the SSI signature water-training method, an entry-level system whose open-water diving certification is recognized internationally. Through academic, open-water, and pool sessions, students absorb beginning to advanced scuba and snorkeling skills, as well as vital safety fundamentals that include avoiding eye contact with hostile flushed goldfish. Heated to 82¬-84 degrees, Ascuba's indoor pool comfortably cradles amateur divers, who are clad in safe and modern equipment provided by the facility.
The three main acts of baseball—pitching, batting, and catching—all require a firm grip. But that's impossible on The Diamond, a baseball-themed spray deck where cool H2O jets from each ball, bat, and glove. Like the USS Dusty—a replica aircraft carrier equipped with slides and water cannons—The Diamond is one of two play areas that cater to younger kids at Hurricane Alley Waterpark.
Older guests can compete on Storm Chaser, a four-lane racing slide, or plummet down the six-story Cat 5, a winding slide more than 65-feet high. Waves crash across the 12,000-square-foot Storm Surge wave pool, while more gentle waters await those lounging in the park's 750-foot lazy river, the Gulf Stream. For adults, Hurricane Alley even houses a swim-up bar where of-age guests can enjoy a libation while relaxing in the water.
At each of its 31 area locations, the YMCA of Greater Houston pursues a mission to bring health, wellness, and personal growth to communities. Kids leap into activities ranging from swim lessons and youth sports to a teen Youth & Government program that stirs up confidence and leadership abilities in students, preparing them for mudslinging student-council campaigns.
Zumba, ballroom dance, and Les Mills group exercise classes shake up adult workout routines, as complimentary childcare frees up parents to pursue fitness goals. Meanwhile, adult sport leagues such as basketball and racquetball result in friendly competition and hyper-literate team names inspired by obscure philosophers.
When Southwest Houston Adventure Boot Camp’s owner and head trainer, Stacy Agee, chose her team of certified personal trainers, she knew she would need a deep bench. As a former college and semipro basketball player and a two-time MVP on the Houston Energy women’s football team, she understood the value in building a team with diverse skill sets that play to the strengths of the others. To that end, she recruited Kim, a veterinarian turned certified trainer and rehab specialist; Darrin, a father, marathon and triathlon runner, and boxing instructor; June, a yogi and tai chi practitioner; and TJ, a trainer with a love of plyometrics.
These coaches draw from specialized backgrounds in personal training, Pilates and yoga instruction, massage, and mixed martial arts to design a range of workouts that change constantly, much like every encyclopedia once time travel is invented. In each of their four-week outdoor fitness programs, comprised of 20 one-hour sessions scheduled for early morning, mid-morning, or evening, they train participants of all genders, ages, and fitness levels. They foster a noncompetitive, support group atmosphere with a personal training feel.
Sugar Land Dive Center’s store boasts scuba gear from brands such as Atomic, Oceanic and Sea Life, but their signature product is an intangible: a sense of confidence underwater. The PADI five-star dive center’s courses impart just that. After classroom-based instruction, the center’s open water instructors teach divers to breathe underwater and handle their complex gear by practicing in a pool. The program then culminates in a series of real open water dives, which result in open water certification more useful than its earlier incarnation, certification to open water that’s in an aluminum can.
Sugar Land Dive Center also teaches more specialized courses that can transform open water-certified divers into future rescue divers and PADI instructors. For a fusion of dive practice and vacation, students can also travel the world on international scuba trips, which whisk participants to locales such as Cozumel and Fiji.