The body disciplinarians at Grupo Cafu Capoeira instruct both beginning and experienced pupils in the traditional Brazilian martial art of capoeira, and its svelte mixed-martial-arts arm, Jaguar MMA, instructs in a hybrid styling of various martial-arts methods. Capoeira fuses music, dance, acrobatics, and combat in a fluid mélange that, like holidays with the in-laws, deftly mixes fun with reflexive defense moves. The practice helps to develop strength, grace, and physical confidence, in sessions that last 45 minutes to an hour. Capoeira is complemented by a swift gear change to mixed martial arts, a full-contact fighting system emphasizing adaptability and quick reaction to threats. Martial artists spend five to 10 minutes kindling cool muscle sticks, then 25 to 30 minutes absorbing methods and moves. Sessions in each discipline take place five days a week, mostly in evening; see the separate capoeira schedule and mixed martial arts schedule for full listings.
At Sound Fitness, one can almost hear the calories sizzle. Ample rows of bikes, ellipticals, and other cardio equipment let guests build strong, healthy hearts without feeling pressured to give up their machines to other guests or movie cops needing to commandeer treadmills. To propel exercisers toward their goals, certified personal trainers plot custom workout plans and demonstrate how to build specific muscle groups with the free weights and strength-training machines. Babysitters corral pintsize visitors while their parents jog and pedal, and shower-lined locker rooms keep watch over clothes and gym bags to make sure they don't wander home.
At Snap Fitness, members can stomp the exercise bug at any time—24 hours a day, seven days a week. Inside the all-hours gym, cardio equipment, free weights, and Cybex plate-loaded machinery inspire more sweat than a lie-detector machine installed at the rim of an active volcano. During staffed hours, members can tap into the professional expertise of personal trainers or find inspiration in numbers during small-group boot-camp classes. Snap Fitness’s online contacts can help its members to uncover nutrition plans and training ideas as well.
Former U.S. Marines and certified personal trainers combine skills and knowledge to sculpt clients' bodies at Downtown Fitness. They produce a cocktail of exercises for group settings such as cross-training classes and boot camps. Alternatively, they tailor the selection more specifically to client's goals in one-on-one personal training sessions, in which they also lend motivations and advice.
Since 1976, Stone's Gym & Fitness Center has sculpted Bay Area bodies into leaner, tougher human shapes. While the gym has been around for a generation, its equipment hasn’t—updated exercise machines from Precor and other tested brands populate the workout room’s bright hardwood floors. Stationary cycles keep blood rushing through veins, and strength-training machines match reps with row upon row of traditional free weights. The gym hosts a suite of group fitness classes that boost well-being as well as camaraderie, and introduces kids to the onsite pool during swim lessons that teach water safety and the internationally standardized rules of Marco Polo.
Some believe that you must leave home before you can truly find yourself. The teachers at Yoga House Houston didn't just leave their homes to find themselves—they left their native country, traveling across the globe to India, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Jamaica to learn, practice, and master the ancient art of yoga. They impart the wisdom they've gleaned from their journeys within a building whose exterior resembles the clay walls of a Spanish mission. Atop dark hardwood floors, they lead students through Hatha, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, hot yoga, and spine-aligning Kemetic yoga, aiming to help yogis sculpt long, lean muscles, improve endurance, and calm fidgety spirit animals.
If you saw someone running down the street with a sledgehammer, you would most likely think that person was crazy, but that's just another day in the life of the coaches at CrossFit Armada. The coaches—all of whom are certified across multiple CrossFit modalities—believe that the road to physical fitness is not paved with repetitive sessions on the treadmill. Each day welcomes a new workout of the day, which may incorporate one of more elements of gymnastics, weight training, and cardiovascular conditioning using equipment such as free weights, climbing ropes, and gymnastics rings. One day, students might do pushups and swing kettlebells within the 10,000-square-foot gym, and the next, they might venture outside to run or pound massive tires with a sledgehammer until they agree to personally train them. The workouts are intense, but scalable for all levels of athletes from professional athletes to absolute beginners.
In addition to traditional CrossFit classes, the coaching team also leads specialty courses such as CrossFit Endurance and CrossFit Olympic Lifting, as well as personal-training sessions.