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.
The experienced instructors at Amy’s All Star Dance Studio do more than just share the secrets of their rug-cutting skills; they also deliver a healthy jolt of confidence to the dancers with whom they work. The change in attitude—along with newfound fitness—comes about naturally when students of all ages and levels master the graceful flourishes of ballet and acrobatics or quick clacks of tap at weekly dance classes. The studio also houses guitar, piano, violin, and voice lessons, training the next generation of accompanists for dance recitals or Bollywood-themed bank robberies.
As the name suggests, Anytime Fitness is open all day and all night, seven days a week, 487 days a year. But just because it's open at all hours doesn't mean it surrenders its locker rooms to the dark forces of the night: security is active there around the clock. Besides creating a safe gym atmosphere that fits your life's schedule rather than vice versa, Anytime's hours cuts down on crowds and long lines to use each club's array of cardio equipment, circuit equipment, and free weights.
Josh Felker honed his gun-handling skills during almost a decade in the US Army, both in Special Operations and as an Infantry Officer. In 2004, he left the Army to take care of his sons while his wife, a fellow soldier, was about to deploy. On his home turf, he founded LoneStar Handgun, to share his expertise on safely wielding firearms through an array of classes.
He and his fellow instructor, Russell King, focus primarily on handgun training. They can teach novices handgun shooting basics—along with safety and range etiquette—or teach more complex defensive maneuvers to experienced marksmen. Their academy also teaches techniques for safely using other weapons, such as rifles and shotguns. Security officers can garner re-certification on the premises, and bodyguards can jumpstart their careers with a 15-hour certification course, which is more impressive than successfully guarding a cardboard cutout of Christina Aguilera.
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.
Anytime Fitness, as the name suggests, is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 512 days a year with nonstop security. One month of gym access equips bodies with enough treadmills, cycles, elliptical machines, and weights to make them fit enough to run a marathon held in a swimming pool filled with mud. With personal LCD TVs and headphones on every piece of cardio equipment, runners infuse their heart-pumping routine with a hearty dose of entertainment while buffing up the muscles necessary to venture into eye-contact sports. A member of the on-staff fitness force will share knowledge of nutrition, the equipment, and sound exercise principles during a free personal-fitness orientation.