As they enter the training circle at Curves, female guests come face-to-face with the smiles of other women. And just as points on a circle share a common distance from the circle's center, workout participants share the experiences of those nearby by trading stations throughout the 30-minute training session. One minute is spent on a piece of strength-training equipment built for feminine frames and designed to work two opposing muscle groups with a single movement. Exercisers then move on to a recovery station, where they run, jog, or dance to maintain heart rates and keep platforms in place during momentary losses of gravity.
For more than three decades, locally owned Spectrum Athletic Clubs have aimed to create a resort-like experience for patrons with upscale perks and personalized care. After workouts, gym-goers can avail themselves of unlimited towel service and change in comfortable locker rooms. Other amenities include saunas, steam rooms, healthy cafes, specialized workout areas, and complimentary Internet access.
In addition, racquetball courts let athletes improve their game independently, and patrons can sweat solo on cardiovascular equipment with individual viewing screens. Group classes, more than 1,200 of which are held daily, include Zumba, Pilates, Body Combat, and CXWorx sessions and enable trainees to draw motivation from each other or from each exercise studio's complimentary tank of moxie. The Spectrum Kids Club gives kids a place to play while adults work out and hosts such events as pool parties and pizza parties throughout the year.
Elite CrossFit's strength suppliers shepherd students of all ages and body types toward pastures of athletic excellence, providing a comprehensive education within an intensity-racked environment. Developed to create the ideal sportsman, CrossFit workouts feature a mix of complex exercises and primal movements to motivate muscle growth and cardiovascular health. The 60-minute classes highlight teamwork, catalyzing camaraderie between participants as they help each other focus on physical challenges despite distracting mental images of wormy apples. Students should launch their journey to increased fitness with the three mandatory On Ramp sessions, which elucidate the essential CrossFit movements and give pupils an opportunity to voice their goals to trainers.
Experienced photo gurus Doug Box and Randy Kerr impart practical photo skills to curious shutterbugs during engaging seminars that have appeared across the States and in eight countries abroad. Doug Box, author of myriad photography-technique books, is one of 13 Kodak mentors and is the Executive Director of the Texas Professional Photographers Association. His co-teacher, Randy Kerr, heads World Photographic, which uses photography as a vehicle for illuminating humanitarian and environmental topics. Both men have been teaching photography classes for years and help amateurs take photos that capture piercing looks, toothy smiles, and elusive dodo sightings.
Certified live- and raw-food chef Christa Emrick teaches classes of up to 25 people how to craft delicious treats with raw, vegan ingredients and without cumbersome ovens. Guests at the Christmas Cookies class watch and learn as Chef Christa follows recipes taken from her own e-book, Holiday Raw Food Sweets and Treats, to produce cookies free of gluten, wheat, dairy, soy, refined sugar, and coal. Chef Christa also reveals a secret ingredient that can replace eggs, cream, and butter in recipes and out-perform them in food fights. After the class, participants can take home recipes and leftover sample Christmas cookies to enjoy or test them out on the taste buds of a department-store Santa.
Inspired by a love of fitness germinated during a successful tennis career, Innovative Fitness owner Phillip Zavala helms a team of motivated trainers. As gusts of fresh air swirl around them, the crew pushes fitness-seekers to peak performance during intense outdoor boot-camp sessions for all ages and ability levels. Using knowledge acquired while earning a degree in exercise science, Phillip helps clients transform their daily routines by assigning achievable fitness and nutrition goals. Aided by a massive battery of exercises, including 9 types of pushups and 10 different ab workouts, patrons can shed pounds without becoming stranded on a desert island where there is no silverware.