The year was 1975, and Sam Sann crept alongside his grandmother and sister through the untamed countryside of Cambodia. He and his family were fleeing political insurgents on foot, barely subsisting on snakes and any other sustenance they could find. After four years of wandering, the Sann clan finally made it to Houston, where Sam excelled in cross-country and track. From his post as a staffer at a gym in high school, Sam ascended to personal trainer after graduation and eventually opened Iron Sports Indoor Obstacle Course with the help of his wife, Gabby. Well-known for having a spirit more generous than the secret lovechild of Santa and a fairy godmother, Sam eagerly welcomes up to 60 visitors at a time into his unique two-story obstacle course fitness studio. Exercisers of all skill levels tether themselves to a rope belay system to surmount potholed walls with climbing pegs and then scurry through tunnels at the top of ladders. From ramps for running to monkey bars for swinging, the course offers a unique approach to wellness with fun built in.
The gym also houses traditional cardio and weight machines from Precor and two First Degree Fitness Fluid Cycles XT, which are akin to a bike for the upper body. Instructors, including American Ninja Warrior veteran Drew Drechsel, have backgrounds in sports medicine and fitness, and incorporate the facility's obstacle course and gym equipment into classes such as a year-round boot camp, Kids Fit sessions, and Zumba.
Results Personal Training enlists certified male and female trainers to piece together personalized fitness and nutrition plans that target time-specific fitness goals and allow for anytime onsite access. When paired with a client, each trainer crafts a program geared toward desired results—such as muscle gain or weight loss—and an ultimate end date, which can correspond with upcoming weddings or long-awaited preschool reunions. One-hour workout sessions then draw on an armory of free weights and Pilates balls to activate different muscle groups and prevent bodies from adapting to the routine. With trainers always on standby, clients can walk in on the hour to start a training program without an appointment and report to the center an unlimited number of times per week.
Before each patron’s first workout, an on-staff nutritionist outlines a healthy meal plan customized to his or her needs. Each menu includes the amount of calories that they should consume per meal and day, a list of foods that rev up metabolisms, and arguments to convince tomatoes that they are vegetables. Clients can visit their nutritionists at any point during their membership, and weekly analyses of their progress ensure that they are staying well on track to meet their health objectives.
Exhale Spa seeks to transform its clientele inside and out. The founding team of fitness professionals and aestheticians sought to create an environment where they could empower visitors with pampering spa treatments, invigorating fitness classes, and lifestyle education, helping clients attain a sense of control and holistic balance. Now with 19 locations across 11 cities, Exhale Spa and its signature services have earned mentions in numerous national publications, including People magazine, the New York Times, and O, The Oprah Magazine.
Exhale's signature Core Fusion classes incorporate dance-inspired stretches, yoga poses, and Pilates exercises into total-body workouts that build long, lean limbs and sturdy abdominal muscles over time. For an even more varied workout, the instructors introduce boot-camp techniques, cardio exercises, or multiplication tables to select sessions. Yoga classes present a similar amount of breadth and variety, drawing inspiration from a number of introspective and physically oriented styles. To help hasten physical transformations, nutrition and wellness coaches teach attendees about the impacts of diet. These sessions build an awareness of healthy eating habits through custom meal plans and by teaching clients how to identify the edible parts of a fruit basket.
Many of the center's traditional spa services seek to inspire confidence. Facials pamper and refine skin using everything from green tea and fruit extracts to microcurrent technology, and mani-pedis revitalize digits before glazing nails with a vibrant new coat of color. Bodywork treatments look beyond physical relaxation and focus on holistic concerns. Massage therapists can use Eastern or Western modalities to soothe overstressed musculature, and acupuncture treatments and reiki sessions jump-start natural healing processes by encouraging the free flow of inner energies.
Brass Ovaries' instructors duel gravity with classes, parties, and performances set in a multifunctional aerial arts studio, which garnered the 2010–2011 title of Best Pole Studio in North America's South/Southeast Region from Pole Dance International magazine. An expert staff welcomes physiques of every gender, build, and fitness level to swoop into their seemingly weightless techniques. Courses focus on basic to advanced pole tricks as well as the hangs and twirls of the lyra, and high-heel fitness classes increase endurance for upcoming stiletto marathons.
The studio's title also refers to the name of their vertical performing group, the Brass Ovaries, headed by lead instructor Miss Natasha. The troupe and their educational programs have earned the studio multiple press mentions that highlight the empowering effects of pole mastery, such as enhanced self-esteem and the ability to reach the second floor of a fire station.
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For most of his life, Ron Green exercised and tried to eat right—a Herculean task, working as he did in the demanding restaurant business. Try as he might, he couldn't get down to a healthy weight. So he decided to hire a personal trainer—and for the first time, he felt himself outrunning the Sisyphean treadmill and inching closer and closer to his goals. The experience so inspired him that he decided to become a trainer himself to help others break out of holding patterns, and deposit their energy into exercises that gave them a return on their investment. Now, certified by the National Academy of Sports, he leads a team of trainers in helping clients through athletic, personal, and group training.
In the signature boot-camp classes, they aim at helping campers lose body fat while sculpting functional muscles, unlike glam muscles only good for filling out sleeves or wowing the admissions board at Harvard. The trainers also supplement sport-specific training, one-on-one sessions, or group training with nutritional guidance to help clients reach their goals quickly.
In 1931, aviation legends such as Howard Hughes and Amelia Earhart traversed the hallowed halls of Floyd Bennett Field, New York City's first municipal airport. Today, the same site harbors Aviator Sports and Events Center, which accommodates recreation in all of its forms, equipped with 20,000 square foot indoor field house, which includes newly resurfaced hardwood courts and new turf field, two outdoor synthetic-turf fields, and an outdoor space for events that can seat up to 4,000 people—the same number of people it takes to crack open a life-size Big Bird piñata. Twin NHL-regulation rinks host open-skate sessions, a majority of which are held on Rink B, every day of the week, with skates as late as 11 p.m. on weekends. Inside the center is a brand new CrossFit gym, which offers workout classes Monday through Saturday. Only youngsters enjoy summer or after-school camps, but adults and kids alike can take advantage of a roster of sports and leagues, including flag football and rock climbing, ideal for those looking to shorten morning commutes by cutting through the quarry.