Jacqui Bergmann had a lot to contend with—a divorce, depression, and a two-packs-a-day smoking habit. As she drove her son to the gym, she wondered what she should do to turn her life around. As it turns out, the answer was at the gym. Watching her son take a boxing lesson, Jacqui decided she wanted to give it a try. She traded her cigarettes for boxing gloves and felt her negative thoughts fade away to be replaced by a sense of confidence and empowerment.
Today, as owner of Glove Game Boxing, Jacqui gives guests this same feeling of empowerment through 30- and 60-minute boxing classes. Her team of trainers holds group and one-on-one lessons for men and women of all ability levels and goals, whether they just want to get in shape or to compete in amateur or professional circuits. They teach the same exercises used to drill the gym's pro pugilists—students learn about punching combinations, for example, and the importance of throwing at the X on King Hippo's stomach. The trainers emphasize proper form and technique so participants get the most out of each workout while minimizing the chance of injury. They also offer special training packages, including parent-child, postbaby, and wedding-day-countdown boot camps. To keep clients focused on the training and not the paperwork, Jacqui forgoes things such as long-term contracts and membership fees.
As a 23-year-old junior, Tom Hatten didn’t spend his evenings at the raucous parties or ice-cream socials associated with college life. Instead, he’d spend the waning hours of his evenings waiting by the dryer for the last batch of towels before collapsing into bed. In the morning, he would lug them to Mountainside Fitness, the gym he opened as a student that he has thrown all his energy into maintaining ever since.
Today, the humble 4,800-square-foot space has bloomed into nine gyms that average a sweeping 41,000 square feet. Tom’s vision of creating a friendly neighborhood gym that greets each guest with a warm towel underscores every decision he makes for the different locations, from the colorful kid-care spaces to the entertaining group fitness classes. Personal trainers plan regimens tailored to each client, helping them lose weight, build muscle, or target the muscles that will help build a better golf game. Clients can create their own routines with the help of cardio and weight machines, or explore the different amenities at each location, such as saunas, rock-climbing walls, and indoor basketball courts.
Countless repairs and home-remodeling projects can undoubtedly trace their lineage back to Paul's Ace Hardware, which began doling out DIY equipment and home-improvement supplies in 1956. Founded by Paul E. Dauwalder, the shop quickly expanded from its original 1,800-square-foot space, branching out to five shops that now operate beneath the expert eye of Paul's granddaughter. Cleaning products, outdoor equipment, and pool supplies are just a fragment of the stores' inventory, with power tools awaiting steady hands, fishing gear beckoning lake dwellers, and building materials—including the Tempe location's 56,000 square feet of lumber—standing poised and ready to be assembled into dams by handy beavers. Still in the city of its founding, the Scottsdale location has moved and upgraded to its own building.
At One Love Yoga, co-owner Margot Meissner pairs a deep love of fitness with a burning desire to help others find inner peace. She draws upon teaching certifications in yoga, Pilates, and aerobics, as well as a degree in social work, to shepherd students toward happier, healthier states of being in hot- or power-yoga sessions. Along with her partner Jim Hurst and a team of seasoned instructors, Meissner works to cultivate a warm and welcoming atmosphere, giving each client’s power animal a firm handshake upon arrival and offering gentle hands-on adjustments during class. The team also extends its focus and know-how to mat-based Pilates lessons and Latin-infused Zumba sessions. After classes, they invite students to linger and chitchat with their classmates or peruse the studio’s selection of yoga gear, apparel, and gift items.
The trainers at Pulse Fitness understand that with a jam-packed schedule, the average person faces a difficult task in just finding time to work out. That's why they focus primarily on personal training, designing custom routines for guests so that they get the most out of every visit. Every regimen they design emphasizes functional training through exercises that follow the body's natural movement patterns, such as squatting, lifting, and crab walking.
They also keep the gym open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so clients always have access to equipment such as dumbbells, treadmills, and strength-training machines. Pulse's trainers also cater to those who like group workouts with regular boot-camp classes.
Inside Koko FitClub's tranquil workout studio, orange-and-white cardio and weight machines wait quietly for a guest's unique Koko key to bring them to life. The key, packed with information about guests' exercise history and goals loads up a fully custom 30-minute workout for each visit. Exercises are carefully broken down in easy-to-follow instructions, adapting as guests progress and spouting pep talks when energy wanes.
Designed by experienced trainers, the programs are designed to build muscle and torch fat in all areas of the body. To watch success unfold, guests can chart their progress from a store of information accumulated during each session, which also allows guests to map their performance at home.