The trainers at Sledge CrossFit do a lot for their clients: they give them the knowledge, hands-on instruction, and encouragement to dive into CrossFit’s full-tilt, functional workouts. But although trainers are always there with a guiding hand, final responsibility ultimately rests with the client. Coach Alexis Barraza, certified by USA Weightlifting, cultivates a culture of personal responsibility and camaraderie as members bang out brutal daily workouts in a spartan space lined with truck tires, medicine balls, and monkey bars. Barazza also oversees the gym’s powerlifting program, which can prep students for local and state competitions all the way up to the global level, where they try to unseat reigning champion Atlas.
More than just a creative outlet, art teaches students how to solve problems, set goals, communicate, and challenge themselves. The art instructors at Priscilla & Tiffany’s Art Corp. incorporate these lessons into each activity, whether students are using charcoal to sketch a winter scene or constructing a collage representing the report card they'd like to receive. As kids and adults work at easels or across large tables, the spacious studios are filled with carefully designed lighting and soft classical music.
The three owners of Shake Shake It Fitness & Dance Studio draw from a lifelong love of musical movement to teach all the one-hour workout dance classes on their calendar. Instructors motivate the movement in lessons such as modern hip-hop, which is based on video and commercial moves, and Zumba, where students burn calories by moving to Latin and international rhythms and then setting twinkies on fire. In Sexy Dance and Cardio Dance, instructor Ivana looks to raise the heart rate with a variety of choreography, and traditional belly-dance teacher Miss Jihan Jamal instructs pupils of all levels in the controlled poses of Middle Eastern¬–style shimmying.
South Florida may lack for large mountain ranges, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go climbing. X-treme Rock Climbing in Miami is a full-service rock-climbing center, stocked inside its warehouse-like space with some 14,000 square feet of climbable surfaces. The routes on the walls change frequently, so guests can always have a new challenge ahead of them. Private and group classes are available at all levels, though beginners are always taken through an introductory class that teaches belaying, knot tying and basic climbing techniques. The center also includes an additional 7,000 square feet for yoga and a full-service fitness center, and daily equipment rental options mean the fitness-forward set has no excuse not to give the emerging sport a shot.
From up to 13,500 feet in the air, skydivers plunge out of Miami Skydiving Center's airplanes, accelerate to 120 miles per hour, and take in scenic bird's-eye views of the Everglades, the Atlantic Ocean, and the giant gorillas terrorizing downtown. But before they enjoy this unique perspective, divers first learn the basics during on-ground tandem diving instruction. Instructors use this initial jump to get new divers excited about and familiar with the process of skydiving and the essential safety procedures. They then teach committed diving pupils to skydive solo with an accelerated freefall program. And as their students progress further, the instructors can introduce them to more advanced techniques such as belly flying and skyboarding.