Former college athletes Melissa Grandon and Ryan Arguello founded Max Life Fitness & Nutrition to shape up bodies with vigorous workouts and practical nutritional advice. Each boot camp fuses moves from strength training, yoga, kickboxing, kettlebells, and plyometrics in a union as healthy as a marriage between a ThighMaster and a rice cake. Pairing inner health with outer brawn, Max Life consults clients on sound dietary choices through supermarket tours that lead shoppers to the most succulent fruits and the carrots with the least sour expressions on their faces, as well as nutrition workshops, healthy-dish potlucks, and unlimited one-on-one counseling. Classes take place Monday through Friday at 5:15 a.m., 6:15 a.m., 7:15 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 11:45 a.m., 4:15 p.m., 5:15 p.m., and 6:15 p.m.
Anytime Fitness is a busy, popular fitness chain that works to remove common obstacles to working out. At any one of the 21 locations this Groupon is valid for, clients have 24/7 access to the gym’s cardio and strength-training equipment, and some locations offer group fitness classes, such as Zumba and small group training. Certified personal trainers are available to help those looking to take their workouts to the next level, and members can finish their exercise routines with a stop off at the onsite tanning booth to add a summery glow to muscles.
When students believe they’ve made an errant brushstroke on their canvases, seasoned painter Linda Laughery reassures them that “there are no mistakes.” She believes that each brushstroke, even those that don’t go according to plan, contributes to the uniqueness of every painter. This positive approach to art radiates within her paint-speckled studio, The Social Canvas, where of-age students can loosen their artistic inhibitions with a few sips of wine during fun, carefree painting classes that are friendly to beginners. Families can also embark on painting projects together during family days, when kids practice making art on blank canvases rather than on walls or their parents’ tax papers.
The Social Canvas’ classes typically focus on a particular featured painting depicting images such as a Parisian street scene, a glass of wine, or a vivid landscape. With guidance from Laughery, students re-create the painting and make it their own before bringing the finished masterpiece home to proudly display. "Everybody says they can't do it," Laughery says of those who may not have held a brush since preschool. "But in the end they're shocked that they did."
Green Yoga House offers prospective pretzels an abundance of stretch sessions, from pre- and post-natal to hot Vinyasa, inside its two spacious studios in Clive and West Des Moines, as well as lunchtime yoga classes in the skywalk on Grand Avenue. Owner Lily Hou has been practicing yoga for 14 years and teaching since 2003, and was voted the Best Yoga Instructor in Des Moines by Cityview in 2009. Learn bendy basics at the West Des Moines location, mastering foundational poses, breathing techniques, and meditation practices. Build body and mind muscle at the Clive location by bringing hand weights to the Yoga with Weights class, designed to increase strength and endurance while generating energy flow, improving balance, and moisturizing parched yoga mats.
Farrell’s eXtreme Body Shaping helps clients of all ages, lifestyles, gender, and athletic ability achieve their fitness goals through results-orientated training. Long-time taekwondo competitor and teacher Lance Farrell developed the program to combat obesity and assist people develop healthy lifestyle habits by incorporating the fat-burning, strengthening and endurance building aspects of competitive martial arts training into a course for those less interested in traditional sparring or contact drills. During 45-minute sessions hosted six days a week, Farrell uses fitness as a catalyst for improving overall health, wellness, and athletic abilities. A 10-week program can result in visible changes sparked by discipline and nutritional commitment.
Aspen Athletic Club amasses top-of-the-line equipment, seasoned trainers, and luxurious amenities within five gym spaces across Des Moines. A fleet of cardio and strength-training machinery from brands such as LifeFitness and Star Trac heavily populate the floors, allowing guests ample access to the equipment. In addition to a cardio theater, the Hickman gym boasts 12 onsite tennis courts and specialized studios for martial arts and women-only workouts. Visitors to the 14th Street location can sign up for aquatic classes or swim laps solo across the pool. Other amenities such as tanning, massage therapy, and gold-plated kettlebells vary from club to club.
Certified personal trainers plan out custom routines for clients, and highly qualified instructors lead Zumba steps, spinning seminars, and, at certain locations, fast-paced Les Mills classes. The professional staff also offer nutritional counseling at all locales.
R Studio’s six-week detox program fights fatigue and unhealthy habits by coupling vigorous workouts with customized nutrition plans and guided sessions of meditation. The program encourages participants to attend four to six fitness classes per week, including circuit-style workouts and multilevel yoga, all led by certified personal trainers. The studio’s signature Kraline classes combine yoga-esque stretching and breathing techniques with strength training to elongate muscles, build core strength, and increase mechanical-bull riding times. Half-hour sessions of meditation teach breathing exercises and strategies to mentally cleanse daily stressors. The program’s nutrition counselor and holistic health expert, Sheree Clark, designs meal plans for each week using recipes that remove preservatives, artificial additives, and holograms in favor of fresh, whole ingredients. Sheree also sends inspirational emails each Friday and hosts special events throughout the program that highlight nutritious recipes and healthy lifestyle tips.