At Paramount Tumbling & AcroGymnastics, children bound and tumble across the brightly colored mats, bounce on trampolines, and flip around parallel bars. But kids don't have to be aspiring gold-medal winners to join in on the fun. Here, the coaches focus on helping wee ones to develop motor skills and an appetite for fitness through positive reenforcement, while also teaching them gymnastics techniques. They lead programs for children of all ages, starting with preschoolers, that focus on having fun while learning tumbling skills, bar routines, and acrobatic moves.
In addition to classes, the expansive gym hosts open-gym sessions, which give little ones free reign to caper about all the equipment. They also welcome birthday parties and lead summer camps, which teach children to flip with or without the birthday-cake sugar boost.
Sweat Republic strives to create a strong community where individuals help motivate one another to meet their respective fitness goals in stimulating group classes. Those classes include unique offerings such as Surfset, during which, participants balance on a six-foot long board suspended over three medicine balls?to mimic balancing on water?for a workout that challenges the entire body. TRX suspension systems are incorporated in some classes, while the aptly-named apocalypse training program combines elements of TRX, plyometrics, parkour, and other disciplines to give students the skills they need to survive a major catastrophy, such as a nation-wide squeeze-cheese shortage. In addition to their classes, Sweat Republic also has aromatherapy available on site and superfood drinks available for purchase.
Flags of the world's countries line the walls of World Class Boxing Gym, across from posters of Manny Pacquiao and other boxing legends. Speed bags dangle from wall mounts and heavy bags suspend from the ceiling, inviting pugilists to step up and prove themselves by massacring the bags with a flurry of jabs or moving them to tears with a sonnet. Though the equipment is professional caliber, you don’t have to be an aspiring pro to train here. The expert trainers and staff specialize in teaching students of every background, from amateur boxers to those who simply want to get in shape.
Kevin Allen earned his personal training certification in 1989, but he didn’t stop there. Instead, he layered more expertise and experience onto his resume with every passing year, finally founding Namaste Personal Training to share his wealth of fitness knowledge with as many clients as possible. Now the gym has been named Oakland magazine's best gym in the East Bay in 2012 and 2013, a title Allen and his team of four trainers uphold by addressing patrons’ individual fitness goals in one-on-one personal training sessions, or obliterating bucket loads of calories in group fitness classes. They also tailor introductory fitness courses exclusively to beginners, lowering class size, shortening duration, and eliminating exercises that involve flaming jump ropes.
Springy surfaces of red, blue, green, and purple blanket the floors at Accel Gymnastics' two facilities. These soft mats cushion gymnasts of all ages as they somersault, tumble, and eventually back flip throughout a progressing curricula of gymnastics classes, starting at preschool lessons and heading toward the competitive level. Seasonal camps, too, immerse young ones in the sport. But coaches and staffers also make time for pure fun at birthday parties, where kids perform tricks that make their peers say "Ooooh" and "Ahhh" until all the birthday candles are blown out.
Junior Gym's instructors believe that physical activity and self-confidence go hand in hand. That's why they keep all of their gymnastics, tumbling, and fitness programs noncompetitive. Kids aged 6 months to 7 years old can step through the entrance's blue archways and into the 4,600-square-foot fitness facility, where, under the tutelage of seasoned instructors, they might learn to walk a balance beam or partake in social-development activities replete with music, movement, and parachute games. These activities unfold amid a maze of mats, bars, and obstacles, which the instructors rearrange weekly to confuse any infants plotting a mutiny.
As an alternative to regular fitness classes, Junior Gym's instructors also host camps and the Terrific Tots program. During these loosely structured sessions, CPR- and first-aid-certified teachers tell stories, help kids make arts and crafts, and serve healthy snacks.