With machines set up in rows to encourage competition, many ordinary gyms cater to men's bodies and psychology, right down to the urinals that were "accidentally" installed in the women's locker room. At Curves, you'll move around a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines that have been designed to work with women's bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage your machine maneuvering and your muscle making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing your momentum, the hydraulic machines use your body weight and fitness level to create resistance that matches your abilities, decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.
Steve Orlando founded My Way Fitness 24/7 to help his local community to tone muscles and improve overall health through personal workouts, classes, and nutritional guidance. His team of trainers strolls through the 4,000-square-foot weight room and cardio area, granting new members their undivided attention during complimentary personal-training sessions that maximize fitness results without the use of dark magic. Inside newly completed classrooms with tall, plum-colored walls, certified instructors help patrons to sleeken silhouettes and clear busy minds with fun Zumba choreography or a variety of body-stretching poses during yoga.
Nutritional counselors teach patrons to decipher their body's dietary demands and implement safe and effective eating habits. Steve allows the doors to hang open 24 hours a day, and the facility's IHRSA membership affords members access to any other IHRSA gym⎯a benefit when trying to maintain fitness routines during vacations or long-distance fast-food runs.
Software guru Dave Cross, a 2009 inductee in the Photoshop Hall of Fame, has been sharing his picture-manipulating wisdom with thousands of students since 1987, leading seminars on popular computer programs such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. In just the past 12 years, Cross has traveled to every state in the United States to teach the ins and outs of Photoshop, and he continues to run digital-photography and image-editing workshops at Studio 3 in Oldsmar. He has taught hundreds of students how to get their cameras out of automatic mode and to take better photographs. A man who wears many hats, Cross is also the lead instructor for the National Association of Photoshop Professionals, a co-host of a web-based show called Photoshop User TV, and the voice behind a weekly podcast known as “Ask Dave,” in which he answers user questions about Photoshop and doles out free advice on how to airbrush ghosts out of family portraits.
The team of passionate and certified personal trainers at Vibe Fit Club works with each of their clients to craft a personalized fitness and nutrition plan to help them achieve total wellness. Their philosophy is grounded in an inside-out approach that addresses the underlying causes of fat retention, whether it is due to nutrition, lifestyle behaviors, or a combination of both, such as licking butter sculptures. To help patrons toward their goals, the team combines nutritional programs with high-energy group fitness classes that range from Pilates and core workouts to cycling and personal training classes.
Touting the philosophy that exercise can be fun and empowering, the lovely lady instructors lead classes that sculpt arms by using body weight as resistance, as well as develop flexibility by performing vertical splits. The intimate studio also acts as home for pole-dancing parties complete with a DJ and champagne.
Pinot's Palette is less an art studio than it is a way for people to enjoy a libation-filled night out with friends, one that happens to include a painting project. The painting sessions evoke adults' inner artists whether they have any painting experience or not, encouraging conversation and good cheer while painting and sipping. Some locations feature a BYOB policy while others serve beer and wine from the bar. Each session features a predetermined painting—from flowers and animals to known classics such as Van Gogh's Starry Night—which each participant tackles from their own artistic angle under the guidance of an experienced instructor.
The talented instructors at Simply Art Studios guide groups step-by-step through the creation of many types of art projects, including paintings, jewelry, and floral designs. The studio supplies all required items and tools. They also let groups bring along wine and snacks.