At Willowick Fit Body Bootcamp, the certified personal trainers burn fat without pelting students with intimidation tactics. Instead of shouts, they slenderize students with science, motivating them through workouts designed to keep calorie furnaces burning for up to 30 hours after the workout has been wiped off and wrung into a Corvette’s gas tank. They help their clients achieve these prolonged metabolic crescendos with strategic combinations of cardio exercises and resistance training.
A member of a previously undiscovered species known as skateasaurus stakes its territory, tracing figure eights along the rink's hardwood floor. Dressed in blue-and-white shorts and a red trucker hat, the plush, green-and-yellow dinosaur—otherwise known as Skato—eschews eating children, and instead prompts them to shake it all about in rounds of Hokey Pokey. This fun ambiance extends to the rest of United Skates of America's roller rink, surrounded by lime-green walls and manned by a smiling staff. Inside the laser-tag arena, the outline of an asteroid belt and nearby planets pulsates under the glow of a black light as gunners duck behind posts and arches before homing in on their enemies or attempting to scan their allies' groceries. Around the rink, tables buckle under hot pizzas at bright-yellow booths, and gamers hone their skills at the nearby arcade in exchange for prizes such as backpacks, stuffed toys, and glow necklaces.
Home to more than 50 bowling leagues, Wickliffe Lanes' synthetic alleyways accommodate sphere hurlers of all skill levels seven days a week, which is one of the many reasons it earned Fox 8's Best Bowling award in 2010. Between frames, bowlers seek nourishment at two full-service bars or at the in-house grill; 12 billiard tables, an arcade, and 20 high-definition TVs also keep minds off high-stakes frames. The smoke-free bowling mecca hosts family-friendly open bowling and provides retractable bumpers, which eliminate gutter balls much like bicycle helmets eliminate bad hair days.
Gaetano Letizia, a professional guitarist for more than 40 years, has helped hundreds of students learn to strum with confidence. At Lifetime Guitar Lessons, he teaches them how to play rock, blues, jazz, and classical music, and he even helps them to compose their own songs. Available to students of all experience levels, Letizia tutors beginners in the basics of the instrument and helps more advanced players find their inner Django Reinhardts. He also records and produces CDs for solo artists and bands. As an added convenience, rental guitars are available at the studio for those without their own ax.
With locations in 24 states, it’s safe to say Fitness 19’s approach to fitness has piqued exercisers’ interest. Each gym houses Life Fitness cardio machines and Hammer Strength strength-training equipment, as well as a staff of personal trainers who oversee one-on-one workouts and a group of caretakers and professional ranch hands who wrangle the kids' area. Certain locations also offer group classes such as the senior-oriented Silver Sneakers program.
Inside The Bar CrossFit's 6,000-square-foot facility, an electric-green graffiti mural forms the backdrop for all the barbells, kettle bells, benches, and squat racks that fill the space. This is the scene for every Workout of the Day performed in the facility, each led by a member of its staff of Level 1 coaches. Participants may find themselves tackling a new functional-movement workout with every visit, but sweat and exertion are constants. Commitment has its rewards, though: in addition to the feeling of accomplishment that comes at the completion of every workout and well-executed classmate chest-bump, regular CrossFitters will see marked improvements in strength, balance, endurance, and agility.