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 to 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.
Factor X Fitness's twin 24-hour training facilities each feature more than 11,000 square feet of cardio and strength-training equipment, including free weights and fleets of treadmills, ellipticals, and bikes. The 24-hour access extends to tanning services, which offer a choice between UV-free spray tanning or booths with built-in stereo systems that allow guests to listen to their own music or a recording of bacon sizzling while tanning. Their pro shop helps fuel workouts with plenty of gear including T-shirts, supplements, and energy drinks.
Using the experiences gained during years as a professional racecar driver and builder, Competition101 Racing School founder Stuart Lycett trains the next generation of podium finishers during one-on-one racing lessons. Whether behind the wheel of stock cars, Trans Am T2 sports cars, sprint cars, or open-wheel cars, pupils soak in on-track experience on dirt tracks, short ovals, speedways, or road circuits while radios and on-board video cameras record every turn for scrutiny during future feedback sessions.
In addition to their introductory class, instructors also offer one-, two-, and three-day school programs. After the three-day program, studious speedsters may complete their training by competing in a sanctioned race event in front of paying spectators and a real checkered flag. Stuart and his crew also welcome interns willing to work for six months in exchange for a free three-day racing school program.
Nicole and Dave Nickel wanted a fun, family-friendly place to create art with their four kids, and they realized that the rest of their community might appreciate something like that as well. So they founded Firefly Pottery Studio to introduce burgeoning artists and their parents to ceramics, mosaics, and glasswork. They invite creative people of all ages to come in, pick a favorite piece from their ready-made stock, and set to work painting and glazing. Once clients finish their masterpiece, the Nickel family cleans up and fires their work, delivering the finished goods in seven days or less.
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GroupFit Studio’s owner Sherman Rosier is an NSCA-certified personal trainer, NSTA-certified running coach, certified nutrition specialist, and holds a first-degree black belt in tae kwon do. But no matter how advanced the accreditation he receives, he does not lose sight of the most basic tenant of exercise: whatever workouts you choose, have fun doing them. He tailors his classes to meet this requirement: his GroupFit90 classes work the entire body with lively tandem exercises aided by Bosu balls and resistance bands, and his DanceTance workouts fuel dance-based workouts with energetic funk, Latin, and hip-hop music. Exercisers who need an extra shot of oomph can also meet for a nutritional-coaching session, which provides a clearer insight into workout-friendly munching than spying on Sylvester Stallone while he shops for groceries.
Founded in 2008 under Henry Hernandez, professional ballet company World Ballet Inc. offers a preprofessional ballet program to its students. Along with ballet, jazz, pointe, hip-hop, and stretching classes taught by experienced instructors, child and adult clients can also take private ballet lessons and Pilates and yoga classes. Offering youth summer camps and a spacious 6,000-square-foot location, the studio takes dance in Tallahassee to the next level.