The reformer classes at Body by Pilates rely on the BackSmart techniques pioneered by author Dr. Adam Weiss. During the 50-minute, full-body workouts, instructors coach students through a series of cardio and muscle-sculpting exercises that burn fat and build strength more intensively than jogging through a spinach buffet. Up to 10 students stretch hips, glutes, and abdomens on the versatile reformer machine, which uses resistance to alternately lengthen and contract muscles while reducing the risk of injury. The specialized classes cultivate improved posture, core strength, and flexibility, leaving students invigorated and limber enough to happily crabwalk home.
Named for the main river running through Venezuela, Orinoco Fitness is a studio that aims to be as relaxing as a day out in nature. Owner Ana Santos Gitzinger, a native Venezuelan, styled the studio in a way that evokes the beauty of her homeland. The walls of Orinoco Fitness are splashed with images of South American waterfalls, mountains, and rainforests in order to help clients “shake off the Midwestern wintertime blues.” Above all, Gitzinger wants her clients to achieve fitness in an environment that’s fun and relaxing. In keeping with the stress-free atmosphere, students are encouraged to relax with a cup of tea in the lounge area after each yoga, Zumba, or Pilates class.
ARC Performance doesn't cut corners when it comes to sports training. Its vast facility is the sports-equivalent of Wonka's chocolate factory, with 20 yards of indoor turf, a mondo track, and NFL-ready run rockets to build explosive power and speed. Olympic-quality weights and weight-training machines round out the gym's muscle-building arsenal, and the staff of expert trainers uses each piece of equipment to help their clientele reach their peak potential during group or individual training sessions. The workouts, designed around functional power, increase sports-related conditioning and help prevent injury. The gym's other services include therapeutic massage and highly custom training for specific sports, including staring contests with goldfish.
The Pilates Studio helps physiques strive to reach their potential with the help of small class sizes and a six-day-per-week schedule. Classes vary to accommodate students of all fitness levels, allowing experienced exercisers and beginners alike to customize the pace and rigor of their carcass reconfiguration. The instructor's encouraging teaching style, sharp eye, and attention to detail help students reach new levels of strength and calories reach new levels of panic.
Before establishing Couture Cupcake Cafe, owner Cathi Volante was submerged in the world of public relations and marketing. But a desire to do something sweeter in life drew her to the world of desserts, where she now churns out handcrafted cakes, cupcakes, and savory pastries from the kitchen of her gourmet shop. Cathi’s lengthy menu of collections packs in more than 60 cheekily named cake flavors—the Jimmy Choo honors the designer’s decadent styles with rich layers of Belgian chocolate, and the 24 Carrot Cake’s orange cream-cheese icing pops like its golden namesake. Cathi also whips up such delicacies as savory cakes made from lobster and caviar, entices kids with s’more and donut flavors, and crafts men-centric treats including a BLT cake filled with bacon and flannel shirts. Dedicated to her customers, Cathi will even whip up gluten-free, vegan, sugar-free, organic, or 100-calorie versions of her cupcakes or crown regular treats with whipped-cream icing.
The boutique shop also pleases sweet teeth with more than 600 Italian-gelato flavors at the adjoining Ciao! gelato bar and pours out glasses of Arabica gourmet organic coffee and custom-blended iced teas. To keep the good karma coming in, Couture Cupcake Cafe also donates 10% of its proceeds to local churches, charities, and organizations.