Taekwondo master Diane Muniz doesn't just equip her students and set them loose—she trains right alongside them. That's because her main goal at Momentum Taekwondo Academy is to keep everyone moving and growing both physically and mentally in the art of tae kwon do, herself included. Armed with a fourth-degree black belt, she and her students work on the footwork and dynamic movements distinct to the Korean martial art at tae kwon do classes. Or students can opt for kickboxing to add some extra calorie-burning to their martial-arts regimes.
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.
?Movement is life. Mind and body are one.? It is this philosophy that drives Amen Iseghohiin both his fitness regimen and his life. That view comes from two sources: a childhood spent with his grandmother in West Africa, and tires. While his grandmother encouraged perseverance and self-sufficiency, his games with tires helped him develop strength and discipline. And the humble objects still have significance to Amen?they form the basis of the exercises at his gym, AmenZone Fitness.
At the facility's many locations, Amen and his fellow instructors champion the practice of primal training. The unconventional, challenging workout uses natural movements, body weight, and car tires to build endurance and lean muscle.
The trainers at Ultimate Body Boot Camp forage through the workout wilderness to curate a fitness omnibus. They pull from multiple exercise styles—including Pilates, plyometrics, kickboxing, yoga, and core work—to build workouts that combine the benefits of cardio and resistance training. This earned the program a top spot on Arizona Foothills magazine's Best of Our Valley list for 2012.
To keep clients' muscles from hitting the wall, getting bored, or taking off in the dead of night to pursue a career as an anatomy textbook model, coaches change the routine each class and give campers personalized tips to fuel individual journeys. Body-composition tests and nutritional plans augment the sessions, inspiring long-lasting habits for healthy physiques.
By teaching more than 100 classes weekly at two valley locations—Scottsdale and Arrowhead Ranch—True Hot Yoga's instructors make sure clients never have to miss a class. Inside heated rooms, student yogis move through a cycle of poses that strengthen the body, help shed excess weight, and help the mind forget everyday concerns and trivia about the cast of Wings. The tropical temperatures detoxifies bodies and help joints achieve greater flexibility as bodies sweat freely. Classes are designed for everyone from beginner to expert, regardless of flexibility or fitness level.
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.