As they enter the training circuit 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. Thirty seconds 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 trainers at The Boxing Gym help clients use their natural assets to get into shape: namely, two fists and a little bit of stress to take out on a punching bag. They splice their boxing and kickboxing lessons with calisthenics, push-ups, and jump roping, keeping the workout fast and varied, and always returning to combative techniques. Beyond the realm of fitness, they also help prepare fighters for the ring with MMA training in the form of submission-grappling lessons and full-speed, pad-assisted kickboxing.
Planet Fitness' massive, brightly colored edifice teems with aerobic, strength-training, tanning, and massage options, tailored to suit burgeoning buffs of all ages and abilities. A full range of cardio equipment is complemented by an elite team of fitness trainers, whose services are available to members without charge. After an intense muscle-pummeling on the extensive selection of strength-training equipment and free weights, valiant athletes and masochistic vampires alike may bask in the unlimited artificial sunshine of the gym's tanning booths. Meanwhile, an army of shiatsu massage chairs stands at the ready, twiddling soothing robot thumbs and waiting to coax tension from tired tendons. With the gym’s annual membership fee waived for one year, exercisers easily sidestep one obstacle on the path to becoming Greek statues with baker's dozen-pack abs (a $39 value).
The artists at Wine and Canvas awaken their students’ inner Rembrandts and Van Goghs with classes that pair a featured painting with specialty cocktails and wines. The mobile studio’s monthly calendar includes themed classes in which instructors expound on the nuances of painting Parisian street lamps, Japanese flowers, or Venetian cityscapes. The master painters—many of them local artists—provide step-by-step instructions while students mimic each stroke and periodically dip their brushes into glasses filled with crimson cabernet. Each of the studio’s various drink-friendly venues boasts a specialty libation selected to incite creativity or conversations with fellow painters. When the artistic frenzy concludes, students return home with a finished masterpiece large enough to conceal any wall safe or mirror portal.
After forging a friendship during a yoga class for breast-cancer survivors, Kellie Moreland and Therese Blomberg joined with Michele Taylor to bring yoga’s restorative powers to their families and neighbors. Their signature class, Yoga Core and More, sculpts limbs, abs, and backs with a lineup of back bends, arm balances, and inverted poses. Ideal for seasoned yogis, this class raises the heart rate to burn calories and foster cardiovascular health. Sweltering temperatures draw students of all skill levels to hot yoga classes, loosening tight muscles and drawing out toxins as the group stretches between exposed-brick walls and wooden floors. Mom and Me'a classes, filled with songs, stories, and playful movements, help yogis aged 2–5 liberate the peace, joy, and Capture the Flag prisoners that lie within.
Young Chefs Academy provides a fun, safe, and motivating environment for kids to become acquainted with the art of food and food presentation. Engaging chef instructors instill lessons of kitchen etiquette and safety in youngsters growing up in a world full of laser can-openers and sharp pasta rakes, giving children a capable handle on their surroundings as they journey into the land of food. Classes educate a variety of age groups, with specially catered classes for the kindergarten elite and junior line cooks, combining nutritional meals with basic food-prep skills that teach how to correctly follow a recipe to edible fruition. Senior flambéists are offered advanced classes that dig deeper into kitchen secrets and hone specific skills and techniques that expand the parameters of cooking creativity. Most classes last 90 minutes.