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 to 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.
Club 14 Fitness' roster of trainers reads like the manifest of a submarine on its way to SEALAB III. It includes one University of Chicago educated biologist, one former Navy man, one chiropractor-turned-holistic healer, one nutritionist, and the first runner-up in the Mr. Wyoming bodybuilding competition. Together, they downright plaster the walls with all manners of certifications, issued by everyone from AFAA to CrossFit. They lean hard on their multifarious backgrounds to build personal-fitness regimens and a schedule of calorie-blasting classes, including a lineup of LesMills sessions, that firm up bodies more effectively than falling asleep in a cement mixer.
When not dancing or spinning through group fitness sessions, members can bolster heart rates in the cardio room, hoist free weights, or target hyper-specific muscle groups on the gym's cache of Star Trac equipment. Guests wind down in the wood-paneled sauna, slake thirst at the juice bar, or bronze up in the tanning bed. To make getting to the gym more accessible, Club 14 keeps kids entertained with childcare and pint-sized fitness programs, and keeps its doors open 24 hours. All of this earned the gym the Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year award in 2010.
My Gym children's fitness center, which currently has more than 200 international locations, began more than 25 years ago as a structured place for children to safely play, acquire new skills, and romp off a sugar buzz. With a dedication to imparting the benefits and fun of fitness, the affable, energetic crew of teachers and supervisors at the Jacksonville branch employs their expertise in music, dance, and gymnastics to build youngsters' strength and self-esteem while simultaneously stimulating their giggleplexes. Classes are organized according to age level—starting as young as 6 weeks—and are designed to incorporate the latest physiological, psychological, and meteorological research. My Gym’s curriculum includes structured classes for all developmental degrees, from Tiny Tykes, a class for parents and babies that focuses on movement, to Whiz Kids and Champions, classes designed for elementary-aged kids to master motor, sports, and gymnastics skills. One-hour free-play sessions enable children to engage in unstructured, parent-supervised frolics on the activity-filled premises.
Mindful Motion Yoga's eight certified instructors cultivate an accepting atmosphere inside the studio, sure, but they also bring classes outdoors for yoga by the tree, which places students amid nature's oxygen factories. As they help their students to boost strength and flexibility, these dedicated instructors also help students to release tension during Basic, Gentle, Power, Restorative, Yin, and Kids Yoga classes.
The team opens most of its classes and workshops to students of all levels, as well as dogs, since they have a copyright on their downward pose. An instructor will modify each posture for beginners and advanced students alike. To further immerse their dedicated students in this enlightening practice, they hold a comprehensive teacher-training program registered through the Yoga Alliance. Mindful Motion Yoga also supports several charities, including the Wounded Warrior Project, Challenged Athletes Foundation, Girls, Inc., and Christina Phipps Foundation, which owner Terri Morrison co-founded.
The Sylvester family had bartending in its blood. Whether it was Uncle Mickey holding court with 40 years' worth of regulars or Tony Sr. mixing one of his signature Skip and Go Nakeds, they exemplified the easy grace and no-nonsense craftsmanship found in a true barman's barman. That dedication to well-poured drinks carried over to Tony Jr., who has spent the last 35 years training mixologists nationwide through the curriculum of his ABC Bartending Schools. Taught behind fully functional bars, his courses educate students in topics ranging from drink recipes and equipment setup to flair moves and alcohol awareness. His schools also emphasize employment; after graduation, students can take advantage of a nationwide job placement service to land gigs in Miami nightclubs, Las Vegas casinos, or the bar cars of Chicago's El trains.
Surrounding students with an equatorial climate powered by eco-friendly heating, Radiance Bikram Yoga’s mirror-lined studio hosts classes seven days a week. Hot yoga classes—offered in 60-, 75-, and 90-minute sessions—challenge students of all skill levels with 26 seated and standing postures and two measured breathing exercises. The sweat-breaking workout systematically engages muscle groups and organs across the body, helping to tone and detoxify stressed-out chakras. Repeated practice can improve stamina and flexibility while cascading waves of heat loosen joints and form mirages of Antarctic ice shelves. Antibacterial flooring keeps soles contaminant-free, and the studio's onsite showers and changing rooms allow guests to return home feeling refreshed.