When Walt Nesbit teaches fitness classes, he focuses on helping clients live long, healthy lives, rather than losing inches from their waste lines or hefting heavier weights. He started Movement Studio Pittsburgh to help clients find the branch of exercise that they liked best, offering a wide array to choose from. He and his trainers teach purely fitness-focused classes such a kettlebell and TRX Suspension, as well as classes that train the mind and body, including Tai Chi, yoga, and kickboxing.
Inside CrossFit Steel Town, stacks of weight plates and patches of artificial turf establish the gym as a serious workout space. Around the gym, instructors lead intense workouts that focus on functional-movement exercises, from pushes and pulls to jumps and sprints. Exercise regimens change each day to keep both bodies and minds activated.
At All Zen and Fitness Studio, students never hear the whir of treadmills, the clang of heavy weights, or the grunting of local strongmen. Instead, they monitor the sound of their own breath and heartbeats, easing into stretches beneath gauzy, wine-colored drapes. The calming venue eschews the noise of traditional gyms for serene exercise disciplines, such as yoga, Pilates, and qi gong—a Chinese art of movement and meditation. The instructors also lead belly-dance classes for teens and adults, training tummies to make come-hither undulations that dazzle onlookers and send snakes into jealous rages.
Yoga H'om's instructors continually encourage students to push the limits of their abilities by patiently introducing new skill sets to beginners and challenging seasoned yogis to perfect advanced maneuvers in a safe and supportive atmosphere. Teachers encourage their pupils to develop at their own pace and learn from one another during all-levels classes, which include Vinyasa-style Yoga Flow sessions, where attendees link one pose to the next with transitional movements that require intense focus and balance. During gentle yin yoga classes, beginning, injured, or physically disabled students can ease into mild stretches with the use of props, and experienced pupils can use the meditative session as an opportunity to wind down following vigorous flow classes. Regardless of the style, instructors in each session emphasize mindful breathing techniques and conclude with a period of deep relaxation that lasts just long enough for attendees to shake that song that has been stuck in their head.
ACE-certified trainer and SpeedMatters founder Rob Naylor has dedicated his 15-plus-year career to coaching athletes with sports-specific and general-fitness training programs. Providing instruction for individuals or teams, Rob leads clinics in areas such as softball, football, and golf, teaching fundamental skills sets while conditioning bodies for competition. His ladies' boot camps and men’s overdrive classes whittle down waistlines and sculpt physiques into game shape, improving strength and endurance for matches of full-contact checkers.
High-school athletes seeking to showcase their talents for prospective colleges can take advantage of Rob’s College Prospects of America program. He creates recruiting profiles and videos for each athlete, and assists them with marketing while exposing them to more than 2,000 colleges and coaches. A portfolio of his clients—whom he swears are not robots—can be viewed here.
The YMCA Adventure Warrior Race gives kids and adults a chance to prove themselves against ropes courses, mud, water obstacles, and other unexpected mental and physical challenges—all while supporting a good cause. Amid the breathtaking views and tranquil waters of Lake Tris, runners maneuver around trees and carry heavy objects up the sometimes snow-covered Laurel Highlands mountains, climbing up to 1,000 feet as they go. Warriors aged 16 and older make a 4-mile circuit, whereas younger participants run age-appropriate distances of a half mile or a full mile. Trophies and the respect of all the woodland creatures are awarded to the top male and female runners, top male and female teams, and top co-ed team. According to the Daily American, funds raised from the race provide camp scholarships that allow kids to attend residential and day programs at the 263-acre YMCA Camp T. Frank Soles.