If scientists ever decide to build a super-athlete from scratch, they might want to consider CrossFit Topeka’s owner and head trainer, Roger Laubengayer, as a model. A two-time Division III football All-American, hapkido black belt, and dedicated marathon runner, Laubengayer can seem more machine than man. His friendly demeanor, however, puts that comparison to rest, and it’s one of the reasons that athletes of all ages and abilities have flocked to his studio to learn about the benefits of CrossFit.
A fully certified CrossFit Level 1 Trainer, Laubengayer leads his students through challenging daily workouts that fuse cardio and strength training. Though workouts vary daily to avoid mind-numbing repetition, most incorporate signature CrossFit exercises such as burpees, pull-ups, pushups, squats, kettlebell drills, weight lifting, and shot-putting cars illegally parked inside the studio.
For more than 125 years, YMCA of Topeka has been helping people bolster their muscles, and today invites people to tone up in three full-service facilities and the 175-acre outdoor fitness retreat, Camp Hammond. Members enjoy a slew of body-boosting benefits, swimming laps in three indoor swimming pools, walloping orbs on nine racquetball courts, and flexing their muscles in six gymnasiums. Hone your physique in any of the more than 120 fitness classes (certain classes require additional fees), including aquatic fitness classes that proffer workouts that are as comforting to joints as an obstacle course made of marshmallows. Outdoors enthusiasts can also explore Camp Hammond's 15-acre lake, swimming dock, canoes, and nature trails. Included in today's deal is a coaching session with a trained wellness coach to discuss goals and receive an introduction to the fitness equipment.
The closets of the instructors at Topeka Jiu Jitsu Academy must look like the inside of an exploded rainbow, bursting with belts of all colors. Marc Monaco, for example, boasts a brown belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu and a third-degree black belt in American jiu jitsu. David Owens and Steve Twemlow each sport a purple belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu and black belts in various other disciplines.
With their extensive training, they lead students of all ages through jiu jitsu classes, teaching them submission grappling and advanced techniques. They also help students build the power they need to put their techniques to use in strength and conditioning classes. Their women's self-defense classes show ladies how to safely protect themselves in real-world threatening situations.
When certified fitness instructor Dawn Markley-Stueven mastered the art of teaching Zumba, she still wasn't satisfied. Hungry for more fitness knowledge, she learned all of the workout's offshoots, including Zumba gold—a slower-paced version for seniors—and Zumba toning, which adds maraca-shaped weights to the dance routines. Her Z Circuit classes are probably the biggest departure from the traditional Zumba workout. These 40-minute classes bookend one-minute resistance-training reps with Zumba moves, sculpting muscles with an ever-varied combination of cardio and strength work.
Dawn hosts all of these lessons at Club Z Style Fitness. Though lively Zumba choreography is her specialty, she also spices up the curriculum at her studio with other offerings, from yoga to boot-camp and personal training. She even takes her expertise into the water with Zumba Aqua and swimming classes held at the YWCA or in any home with a burst pipe.
Sun Resorts Tanning Salon gilds limbs with a fleet of UV tanning beds and private VersaSpa and Mystic tanning booths. To deliver even and radiant hues, the salon ensures that its beds’ lights are more closely clustered than a bunch of grapes driving a clown car and that the beds’ canopies aren’t overly arched. Patented spray-tan formulas imbue limbs with radiance without UV rays, and the salon’s Australian Gold tanning products help patrons become a beautiful shade of copper much like a crystal vase full of pennies.
Jazzercise is 60 minutes of cardio, strength training, and stretching that incorporates moves from hip-hop, yoga, Pilates, jazz dance, kickboxing, and resistance training with handheld weights. Dancing with the Stars multiple-champion Cheryl Burke is a big fan of Jazzercise's improvisational workouts, though luckily you won't need her dance moves to get the most out of your class. If you're prone to first-class jitters, though, you can review the basic moves online before you go. Expect to burn off up to 500 calories with each go-round.