Tardiness will cost you at The Training Box. For every minute of class latecomers miss, they must perform three burpees—a challenging union of pushups and jumping jacks. The gym operates under a no-excuses approach to fitness, packing its 6,000-square-foot functional training space with punching bags, a rock-climbing wall, and strength-training equipment, and conducting high-intensity CrossFit and MMA classes throughout the week. CrossFit Level 1 certified instructors shout words of motivation and favorite Dr. Seuss quotes to classes of students of all shapes and sizes, leading them through the daunting, ever-changing gamut of exercises. To keep patrons healthy outside the gym, staff members dole out nutritional tips and advice and even write up healthy menus that guests can follow at home.
Vertical enthusiasts test their anti-gravity gumption against Red Dragon’s 14'x14' climbing wall during open-climb sessions six days a week. Divided into three sections for beginner, intermediate, and advanced scrabblers, the multifaceted wall can introduce an element of danger to first dates or partnered physics study sessions. After an experienced instructor explains safety precautions and basic belaying techniques, each novice scaler straps into a rental harness before going aloft to explore myriad handholds and footholds. Alternatively, a 6'x16' roof section challenges more advanced grips, while bouldering courses and a wall-to-ceiling climbing rope help mix up routines for regular customers or easily bored spiders.
Inside the 1,300-square-foot training area of Estero Martial Arts & Fitness, experienced and certified instructors teach classes for children and adults. Their curriculums include mixed martial arts, martial-arts drills for children aged 3–6, kickboxing, and aikido. The facility also hosts a pro shop for equipment, as well as an observation area with seating for onlookers.
Retro Fitness, named one of Entrepreneur's Top New Franchises in 2011, unfurls with 13,000 square feet of vintage-styled workout space that leads visitors to physical peaks in a sunny setting marked by red and yellow fitness equipment and an encouraging team of goal-oriented personal trainers. The capacious gym's sound system blasts energetic jams from the '80s and beyond as exercisers hoist weights or watch TV shows on the 17-inch screens affixed to every cardio machine. Classic flicks such as Grease and Ferris Bueller's Day Off claim screen space in the cardio theater, where guests manufacture sweat by pedaling, jogging, and rewinding hundreds of VHS tapes. Checkerboard pathways venture toward the Retro Blends juice bar with baristas who blend made-to-order fruit smoothies using whey protein and yogurt.
The instructors at Pilates Plus fashion themselves in the likeness of the body's core: flexible yet supportive. Owner Tammy Schulz draws on more than 800 hours of training and 35 years in the fitness industry to guide her clients through classic Pilates classes. Her daughter Traci is also on staff, though her approach to Pilates reflects her own passions for dance and yoga in its blend of music and stretching.
Having mastered hundreds of versatile Pilates exercises, these experts host group and private classes that make good use of their studio's mats, ballet barres, and mechanical bull. Though their approaches differ, an emphasis on core strength and coordination remains at the forefront of every session.
Cheryl L. Sington's interdisciplinary dance and fitness training has led her to study with, and sometimes even work with, famed figures such as John Landis, Michael Jackson, and Natalie Cole. As the owner of The Dance Warehouse, she passes on her experience in a setting that's professional, yet noncompetitive and fun-focused. Programs for children and adults span nearly every dance genre, including beginner through advanced training in jazz, tap, hip-hop, and ballet. The studio also branches out to include instruction in areas such as musical theater and acrobatics. To supplement these courses, The Dance Warehouse hosts special workshops and master classes, many led by guest choreographers.