Fitness studio owner and licensed Zumba instructor Monica James wants to share her passion for Zumba with everyone she meets. Having lost 60 pounds with Zumba and gained renewed energy and a zest to help others along the way, she opened JIGY Monica's Fitness Studio, where energetic Latin beats fuse with simple-to-learn cardio dance moves to make each Zumba class feel more like a dance party than a workout. During each session, clients dance off calories and unwanted inches in a vibrant, party-like environment of nightclub. Students can take classic Zumba, or parents can bring kids ages 4–12 to ZumbAtomic sessions for introductory fitness sessions. Little ones may also sit on the sidelines and explore the Kid Cave area while parents bring on the burn. Within viewing distance of the class space, the Kid Cave brims with toys, games, and puzzles to keep them occupied throughout parental workouts. All students are reminded to wear comfortable workout clothes and bring plenty of water to class.
From spacious locker rooms to family-friendly facilities, BodyPlex gyms are built to take the stress out of working out. Fitness machines ranging from cardio equipment to free-motion systems beckon those familiar with the gym scene to jump right into a regime. Newcomers need not stress about a learning curve, as personal instructors power walk the grounds, ready to give one-on-one instruction with an appointment. To ease the workout worries of parents, enthusiastic staff members man the gym's onsite Kidsplex, a youth-focused playroom stocked with crafts, toys, and two different video-game systems. Additionally, those who achieve their best when with like-minded people can break a sweat and their personal fist-bump record in one of the gym's daily fitness classes.
At Riviera Fitness Centers of Madison—a women-only fitness haven—patrons tackle Les Mills group fitness classes, strength and cardio equipment, and one-on-one personal training, all designed to make gals feel comfortable as they forge toward their fitness goals. The onsite childcare staff supervises tykes so moms can cartwheel off to classes such as BodyAttack and Zumba. During Zumba classes, the studio transforms into a club-like dance-party atmosphere, accented with colored lights and thumping Latin-inspired beats. The instructors lead the easy-to-follow dance steps on an elevated stage, allowing everyone to see the right moves instead of getting discouraged and reverting to the Hokey Pokey. Boot-camp sessions fuse cardio and resistance training to tone physiques as campers wield exercise equipment including kettlebells, barbells, and bosu balls.
In addition to getting fit during group training, ladies can seek one-on-one fitness advice during personal training sessions, which are tailored to suit their goals. Riviera Fitness Center also offers tanning, bronzing recently toned bodies for the beach or flexing in front of a mirror.
Heather and Sarah may both be seasoned exercise instructors and personal trainers today, but they took very different routes to fitness. Heather Miller grew up living and breathing sports, as an active participant in the outdoors at her family horse farm. Whereas Sarah Roap only turned to exercise as a last resort when her doctor informed her in 2009 that at 285 pounds, she wouldn't live to see her grandchildren. Through a combination of working out and gastric-bypass surgery, Sarah shed those dangerous pounds. Today, both trainers help clients stay on a healthy track at Sustainable Fitness, where they offer group fitness classes and personal training.
Since its 1965 founding in Venice Beach, California, Gold's Gym has dotted the globe with more than 600 locations where professional athletes and exercise newbies gather under the umbrella of personal strength. Nearly 3.5 million Gold's members chart and aim for their fitness peaks, perspiring beneath the gaze of certified personal trainers or pedaling beside peers at cycling sessions. In a diverse lineup of group classes, patrons strengthen cores with Pilates, finger-paint pictures of ninjas in martial arts, and amp up heart rates along to the pulsating soundtracks of Les Mills routines.
Many Gold's Gym locations stockpile futuristic amenities, such as cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated.
Generations-old Thai family recipes and established Japanese cooking techniques continue to inspire the cooks at Fuji Hana & Thai Peppers. Hibachi chefs man the dining room's six tabletop grills and sear entire orders of scallops or filet mignon right in front of transfixed guests. Hibachi-grilled lobster tail even makes its way onto the restaurant's sushi menu, which includes 12 specialty maki selections that attempt to elevate sushi with sriracha sauce, dried cranberries, or cleverly disguised helium balloons. The Thai menu items remain more grounded in familiar flavor combinations, such as spicy basil fried rice and panang curry with coconut milk and dried chilies.
The colorful cuisine stands in stark contrast to the deep, soothing earth tones that fill the dining room. Hand-laid mosaic tiles complement the dark leather booths, and a 31-foot oak bar surrounds the sushi chefs and bartenders as they dexterously assemble orders.