With machines set up in rows to encourage competition, many ordinary gyms cater to men's bodies and psychology, right down to the urinals that were "accidentally" installed in the women's locker room. At Curves, fitness frontierswomen move around a circuit of hydraulic-resistance machines that have been designed to work with women's bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis.
Premier Fitness of Appleton stocks its 6,000-square-foot muscle manufactory with modern cardio- and strength-building machines, surrounded by staff who aim to melt away fitness frustrations. The cheery citrus-hued facility offers buffening opportunities around the clock 365 days a year. A 15-inch TV perches atop each treadmill, cross-trainer, and other stamina-extending equipment. Melon farmers and globe salesman can relieve workday stresses by taking out aggression on a collection of medicine balls, and all can achieve a more sinewy shape with free and cable-assist weights and dumbbells from 2.5–95 pounds. Hop into Premier Fitness's tanning capsule at any time to turn biceps and elbowceps into a new tone. Private changing rooms and showers provide comfortable spaces for post-workout body-debriefing, while security cameras protect patrons at all hours elsewhere.
Inspired by watching her sister turning and leaping in ballet class, Harley Atkinson began dancing at the age of 3. Throughout her life, she has gained a strong groundwork for dance, performing at the prestigious Makaroff School of Ballet and moving on to study contemporary and modern dance in college. Now a teacher at her own studio, she believes that everyone can learn to dance. She aims to free her students of their self-imposed limitations, motivating them to move their bodies to the music and gain confidence in their own styles. Following in a tradition she learned from her parents, Harley also offers reiki sessions for people who want to relax sans toe tapping.
The studio’s light and airy atmosphere contributes to the freedom of leaping as high as your body will allow. Upbeat music plays over the speaker system, a cushioned wooden floor prevents injuries, and floor-to-ceiling mirrors wrap around the walls to expose any tap-dancing shadow people.
Ryan Dart's passion for sports started when he was five years old and continued through his college rugby career and beyond. After trying his first CrossFit class, the positive experience had Ryan hooked. Now this dually-certified CrossFit and weightlifting coach shares his knowledge with clients at his own gym, CrossFit Appleton. Ryan adapts CrossFit's scalable approach—which is used to train military personnel—to people of all fitness levels, from cage fighters to the elderly. Both he and his fellow trainer, Marie McCarthy, often encourage their students to go on a Paleolithic nutritional plan to achieve maximum results. This no-nonsense approach to eating cuts out carbohydrates such as sweets, sodas, and delicious looking wax fruit.
Though Deb Sommerhalder built her career around exercise, it wasn't until taking a yoga class with her daughter that she truly felt healthy. This experience led her to found Inner Sun Yoga Studio, LLC, a sanctuary dedicated to physical fitness and spiritual wellness. Using focused movements, relaxation techniques, and meditation, seasoned teachers guide yogis of all levels toward inner peace and emotional fortitude. Bodies grow strong and flexible as they balance and bend, encouraging their owners to stand tall and move with increased dexterity. Hatha classes help students to hone basic poses such as arm balances and seated twists, and Vinyasa Flow sessions link these poses with deep breaths rather than chains of wilting daisies. To loosen tight muscles, the practice space warms to 78–82 degrees for group yoga classes and for private Thai yoga sessions, during which a skilled practitioner bends the client's body into salutary stretches and poses. After class, complimentary tea melts lingering stress and inspires students to commune with one another.
Exposed brick and sustainable cork flooring showcase the studio's history and its commitment to preserving the earth for future generations. To equip local youth with compassion and tension-fighting tactics, the studio also hosts children's yoga classes, whose poses brim with more fun than a kitten-filled bounce castle.