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.
Jim White, who recently earned the 2011 Community Fitness Award from the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition, and his staff help promote their clients’ wellness with a four-factor approach. This system supplies clients with a dedicated training team, varied workouts that produce results, nutrition plans designed by registered dietitians and dietetic technicians, and tools to help clients maintain fitter bodies.
Every member of the Jim White team operates with the mantra "If we can't do it, we can't expect you to," and they maintain that mindset when recommending realistic training programs to their clients. Workouts are selected from a menu of plyometrics, boot camps, and kickboxing routines, and onsite dietitians help balance exercise with a healthy nutrition plan. As a result, clients can develop healthier eating and exercising habits to get them on their way to long-term success.
The folks at Get In Shape For Women aren’t interested in packing their classes with droves of students or easily stackable contortionists. Their ideal class scenarios, rather, consists of three to four women working directly beneath a certified trainer. They cultivate this intimate setting to foster a spirit of camaraderie between classmates, as well as to ensure that they have enough time to customize routines for each student. They divide this program into 30 minutes of weight lifting and 25 minutes of cardiovascular training, complementing physical workouts with a nutrition plan that consists of six small meals spread out throughout the day. They keep clients accountable by hosting biweekly weigh-ins and sending out telegrams sung by tone-deaf mailmen if they don’t show up to the gym. The success and subsequent popularity of the Get In Shape formula has spread across 17 states and has earned them a listing among the top 500 franchises in Entrepreneur Magazine.
Paint 'n Sit's resident artists come from a wide variety of backgrounds: art school, corporate America, living inside Garfield comics. Despite these differences, each of them began painting as an expressive outlet—something that they now share with kids and adults at Paint 'n Sit. During classes, parties, or open sessions, teachers walk aspiring painters—regardless of his or her experience—through the process of painting display-worthy masterpieces. Along with provided supplies, students create everything from portraits of famous musicians to works in the style of Picasso.
Paint 'n Sit's studio space surrounds visitors with ample inspiration, exhibiting examples of student paintings on the pastel-colored walls. To foster a party-like atmosphere, Paint 'n Sit's instructors invite visitors to bring along food, nonalcoholic beverages, and prerecorded small talk.
John Belote began blowing glass in 1992, honing his chops at The Glass Baron, Inc. for several years before opening his own series of shops as outlets for his handmade art and gifts. Now creating diverse pieces ranging from sinuous chandeliers to delicate rings, Belote can custom craft airy masterpieces that meet aesthetic specifications or dramatically explode when the wearer sings a high note. One-hour introductory classes give guests a taste of the molten-glass life, and full lessons help students develop skills with 10 hours of hands-on instruction.
Nary a treadmill or stationary bike is found inside FIT: Functional Innovative Training. The same goes for flat-screen TVs and mirrors plastered on the walls. Rather, the trainers at FIT: Functional Innovative Training focus on metabolic training that mimics everyday body movements, such as hopping on wooden blocks, climbing a ladder, and powerlifting with barbells or an airplane wing.